October 23, 2007
The guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” Matthew 28:11-14
When he was 16 years old, Reverend Kinjo beat to death his mother, his brother and his sister. Surprisingly, his was an act motivated by love, not hate.
Kinjo did what he did because soldiers from the Japanese Imperial Army had convinced the Island residents of Okinawa that murdering your loved ones, and then committing suicide, was better than falling into the hands of the American troops. The military persuaded many of the Okinawans that the victorious U.S. military would run their tanks over the men and then rape the women and girls.
Forgiven by his Lord, Reverend Kinjo has no desire to remember or resurrect the events of what happened 62 years ago. Even so, Kinjo is once again telling his story. He is talking about what he did in response to a new set of government-inspired textbooks, which imply the people of Okinawa committed mass suicide and murder on their own and without any kind of coercion.
Reverend Kinjo is talking, because he doesn’t like to see the facts of history being rewritten.
You and I shouldn’t like historical revisionism either, not when it comes to the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. In Jesus’ day, the Jewish priests tried to rewrite the Savior’s resurrection by urging the guards to lie about the morning’s events. In our age some rewrite history by saying, “Jesus survived the events of His crucifixion, married Mary Magdalene, and became the Patriarch of the French Monarchy.” In either age, we’re taking about unacceptable historical revisionism.
The inspired truth is simple: Jesus, the innocent Son of God and the Virgin Mary, was crucified. Already dead on the cross, a Roman spear was plunged into Jesus’ heart as a guarantee of His finish. When the Christ was buried, a guard and official seal were set at His grave to make sure nothing funny could happen. In spite of seal and guard, on the third day, Jesus conquered death even as He had already conquered Satan and sin. On the third day a living Lord rose, so we might assure all who believe on Him as Savior that they have salvation.
The resurrection is God’s truth, and no matter how much people try to bend it, change it, revise it, or ignore it, the victory of the Christ remains God’s only truth that saves.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, may I hold fast to the wonderful truth of Jesus’ sacrifice. In spite of what many others may say, may I always cling to the cross and stand in awe before Jesus’ empty tomb. In his Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries