Matthew 28:1-20 - Outline of Matthew (Book Notes menu page)
28:1 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.
28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake:
for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead [men].
A composite of the four gospel accounts provides the full record of Christ's Resurrection.
  • For the order of events on the resurrection morning, see the Notes at John 20:1.
  • For the order of appearances of the resurrected Christ, see the note following v.8 below.
Because Matthew is writing to the Jews, about their King and His Kingdom,
his account emphasizes the power and overwhelming victory of the King.-
  • earthquakes accompanied...-
    1. the giving of the Law, at Mt. Sinai. Ex 19:18; 20:18-20
      - The power of sin demonstrated (by the Law). 1Cor 15:55-57
    2. the rending of the veil, at Christ's death. Mat 27:51 - The power of sin destroyed.
    3. the opening of the tomb, at Christ's resurrection. v.2 - The power of death defeated.
  • enemies are shaken and powerless before His representatives. (v.4)
  • angels announced...-
    1. the Law. cp. Psa 68:17; Acts 7:51-53; Gal 3:19; Heb 2:2,3
    2. the birth of the Savior. Luk 2:10,11
    3. the victory of the Savior. v.5,6
  • Christ has all authority in heaven and in earth (v.18).
28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women,
Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
28:7 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.
fear not... for he is risen... - Christianity is unique.
The founders of all other religions are in their graves. Only Christ is risen.
  1. The Christian faith rests on the facts of the bodily Death and Resurrection of Christ. 1Cor 15:1-4
  2. The resurrection of Christ was attested by many eyewitnesses. v.6; 1Cor 15:5-8
  3. The resurrection is essential to the Christian message. cp. v.7; Rom 10:9
    1. If Christ did not rise from the dead...
      • our faith would be in vain {ie., empty, devoid of truth}. 1Cor 15:14
      • we would be guilty of proclaiming a lie. 1Cor 15:14-16
      • we would be yet in our sins, unforgiven, awaiting judgment. 1Cor 15:17
      • we would have no hope beyond the grave. 1Cor 15:18,19
    2. Because Christ is risen from the dead...
      • we have a share in the present and future victories of our King, over sin and death. 1Cor 15:20-28
      • we are motivated to serve Him, despite the costliness of being identified with Him, in a wicked world. 1Cor 15:29-34
      • we confidently expect that we will inherit the Kingdom of God, which flesh cannot inherit. 1Cor 15:35-53
      • we thank God, for the victory we have through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Cor 15:54-58
he is not here... Come see the place where the Lord lay.-
The stone was not moved to let Jesus out of the tomb, but to let the women and the disciples in, to view the evidence.
His resurrected body rose up, through the grave clothes and through the grave's stone walls.
See the Notes at John 20:6-8; cp. Joh 20:19; 1Cor 15:42-44
go... and tell... - The proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ
has not been entrusted to angels, but to human believers. cp. v.19,20
28:8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy;
and did run to bring his disciples word.
28:9 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.
28:10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid:
go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
The order of the Lord's post-resurrection appearances seems to be:
  1. On the day of His resurrection:
    1. To Mary Magdalene. Joh 20:11-18
    2. To the women returning from the tomb with the angelic message. Mat 28:5-10
    3. To Peter, probably in the afternoon. Luk 24:34; 1Cor 15:5
    4. To the Emmaus disciples toward evening. Luk 24:13-35
    5. To the apostles, except Thomas. Luk 24:36-49; Joh 20:19-24
  2. Eight days afterwards:
  3. In Galilee:
    1. To the seven by the Sea of Tiberias {Sea of Galilee}. Joh 21:1-23
    2. To the apostles and more than 500 brethren. Mat 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18; 1Cor 15:6
  4. In Jerusalem and Bethany again:
    1. To James. 1Cor 15:7
    2. To the eleven, at His ascension. Mark 16:19,20; Luk 24:50-53; Acts 1:3-12
  5. After His ascension:
    1. To Stephen at his martyrdom, outside Jerusalem. Acts 7:55
    2. To Paul:
      1. At his conversion, near Damascus. Acts 9:1-8; 1Cor 15:8
      2. In a vision (2Cor 12:1-4), perhaps while near death at Lystra (Acts 14:19,20).
      3. At Corinth. Acts 18:9-10
      4. In the Temple. Acts 22:17-21
      5. In prison in Jerusalem. Acts 23:11
    3. To John, on Patmos. Rev 1:10-19
      [This order of appearances was adapted from ScofRB.]
