Question: Jesus Christ was resurrected the third day and was seen by 500 people. Why didn’t the resurrected Jesus Christ show himself to the Roman leaders and the Jewish High Priest and their leaders? This would include the Roman solders who were at the cross to crucify our Lord.
Response: The Lord always has priorities. Nevertheless, He has specifically said that there is a day coming when every eye will see Him (Revelation:1:7). In Zechariah:12:10, the Lord prophesied, “...they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth.”
Regarding the Roman soldiers, including those who guarded His tomb, they were terrified just at the sight of the angel and were shaking with great fear. In fact, “for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men” (Matthew:28:4).
Yet the guard’s report was taken seriously by the Pharisees and religious rulers. In fact, the priests informed the elders of the soldiers’ report. As a result, a significant sum of money was given to silence the testimony of the guards as to what actually had happened. If the Lord had appeared to them Himself, would that have changed their mind?
Apparently not, because in Matthew:23:39, the Lord Jesus had already told the religious rulers, “Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
Nevertheless, the testimony of the Lord’s resurrection had a great impact. In Acts:6:7 “a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” In John:20:29, to Thomas, who hadn’t seen Him, and only believed in Him when he finally did see Him. Jesus said, “Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
In addition to all this, the Pharisees, who had witnessed firsthand many of Jesus’s miracles still didn’t believe in Him. Rather, they sought to dismiss His amazing actions by asserting that He was doing his healings and casting out demons by some kind of demonic power. In fact, after Jesus had delivered a number of people from demonic possession, some Pharisees came along and told the people that He was casting out demons “by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.”
Jesus healed the blind, but these same leaders didn’t say, “Jesus restores the sight of the blind. He must certainly be a great prophet if not God himself!” And therefore, He appeared to his own.