"They gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, and said, 'You are to say, "His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep."’” – Matthew 28:12-13 NASB
Octavian was determined to shape history. After becoming Rome’s first emperor, using the name Caesar Augustus, he wanted future generations, to believe only his accounts of events, particularly concerning Mark Antony.
For a time, Antony and Octavian had ruled Rome with Lepidus before becoming rivals. While preparing for war with the Parthians, Antony fell in love with Cleopatra, the powerful ruler of Egypt. After losing to the Parthians, Antony’s forces were defeated by Octavian. In the following days, both he and Cleopatra committed suicide.
This story has been retold for two thousand years through plays, films, and books. But few realize that the “facts” have been distorted. Octavian ordered the destruction of thousands of documents. The only records remaining support his version of events.
A similar distortion of facts took place when the chief priests didn’t want people to know that Jesus had risen from the dead. They bribed soldiers to spread a false story.
History is filled with examples like these. We still see it all around us as people using various means to spread their opinions about the Bible, Jesus, and the Christian faith. They tell stories that support their theories and may sound true.
How can you know what is fact and what is false? Don’t allow the world to shape your opinions. Stand on God’s Word. Make Jesus your Lord. Seek an intimate relationship with Him. Seek His wisdom and the discernment of the Holy Spirit.
PrayerFather, help me be alert to distortion and rumors. I believe Your Word is true. Keep me from compromise. Give me Your wisdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended ReadingMatthew 28