Matt. 28-The Resurrection
Matt. 28:1-10-It is early on Sunday morning. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary arrive at the tomb. An angel appears and tells them three things. First, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus…” It is interesting that the “guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men,” but he did not tell them to not be afraid. For those who are looking for Jesus there is no fear…but for those that deny Him, there is fear. Second, the angel told the women what had happened…”He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said…” Third, he tells them to go tell the other disciples that He has risen and that they are to go to Galilee to meet Him. Jesus met them along the way and tells them again to not be afraid. He tells them to take word to the disciples to meet Him in Galilee.
Matt. 28:11-16-The chief priests and elders told the guards to lie about what had happened. They were to say that the disciples of Jesus came during the night while they were sleeping and stole His body. If they were asleep…how did they know what happened? And, if they were sent there to secure the tomb…would they all be asleep at the same time? Would soldiers risk incriminating themselves even for a large bribe? The whole story is self-contradicting.
Matt. 28:17-The disciples came to Galilee and worshipped Him..."but some were doubtful". The word “doubtful” means "uncertain, hesitant"...not necessarily about seeing Jesus, but what to do. Here He was alive, after death. What do they do, now?
"Distazō refers more to hesitation than to unbelief. Perhaps, as elsewhere, something about Jesus’ appearance makes him hard to recognize at first. Perhaps they fear how he may respond to them. Perhaps their Jewish scruples are still questioning the propriety of full-fledged worship of anyone but Yahweh. Or (most likely?) they may simply continue to exhibit an understandable confusion about how to behave in the presence of a supernaturally manifested, exalted, and holy being." (New American Commentary, Logos)
Matt. 28:18-20-These words, commonly known as the Great Commission are the first thing that Jesus says to them. If they were doubtful about what to do as a result of His resurrection...He just made it perfectly clear. Based on His resurrection, Jesus speaks of: His Complete Authority, His Worldwide Agenda, His Eternal Presence.
How do we fulfill the Great Commission? By spreading the Gospel, the Good News. This is the ministry of evangelism. Evangelism has been defined as:
“Presenting the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit through Proclamation (the verbal expression…clearly explaining the message of salvation), Practice (the vicarious expression…meeting the needs of people in the name of Jesus), and Presence (the visual expression…the living witness of the believer) for the purpose of persuading people to become faithful followers of Jesus Christ.”
Prayer: Lord, I'm basing my entire life on this chapter...that it is absolutely and completely true. If it is not, if any part of it is not...then like Paul said, "we should be pitied more than any other person", because we would have given our lives for a lie...a total waste. But Lord, because it is true...there is no higher calling, no greater responsibility in all of life. Please, help me to not just write, or say those words...but to live them. Help the resurrection to permeate every single cell of my being. Sometimes I am like the disciples...I stand there and look in wonder at You...but I'm not real sure just what to do. Please help me to hear Your voice, Your command loud and clear...and to be faithful and obedient to You.