“Then go quickly and tell…”
– Matthew 28:7
These were the words of the angel to the first witnesses of Jesus’ empty tomb.
“So they departed,” it says, and went with “great joy” to find the others (Matthew 28:8).
But at the same time, another sending-out was happening. The religious leaders had assembled the council. Their guards had also reported the empty tomb to them.
And so they created a story. “Tell people,” they said, his disciples came at night and stole the body (28:13).
The interesting part of this is that, while both groups encountered the empty tomb, neither doubted it.
His followers received it with joy. And his enemies created a PR plan. But even they could not refute the facts. The best they could do was re-interpret them.
This is the nature of a true encounter with Jesus. Whether you like it or not, it’s not something you can ignore.