Pilate said to them, You have a guard; go your way; make it as secure as you know how. So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.
Matthew 27: 65.66
They had finally had their way: Jesus had been crucified and buried. However, the next day, the leaders of the people sensed some uneasiness. Hadn’t Jesus said that He would rise again after three days? They thought it impossible! But supposing His disciples stole the body from the tomb in the rock and asserted, “He is risen.”? That possibility had to be prevented. So they requested help from the Roman governor, and he ordered a guard over the grave. The tomb was shut and sealed with a large stone, and Romans soldiers stood guard over it.
Very early next morning, the day of Jesus’ resurrection, an angel came and rolled the stone away from the tomb. His appearance, white and shining, almost terrified the soldiers to death. They ran into the city and told what they had seen. That went against the high priests’ grain. They bribed the soldiers to keep quiet, so that occurrence should not become public knowledge. Instead they should say that Jesus’ disciples had stolen the body while they themselves were asleep. Asleep during guard duty? That was punishable by death in the Roman army. But the Jews had a solution for that, too. They would speak up for them, should their superior officers cause difficulties.
This bold case of bribery quickly became common knowledge. It simply could not be denied: God had indeed resurrected His Son from among the dead. He appeared before more than 500 people who testified that He was truly alive (cf. 1 Corinthians 15: 5-8).