62. And the next day, which is after the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came to Pilate, 63. Saying, Sir, we remember that that impostor said, while he was still alive, After three days I shall rise again.64. Command, therefore, that the sepulcher be made secure till the third day, lest perhaps his disciples come by night to steal him, and say to the people, He is risen from the dead; and the last error shall be worse than the first.65. Pilate saith to them, You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you can.66. And they went and made the sepulcher secures sealing the stone, and posting guards.
Matthew 27:62. And the next day. In this narrative Matthew did not so much intend to show with what determined rage the scribes and priests pursued Christ, as to exhibit to us, as in a mirror, the amazing providence of God in proving the resurrection of his Son. Cunning men, practiced at least in fraud and treachery, plot among themselves, and contrive a method by which they may extinguish the memory of a dead man; for they see that they have gained nothing, if they do not destroy the certainty of the resurrection. But while they are attempting to do this, they appear rather as if they had expressly intended to bring it forth to the light, that it might be known. The resurrection of Christ would undoubtedly have been less manifest, or, at least, they would have had more plausible grounds for denying it, if they had not taken pains to station witnesses at the sepulcher. We see then how the Lord not only disappointeth the crafty, (Job 5:12,) but employs even their own schemes as snares for holding them fast, that he may draw and compel them to render obedience to him. The enemies of Christ were indeed unworthy of having his resurrection made known to them; but it was proper that their insolence should be exposed, and every occasion of slander taken away from them, and that even their consciences should be convinced, so that they might not be held excusable for ignorance. Yet let us observe that God, as if he had hired them for the purpose, employed their services for rendering the glory of Christ more illustrious, because no plausible ground for lying, in order to deny it, was left to them when they found the grave empty; not that they desisted from their wicked rage, but with all persons of correct and sober judgment it was a sufficient testimony that Christ was risen, since his body, which had been placed in a grave, and protected by guards who surrounded it on all sides, was not to be found.
63. We remember that that impostor said. This thought was suggested to them by divine inspiration, not only that the Lord might execute upon them just vengeance for their wickedness, (as he always punishes bad consciences by secret torments,) but chiefly in order to restrain their unholy tongues. Yet we again perceive what insensibility seizes on wicked men, when they are bewitched by Satan. They go so far as to call him an impostor, whose divine power and glory were lately manifested by so many miracles. This certainly was not to defy the clouds, but to spit in the face of God, so to speak, by ridiculing the brightness of the sun. Such examples show us that we ought, with pious and modest thoughtfulness, to direct our attention early to the glory of God when it is presented to our view, that our hardness of heart may not lead us to brutal and dreadful blindness. Now though it may appear strange and absurd for wicked men to indulge in such wicked mockery over Christ when dead, that our minds may not be rendered uneasy by this licentiousness, we ought always to consider wisely the purpose to which the Lord turns it. Wicked men imagine that they will overwhelm the whole of the doctrine of Christ, together with his miracles, by that single blasphemy, which they haughtily vomit out; but God employs no other persons than themselves for vindicating his Son from all blame of imposture. Whenever these wicked men shall labor to overturn everything by their calumnies, and shall launch out into unmeasured slander, let us wait with composure and tranquillity of mind until God bring light out of darkness.
65. You have a guard. By these words, Pilate means that he grants their request by permitting them to post soldiers to keep watch. This, permission bound them more firmly, so that they could not escape by any evasion; for though they were not ashamed to break out against Christ after his resurrection, yet with Pilate's signet they as truly shut their own mouths as they shut up the sepulcher.