28 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
The Report of the Guard
While they were going, behold, some of 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.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
The Great Commission
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“He is risen!” These are 3 words that have changed the very outlook and trajectory of all humankind. These 3 words are the key to the Christian faith.
For just as Jesus promised, He rose from the dead. Jesus’ resurrection reveals the sheer fact he is Living and ruler of the eternal kingdom. It is the resurrection of Jesus that brings us each a hope that beyond this life of which we live. Death is not the end. It is merely the beginning. Remarkably, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, the Holy Spirit is within each Believer as He raises us from our own spiritual death to life.
There must be a confidence in all of us, no matter what we face, Jesus keeps his promises. Furthermore, these 3 words should bring about a different way of living in the now and the future. That is something for each of us to hold on to.
I think of the struggles all of us have. They range from the physical to the relational to the personal. They are brutal at times, and the darkness of them sometimes is overwhelming. It is easy to feel locked in a tomb of despair. It’s easy to get so bogged down and lost in thought and purpose.
Yet, just as Jesus rose from the dead and brought a hope to those first disciples and followers – that same hope is something we each must look toward. This is particularly true in whatever situation we find ourselves. The empty tomb is a reminder there is hope beyond. It stands wide open as the reality is He overcame death and brought life and light in our darkness.
This is what we must fight toward when our thoughts go dark. This is what we must cling to as the darkness ravages our emotions and outlook. He is risen! Choose to live in this resurrection through whatever situation you’re currently wrestling with.
Matthew 28 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
The appearances of the resurrected Christ are astonishing! Many people will concede that Jesus was a real man who died, but few will place their faith in His divinity. Naturally, more people take issue with His resurrection over His death. The evidence speaks for itself. In a list compiled by Nelson’s New Illustrated Commentary, here are the appearances of a resurrected Christ.
In or around Jerusalem:
- Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; John 20:11-18)
- Other women (Matt 28:8-10)
- Peter (Luke 24:34)
- 10 disciples (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25)
- To the Eleven, including Thomas (Mark 16:14; John 20:26-29)
- At the Ascension (Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:4-12)
- To the disciples on the Emmaus road: (Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-35)
- In Galilee: (Matt 28:16-20; John 21:1-24)
- To five hundred people: (1 Cor 15:6)
- James and the apostles: (1 Cor 15:7)
- Paul on the road to Damascus: (Acts 9:1-6; Acts 22:1-10; Acts 26:12-18; 1 Cor 15:8)
As you can see, it was not just to the men and women he was closest to. He appeared to 500 at one time, as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15. This documentation was critical for the early church. As Paul notes in the following verse, many of those people were still alive upon Paul writing his letter. This meant that those reading it could go and verify their eyewitness testimony of the risen Christ.
The hope we have as believers is that one day we will be resurrected physically with Christ! Incredibly, our new bodies will be flawless and holy before our God. Just imagine the joy of that day!