Matthew 27:66

66 Then they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting the guard.[a]

Matthew 27:66 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 27:66

So they went
From Pilate's palace, to the garden of Joseph, and to the sepulchre there; which whether more than a sabbath day's journey, or two thousand cubits, may be inquired; and if so, then they broke one of their own traditions, which allowed a person to go no further on a sabbath day; (See Gill on Acts 1:12).

And made the sepulchre sure;
in the following manner,

sealing the stone;
that was rolled to the door of it, it may be with some public seal, with Pilate's, or with the sanhedrim's; as the stone at the mouth of the lions' den, in which Daniel was put, was sealed with the king's signet, and with the signet of his lords, ( Daniel 6:17 ) , that there might be no change of the sentence upon him, and by which it appeared, that his deliverance was by no human assistance: so the stone at Christ's sepulchre was sealed, that it could not be removed without breaking it; which would show, whether any fraudulent methods were taken to remove the body:

and setting a watch;
a guard of soldiers, to observe and prevent any person coming near it; or "with the watch": they made sure the sepulchre with the watch; or sealed the stone, the watch being present; all which was overruled by the providence of God, for the greater confirmation of the truth of Christ's resurrection: by the methods taken, it clearly appears, there could be no fraud in the case; the body was laid in a tomb, where no corpse had ever been before; in a tomb hewed out of a rock, to which there was no access, but at the door; where a great stone was rolled; and this had a seal upon it, and a guard of soldiers about it; and hereby there were more witnesses of Christ's resurrection, than otherwise would have been; as the soldiers, though they were afterwards bribed to tell another story; and even the chief priests and Pharisees were convicted that he was risen, or they would never have taken such a method with the soldiers, as they did.

Matthew 27:66 In-Context

64 Therefore give orders that the tomb be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, His disciples may come, steal Him, and tell the people, 'He has been raised from the dead.' Then the last deception will be worse than the first."
65 "You have a guard [of soldiers]," Pilate told them. "Go and make it as secure as you know how."
66 Then they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting the guard.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Lit stone with the guard