While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.
When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. (Matt. 28: 11- 15)
The priests were so determined to cover-up the resurrection of Jesus that they resorted to bribing the guards. This wasn’t an ordinary bribe. By lying for the Pharisees, the guards knew that they could be executed for telling their superiors that they slept while they were on duty. According to D. James Kennedy, there has never, under any circumstances, been a witness who has been allowed to testify to what transpired while he was asleep.
What is it about the resurrection of Jesus that down through the ages, unbelievers try their hardest to explain it away and cast a shroud on its historicity? That question requires volumes to answer but for our purposes here, suffice it to say that the entire credibility of the Christian religion and the church of Jesus Christ is hinged on whether Jesus rose from the dead or not.