Today we are going to read about the best day, the greatest news and the core of our faith, the day Jesus rose from the dead. As you read this, remember how everyone was feeling yesterday. With that in mind, read Matthew 28 with me in it’s entirety.
Jesus Has Risen
1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. (the other Mary in this scripture was not Jesus’ mom)
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
What stood out to you in this?
Based on the angels appearance and the shock of the earthquake, it’s no wonder the women were afraid, throughout scripture when angels appear, they come saying this very thing, do not be afraid. This reminds me of the day Jesus was born as angels announced his birth, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10)
What do you notice about what the angel does?
Not only does he appear, but the tomb was closed when they arrived; the angel rolled away the stone, not so that Jesus could get out, but so the ladies could go in to see for themselves that Jesus was not there, in fact we see the angel encouraging them to do so. I love that the angel sat there on the stone talking to these ladies.
List the four key things the angel says in our passage.
Describe how the women were feeling as they hurried away from the tomb.
What had they just seen? Was this real? Was this a dream? What just happened? Where is Jesus? I’m sure the questions were going through their minds as they frantically looked for the disciples to tell them what happened. In the midst of all their thoughts, questions and emotions, Jesus himself appears to them, I don’t think we could even imagine what these ladies were feeling at that moment, but we do know that they were so overcome by seeing Him that the only thing they knew to do was what? We also see a reminder of what the angel had told them, but this time Jesus spoke it to them, what were the two things?
This was a day of triumph. Triumph over death. The truth that Jesus wasn’t just a teacher or a religious leader, He fulfilled prophecies, including the one he gave of himself, that he would rise from the dead and that death would be defeated, that he was the Son of God as he said! This is the best news, The Messiah had come, and as promised, He will come again!
The Guards’ Report
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
What I love the most about this part of our passage, is that the guards reported what had happened. The guards knew the truth, they saw everything with their own eyes and the chief priests believed them, so they were scared, they didn’t want Jesus back. And we can know they believed what the guards said because 1. They believed the possibility of his resurrection when they sent the guards in the first place. 2. They were scared of what this could mean for them, so scripture tells us they devised a plan.
What was your reaction to the guards? Did you know about this plan? Did you know that some people still believe this plan? Which is why what happened next was SO important, Jesus appearing to so many people, for 40 days!
Jesus’ appearances to the ladies and his disciples and everyone else thereafter wouldn’t, couldn’t, have been a reality, let along been recorded, if his disciples simply moved his body. We can tell by scripture and their reaction to seeing Jesus that they were in shock. The only explanation is GOD!
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In our application it tells us that seeing Jesus in Galilee is actually the second time Jesus meets his disciples. (I do want to note that there were only 11 now because Judas killed himself when the chief priests wouldn’t drop the charges against Jesus.) See, the disciples were afraid of the religious leaders and so they hid and locked themselves in a house in Jerusalem, John tells us “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20:19, Luke also gives the same account in 24:36.
I think this is super important background because look at verse 17, it says they worshipped him but some ________________.
Doubted! Doubted? They just saw Jesus basically walk through a wall to a locked house and then appear again now in Galilee, that word just gets me.
Then Jesus goes on to tell them what to do from here on out. What were his commands?
Let’s take them one by one. Go and make disciples of all nations, the world, so whether it’s our neighbors or around the world, our application tells us that this call is for all believers, we are to share the good news of Christ, that this is not an option for us, but a command by Jesus. How does that impact your thoughts on sharing about Jesus?
Second, we see the importance of baptism and the reiteration straight from Jesus of the trinity, although scripture doesn’t call it the trinity, we still see the three in one. I loved what our application said about baptism, “ [it] unites a believer with Jesus Christ in his or her death to sin and resurrection to new life. Baptism symbolizes submission to Christ a willingness to live God’s way.” Have you been baptized? What was that experience like for you? If not, what has been holding you back?
Lastly, Jesus tells us not only to share about Him, but to share also about his teachings. I love the word he used here in scripture, look at verse 20, everything. In my personal opinion I think this is getting clouded in our current culture/world. That the Bible and Jesus’ teaches are getting morphed to better fit into this world. But that’s just not what Jesus said, ever, he never asked us to twist his words to make Him more accepted. He commands us to share his true word, his true teachings, as he gave them!
From Palm Sunday to today, we have learned so much about Jesus, but one thing has been a constant, He is Who He says he is and “we must make Jesus King of our lives and worship him (alone!) as our Savior, King, and Lord.” (Application)
What area could you bring Jesus more into in your life? Who could you share the news of Jesus with today?
What was your biggest takeaway from this journey from Palm Sunday today, Jesus’ Resurrection?
Let’s end our time in worship of our Risen King!
Heavenly Father, Lord, thank you for this day, thank you for your promised fulfilled, thank you that Jesus was not there in the tomb that morning, that you raised him from the dead just as he said you would! Thank you that we now get to have a close, personal relationship with. Help us to spread the good news of the gospel to others. I pray for courage for each of us to willingly share our faith with others, even if we are faced with opposition for it. We know this is the best news and we want others to join us in eternity, so help us to be brave in our words and I pray you give us the words to speak to the nonbelievers you place in our lives. It’s in Jesus name we pray, AMEN!