St Matthew 28 Reflections

The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Matthew Chapter 28: Read Here:

28 Women at the tomb

Angels and Women at the Tomb,

Jesus died on Friday afternoon, before the Sabbath began that evening. The Sabbath day was on Saturday. So this chapter takes place once the old Sabbath is finished, and as Sunday the Resurrection Day dawns.

‘In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for [two angels] of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. [Their] countenance was like lightning, and [their] raiment white as snow: And for fear of [them] the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

‘And the [angels] answered and said unto the women,

“Fear not ye: for [we] know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you”’(Matt 28:1-7; JST says there were two angels).

Women were the first to know that Jesus had risen from the dead.

‘And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying,

“All hail.”

‘And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

‘Then said Jesus unto them,

“Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me”’ (vs. 8-10).

The women were not only told by the angels that Jesus had risen, they were also the first to see the resurrected Lord and to worship at His feet. Can you imagine the release from the anguish they must have felt at his departing? Can you imagine their joy and their wonder at His returning?

And of course, when it was recognized that the watch could not keep Jesus from rising, that He was no longer in the tomb but had risen, the chief priests and elders had to produce a cover-up story. They just wanted Jesus out of the way, so that they could go on living their lives according to their lies and hold the people in their subjection.

‘Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying,

“Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.”

“And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.”

‘So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day’ (vs. 11-15).

What about those soldiers? Could you accept money and perpetuate the lies after you had felt the earthquake and seen the angels? Do some of us forsake the truth that we know to fit in with the crowds?

According to Matthew, it appears that Jesus had told the disciples to meet him in a mountain in Galilee after His resurrection.

‘Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted’ (vs. 16-17).

Some doubted. Can we doubt our own eyes, our own senses? Yes, we can. A witness of the Christ is through the Spirit, and it is very personal. And it is given when the Lord knows we are ready to receive it. We need to trust more in our faith than in our doubts.

Seeing is not believing; believing is seeing.

‘And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (vs. 18-20).

All power has been given to Jesus Christ, and in turn He gave power to His apostles, to teach His gospel and to administer the ordinances thereof. His commandment, before He ascended into heaven, was for his disciples to teach all nations and to baptize all believers in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and to teach them to keep all of His commandments.

Some in today’s world think that these things are archaic and unnecessary. But they are at the heart of Christ’s teachings and the essence of His gospel. We cannot be His followers without observing His commandments. Do we believe in Jesus of Galilee? Do we believe in the Resurrected Lord?


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