17 Mar Hush Money
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 (Matthew 28:11-15).
The soldiers who guarded the tomb had one job: “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” (Matt. 27:65). But on Resurrection morning, an angel rolled the stone away and Jesus rose triumphantly from the dead. Everything about our faith hinges on the truth of the resurrection. “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor. 15:14).
The religious leaders knew if word got out, they would lose their power. So, they devised a plan and became the first major donors to oppose the good news. Money talks, in this case money attempted to change the narrative. The soldiers used the money to launch the first anti-Christian marketing campaign. We can learn three fundraising principles from this passage.1. The World Has Good Fundraisers
Just like our passage, the forces of evil today can raise large sums of money to fund their falsehoods. Your ministry will never have enough money to stand against evil dollar for dollar. Thankfully, “the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:4). Be encouraged, with them “is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and fight our battles” (2 Chron. 32:8).2. Your Ministry is a Target
Christian ministries are under attack. Sometimes the enemy persecutes directly. Other times, the enemy offers a counter message and spreads lies about those who dare speak truth. Anytime you stand for biblical truth, you will face opposition. We must remember that our true enemies are not people, but “the powers of this dark world and… the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12).3. The World Appears to Win – For Now
The soldier’s disinformation campaign was successful to a point; many people today still choose to believe their lie. But take heart, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Jesus promised to build his church and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18). Have confidence that God has all the resources you need to accomplish your mission. In the end, God wins!
Response: Father, forgive me for jealousy when I see the world raising lots of money for causes that oppose the Gospel. Help me share our ministry story with passion and trust your provision.
Think About This: No amount of money can suppress the true message, “He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!”
Have a Spirit-led fundraising week,
Ron Haas has served the Lord as a pastor, the vice president of advancement of a Bible college, a Christian foundation director, a board member and a fundraising consultant. He’s authored two books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising and Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for At the Center magazine and Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.