The guards acknowledged the miracle, returned to the city quickly and described to the chief priest what they had witnessed. Those who should have turned, repented and sought out the resurrected Jesus continued instead in their wickedness. They converted the money which had been given to the temple into a bride for their falsehood, just as they had earlier given thirty pieces of silver to Judas, the betrayer. Everyone therefore who diverts the offerings given to the temple or to the church for other purposes, namely, the satisfaction of his own will, is like these scribes and chief priests who purchased a lie and bought the blood of the Savior. .
All who abuse to other purposes the money of the Temple, and the contributions for the use of the Church, purchasing with them their own pleasure, are like the Scribes and Priests who bought this lie, and the blood of the Saviour.
See how their own actions trap them everywhere in their own devices. For if they had not come to Pilate or asked for the guard, they would have been more able to act in this impudent fashion. But as it was, they did ask for a guard. Indeed, as though they were laboring to shut their own mouths, they took these precautions themselves. If the disciples did not even have the fortitude to watch with him for an hour while he prayed, even when he scolded them, how would they then have had the strength to venture upon such a desperate enterprise? Don’t be foolish. If the disciples had any thought of stealing his body, they would have done so before he was buried and sealed in the tomb. They would have acted before a guard was placed at the tomb on the first night, when it might have been done in greater security and with less danger …. But remember on that night none of the disciples were present at the tomb. They were scattered in hiding! The Gospel of Matthew, Homily
Hom. xc: Of the signs which were shown around Christ, some were common to the whole world, as the darkness; some peculiar to the watch, as the wonderful apparition of Angels, and the earthquake, which were wrought for the soldiers 'sake, that they might be stunned with amazement, and bear testimony to the truth. For when truth is proclaimed by its adversaries, it adds to itsbrightness.which befel now; “Some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the Chief Priests all the things that were done.”.
Not content to have put the Master to death, they plot how they may destroy the disciples, and make the Master’s power matter of charge against His disciples. The soldiers indeed lost Him, the Jews missed Him, but the disciples carried Him away, not by theft, but by faith; by virtue, and not by fraud; by holiness, and not by wickedness; alive, and not dead.
How should the disciples carry Him away by stealth, men poor, and of nostation, and who scarcely dared to show themselves? They f...
Simple minds, and unlearned country-folk, often make manifest without guile the truth of a matter, as the thing is; but on the other hand, a crafty wickedness studies how to recommend falsehood by glosing words.
But as the guilt of His blood, which they imprecated upon themselves and their children, presses them down with a heavy weight of sin, so the purchase of the lie, by which they deny the truth of the Resurrection, charges this guilt upon them for ever; as it follows, “And this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”
. The guards reported everything: that there had been an earthquake, that the stone had been lifted away of a sudden, and that they themselves had been terrified and had become as ones dead. But the Jews were shamed neither by the miracles which had occurred at His Passion nor by the things which the soldiers had witnessed at the tomb; instead they corrupted the soldiers by their own favorite passion, the love of money, inducing the soldiers to utter the most impious and ridiculous thing of all: that He had been stolen. How, you foolish ones, could the disciples have stolen Him when in fear they had secluded themselves and did not even dare to go out at all? How, if they had stolen Him, would they later die for Him, preaching that He had risen, and be hacked to pieces for a lie?