The Resurrection: Matthew 28:1-7
“1) Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2) And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3) And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4) The guards shook for fear of him 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 has been crucified. 6) He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7) Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”” Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭1‬-‭7‬ ‭
The word “resurrection” in the Bible is always associated with power. Thus we have the concept of “the power of the resurrection.” (See Ephesians 1:19-20) Comprehending and appropriating the power of the resurrection is the core of the Christian life.
In these verses we see the power of life over death. We see the power of love over hate. We see the power of angels over soldiers. We see the power of good over evil. We see the power of God over Rome. We see the power of forgiveness over condemnation. We see the power of heaven over hell. We see the power of faith over despair. We see the power of the kingdom of light over the kingdom of darkness. The punch of the gospel is in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Back to the story. As the two Mary’s approached the grave, a severe earthquake had occurred. The earth shook at His crucifixion. He shakes again at His resurrection. These were not natural events. Heaven was shaking earth.
In this case, it was caused by an angel that had descended from heaven and rolled the stone away from the grave and sat upon it. After rearranging the furniture, he used the stone as a chair. I see a degree of heavenly sarcasm in this scene.
His appearance was like lightening and his garments as white as snow. The guards shook for fear at the sight of Him and became like dead men. He was very merciful. In Isaiah 37:36, the angel of the Lord struck and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. I suspect the resurrection was a time for life and not death. The hope of the gospel was extended even to these soldiers.
At that point, the angel spoke to the women and told them not to be afraid. The angel gave them a tour of the grave of Jesus that had become more like a living room. He was not dead, He had risen. He was not there, He was on mission.
Their next task was to go quickly and tell the disciples that He had risen from the dead. From this moment onward, the four Gospels report much activity and many post resurrection appearances.
The death, burial and resurrection combine to form the heart of the gospel message. His death atoned for human sin. His resurrection opened the gates of heaven. These three days fulfilled the Old Testament and changed the course of human history.
I encourage you to wrestle with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These three points set Jesus Christ aside from every other religious leader. He is not dead and decayed in a tomb. He is alive!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global