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The religious leaders came to Pilate on the morning after the death of Jesus with the “design to perpetuate Good Friday”. As Krummacher explains

“They have murdered Him, but they have not got rid of Him, They are fully conscious that they have dragged an innocent, guiltless man to execution, but the awakened conscience is not to be lulled with lying subterfuges, as if He had attacked Moses, had reviled the temple, and had led the people astray. What they witnessed at Golgotha, the glorious termination of the righteous One’s career, the public confession of the heathen centurion, and especially the manifestation of the Almighty by the darkened sun, the earthquake, and the opening of the graves, served but to render them more sensitive to the lashes of that scourge which the judge within their breast incessantly inflicted on them. What marvel then if the Crucified One, in the form of a bloody spectre, was ever present to them, chasing away sleep from their eyes? Assuredly there is not a man amongst us who has decidedly rejected Christ that can ever wholly banish Him. Such a one, though he decline to confess it, lives ever in a secret feud with his conscious inner life.”

Excerpt From: Friedrich Wilhelm Krummacher. “The risen Redeemer: The Gospel History From the Day of Atonement”. Translated by John T. Betts, 1869, 2-3.