by Truth Encounter Ministries


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If Jesus Rose from the Dead, then (#1) the Seal Was Broken

We don’t spend much time talking about the seal that was placed upon the tomb, but I think it is significant.

Here is the historical record:

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. Matthew 27:62-66

The historical account states that the chief priests and the Pharisees “made the tomb secure by sealing the stone…”. 

This seal was most likely several ropes that were drawn across the stone and then affixed to the tomb walls with a soft clay imprinted with some symbol of authority. It was also likely that the ropes were also sealed at their juncture in front of the stone. In this way, no one could move the stone or the ropes without breaking the dried clay and destroying the “seal” affixed upon the clay. 

The seal was there to “put on notice” that no one was to mess with the tomb. Rome could deal quite nastily with those who did so.

Now, this doesn’t mean much to us today, for we are long past the norm of using “seals” as they were utilized in ancient times. but in those days, a seal was inviolable. It represented authority, authenticity, and finality. No one messed with a seal.

  • In the book of Esther, when King Ahasuerus issued the order to save the Jews, he commanded them to seal it with the king's ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked.”
  • When Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, “… a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel."

In the vision concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, the Scripture says this:

And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Isaiah 29:11

The permanence of a seal against all who were unauthorized to break it was an inviolable part of their world. 

It becomes even more apparent when John is caught up to heaven and there beholds the scroll with seven seals. John begins to weep because there was “no one worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.” Of course, we find that the Lamb, “standing as though it had been slain”, was worthy to break the seals. And when each of those seals were broken, great calamity came upon the earth. Seals in the Scripture mean something. And John had wept, because the seal represented an inviolable wall to anyone who did not have the authority to break it.

Seals show authority. They show authenticity. And they show finality for all except the one who had the authority to break them.

And so, we now come back to the tomb. The seal, whether it was a Roman seal or the High Priest’s seal, represented a fixed closure that no one was allowed to breach. When it was set upon the tomb, there was a finality, a stamp of ultimate authority, that said, “this tomb is closed”.

Ah, but God is not subject to the laws or seals of man. I can imagine that when the earth began to shake and the stone was rolled aside, that those clay seals with the authority of man impressed upon them broke into a thousand pieces and lay as trash littering the ground.

If Jesus rose from the dead, then the seal of man, meant to keep Him in the grave, had been utterly and completely destroyed.

But there is one more thing that must be mentioned regarding “seals”. 

In John 6, Jesus said this:

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” John 6:27

If God seals something, it is sealed!

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Eph 1:13

“… it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Cor 1:21

This is God’s seal of authority, authenticity, and finality. You are His, sealed with His guarantee.

Oh my!

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Comments

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  • Deborah Watkins

    Deborah Watkins

    Loved this!
  • Marc Fey

    Marc Fey

    What amazing promises God has given us, all because of the resurrection, giving us His life!
  • Sharon Manning

    Sharon Manning

    Wow! No one, not even me has the authority to break that seal that our Almighty GOD put on me! I praise HIS holy name.
  • Sandy Ryan

    Sandy Ryan

    I had never thought about the seal on the tomb. Thanks!
  • Fran Kurtz

    Fran Kurtz

    Thank you for pointing out the significance of the seal especially in regards to John 6:27, Eph. 1:13 and 2 Cor 1:21. What an ahha moment for me when I read this! Glory to the Father for putting His seal on me!
  • Mary  Mackay

    Mary Mackay

    O MY indeed. I'm lost for words! Powerful Revelation. Such Blessed Assurance! Thanking you again Sir! ❤️ Wow!
  • Tobie Botha

    Tobie Botha

    Thank you Del - You're the BEST! First the Truth Project - now this! The Truth Project under my servanthood touched many lives - thank you again so much for this - I am going to forward this to my family in South Africa. God bless you!
  • Jeremy Olson

    Jeremy Olson

    Wow.
  • John Laulainen

    John Laulainen

    Thanks Del! Your work is much appreciated by this brother in Christ.
  • Karen Stephens

    Karen Stephens

    Oh blessed thought...I have an irrevocable seal that was set there by the LORD and I am His forever! "The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?" 'Psalm 118:6 I love what you said, "This is God's seal of authority, authenticity and finality. You are His, sealed with "His" guarantee."

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