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I sometimes think that it would be more strategic for the devil to do nothing at all, than to put his hand to things that are not only overruled by a sovereign hand, but turned to the Maker’s advantage. For example, the devil seemed determined to secure the tomb in which that they buried the body of Jesus, in the attempt to prevent any news of a resurrection. In fact the Jewish leaders worked overtime (literally, since it was a Sabbath) to make sure that the tomb was protected by a Roman guard and a government seal.
When the disappointment (for them) came on the Sunday morning at the news of the resurrection, the excuse contrived was that Jesus’ disciples came at night and stole the body while the guards were sleeping. Here’s the point. If the tomb had been left unguarded, that particular excuse might have been plausible. The disciples could have come at night, and rolled the stone away, and removed Jesus’ body, and then conspired to tell the world that he had risen.
But that excuse becomes pure fiction when we know that the tomb was guarded, and by men who would forfeit their lives if it was ever robbed. And so the zealous work of the devil, under the overruling hand of a sovereign God, actually contributes favourably to the story of a physical resurrection. I’m not sure that it’s ever wise to thank the devil, but in this instance, I for one am glad for his infernal assistance.
DM 3rd April 2018