There is no conflict between v.9 and Joh 20:17. See the Notes at John 20:17.
go... tell...- The command issued by the angels is now restated by the Lord. v.10; cp. v.7; v.19,20
28:11 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.
28:12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel,
they gave large money unto the soldiers,
28:13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him [away] while we slept.
28:14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
28:15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught:
and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
the watch {Mat 27:65,66} - reported what they had seen (v.2-4) to the Jewish authorities.
the chief priests and elders...
  1. took counsel - They thought their problems were ended when they did away with Jesus (Mat 26:3,4; 27:1,2).
    But they had only begun. cp. Acts 4:1-17
  2. bribed the soldiers with ''large'' {GK=hikanos, enough, sufficient} money.-
    ie., The soldiers named their own price. They must have been very well paid,
    because, for a Roman soldier, the penalty for sleep while on duty was death. cp. Acts 12:18,19
  3. promised to protect them, if Pilate were to hear their false story.
28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee,
into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
28:17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,
All power
{ie., authority} is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
{cp. Dan 7:13,14; Joh 3:35,36; 5:22-27; 17:2; 1Cor 15:27; Eph 1:19-23}
28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo
{behold}, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world {ie., the age}. Amen.
...some doubted (v.16,17)- eg., Thomas, Joh 20:24-29
During His post-resurrection ministry, Christ dealt with their doubts.
If they were to be His witnesses, they had to be sure of His resurrection. One strong evidence for the historicity of Christ's resurrection is that the early disciples proclaimed it boldly, often at the cost of their own lives. cp. Acts 20:24; Php 1:20,21; 1Pet 1:3-9
The Great Commission (v.18-20; cp. 2Cor 5:18-21) -
  1. All authority is given unto me...- This statement conveys...
    1. the basis for the commission (and of our responsibility to obey).
    2. the substance of the message regarding His Person and Work.
    3. the provision for the task.
  2. Go ye, therefore...-
  3. and teach {GK=matheteuo, instruct, make disciples} --
    1. baptizing... {GK=baptizo, wash, immerse} -
      • with emphasis, not on the symbolic act, but on the spiritual reality.-
        Water baptism (especially by immersion) is an illustration of, and a visible testimony to, God's work of regeneration, and the believer's identification with Christ.
           The physical act, of baptism, has no power to save, but is an outward expression of inward faith in Christ. (Note the order of Acts 18:8, 'hearing... believed... baptized.' cp. Acts 2:41; 8:35-38). Such faith (which involves repentance of sin and faith in Christ) results in remission of sins and the reception of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
           Spiritual baptism (the essential reality) is the work of the Holy Spirit, by whom, the believer has been immersed into Christ (Gal 3:26,27; 1Cor 12:13). Having been joined to Christ, the believer is identified with Him in His death and resurrection, to become dead to sin and alive toward God (Rom 6:3-5; Col 2:11,12; 1Pet 3:21).
            See also the Notes at Mat 3:11. cp. Acts 19:3-5
      • in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.-
        • The word 'name' is singular.
          The three Persons, of the Godhead, are one in character and essence.
        • Those who are identified with Christ (by trusting in Him for salvation) are also identified with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
          cp. Acts 2:38,39; Rom 8:8-17; 2Cor 13:14; Eph 2:18
          [For more on the Triune nature of God, see Understanding the Bible - Lesson 3- Bible Themes: God.]
    2. teaching... {GK=didasko, to instill doctrine, explain or expound something}
      • ie., conveying God's Word, with regard to...
        (1) the substance of the Christian faith (ie., what we believe), and
        (2) the nature of Christian practice (ie., how we live).
        eg., Eph 4:11-16; 2Tim 2:2; 3:16,17; 1The 4:1-3
  4. Lo, I am with you alway... - He says: ''Behold...'' lest we lose sight...
    -- of the constant reality of His presence.
    -- of our continuing dependence upon Him. Joh 15:4,5
    eg., Mat 18:20; Joh 14:16-23; Acts 4:31; 18:10; 23:11; Php 4:13; Rev 1:18; 3:7,8,20

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