The resurrection of Jesus
Christ caught His followers completely by surprise.
The worst fear of the Jewish leaders came true.
Every precaution they made in their paranoid minds
was fulfilled. The resurrection came as a wonderful
surprise to the disciples. It is very evident none
of the disciples were sitting around at the tomb
waiting expectantly to see Jesus alive and
Matthew gives us a
condensed report of a series of resurrection events
and does not deny or contradict the other Gospel
writers who give additional evidence. The
reappearance of the risen Christ in Galilee is the
grand climax to his Gospel.
A FUNERAL FOR A KING
Jesus died. "Jesus cried
out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His
spirit" (Matt. 27:50). The apostle John tells us the
cry was, "It is finished!" and He gave up His spirit
(John 19:30). He breathed His last. He died.
A Jewish rich man and
leader, a member of the Sanhedrin, Joseph of
Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for the body of
Jesus so it would be given a proper burial. It was
the day before the Sabbath when Jesus died. The
Sabbath began according to Jewish time about 6:00 PM
when the sun went down. My guess is Nicodemus helped
Joseph take the body down from the cross.
"When it was evening,
there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph,
who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.
This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of
Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him"
The cross of Jesus drew
Nicodemus and Joseph out of darkness into the light.
Jesus had said, "And I, if I am lifted up from the
earth, will draw all men to Myself" (John 12:32).
Pilate certified Jesus
was dead. "Pilate wondered if He was dead by this
time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him
as to whether He was already dead. And ascertaining
this from the centurion, he granted the body to
Joseph" (Mark 15:44-45).
Joseph and Nicodemus
could not have been deceived the day Jesus died.
When they touched and handled the cold, dead,
lifeless, stiff body of Jesus there could be no
mistake. He was dead. The heart had ceased to pump.
No intelligent critic now holds that Jesus did not
really die. They now work at trying to remove the
supernatural from His death and resurrection.
The body of Jesus was not
put into a coffin. They took His body down from the
cross, wrapped it up in a large linen cloth and
carried it on a stretcher to the tomb.
The burial of Jewish
people during the days of Jesus was not like modern
American funerals and embalming. The Jewish people
wrapped the bodies in linen clothes and sprinkled
aromatic spices between the folds of the cloth.
There was no mutilation
of the body and no bones were broken. Jesus was the
perfect Passover sacrifice. Not a bone of this
Passover lamb had been broken (Ex. 12:46; Num. 9:12;
Jn. 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:7).
Mary Magdalene and Mary
the mother of Joses witnessed the burial (27:61; Mk.
15:47). "And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other
Mary, sitting opposite the grave" looking on. They
were independent witnesses to these tragic events.
"Nicodemus, who had first
come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture
of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.
So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen
wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom
of the Jews" (John 19:39-40). They used a hundred
pound mixture of strong spices composed of myrrh and
aloes. They bound His body in linen wrappings with
the spices, as was the custom of the Jews in the
first century A. D.
The large linen cloths in
which the body of Jesus had been wrapped at the
cross to carry it to the tomb were now torn into
smaller cloths or swatches like those of long
medical bandages used for wrapping the torso or
B. F. Westcott tells us
the "wrappings" were used as a medical term "for
bandages" from linen cloth. The body of Jesus was
wrapped in swaths of linen cloth covered with the
thick layers of the aromatic spices of myrrh and
aloes between the folds. The powder and gooey
substances were poured next to the body and
interspersed between the linen wrappings wound
around the body. The term John uses in 19:40 for
"linen wrappings" is generally agreed as the term
that denotes thin strips or bandages. The body of
Jesus was now bound around again and again, layer by
layer with myrrh and aloes.
Between the layers the
head was wrapped separately with a head-cloth. The
mouth was closed and His face bound about with a
"face cloth." After Jesus' resurrection John and
Peter saw the head wrappings in place which had been
wrapped round and round the face before the body
left it on the resurrection morning (John 20:5-9).
When Jesus rose from the dead the grave clothes were
just as they had been when placed round the body on
Friday afternoon. Jesus' body rose through the
grave-clothes without disturbing them. Though John
does not say it in these words it is not
inconsistent with the language. Even the head
wrappings had not been snatched off and thrown
After His resurrection
the gravesite was an orderly scene. No grave robber
would have left the wrapping undisturbed this way.
It would have been completely impossible. They could
never have left the cloths wrapped neatly. They
would have taken the body, cloths and all, or would
have had to have torn the cloths off and piled them
up. The body of Jesus was buried with myrrh which
glues the linen to the body firmly.
I think it is important
to note that the grave cloths were lying where they
had been placed when around the head of Jesus. The
cloths had not been unwound from His body as had
been done at the grave of Lazarus. Neither had
anyone cut the windings off of Jesus.
John and Peter saw the
empty grave cloths just as they had been wound
abound His body at His burial on Friday afternoon.
They only exception now was there was no body in
them. They collapsed when the body left them. The
wrappings caved in under the weight of a hundred
pounds of spices.
The manner in which Jesus
was buried gives abundant evidence for His
resurrection. No one unwrapped Jesus. The bandages
were sufficient that no one could have slipped out
of them. The burial wrappings would have had to been
cut off and stripped away to have gotten the body
out of them. It would have been a disorderly mess
after removing the body. Furthermore, if someone had
remove the body of Jesus they would have grabbed the
wrapped up body and taken it with them. The evidence
is just the opposite.
A large "stone was rolled
against the entrance of the tomb" (Mk. 15:46).
Jesus wasn't just buried;
He was buried with the honor and dignity of a king.
It was not the burial of a felon as the Jewish
leaders had supposed, but that of a rich man,
honored and respected. Joseph and Nicodemus made
sure that their peers in the Sanhedrin and the
community would know that His burial was not a
pauper or a criminal. It may have been rushed
because of the Sabbath, but it was not cheap. The
words of Isaiah were fulfilled when he said hundreds
of years earlier, "They intended to bury him with
criminals, but he ended up in a rich man's tomb,
because he had committed no violent deeds" (Isaiah
GOD RAISED JESUS FROM
THE DEAD (20:1-10)
No one saw Jesus rise,
but a huge number saw Him alive after He had risen
from the dead.
This is now the third day
since the crucifixion of Jesus. It was the dawn of
the first day of the week when the following events
took place. The Jewish Sabbath was now over. The
Jewish day began at sunset, while the Roman day
began at sunrise. The time setting is "late on the
Sabbath, as it began to dawn on the first day of the
week" (v. 1). The Sunday morning was dawning. It is
not immediately after the Sabbath was over because
that would have been at sunset on Saturday. About
twelve hours have passed over and it is early in the
morning before dawn of the sun on Sunday. John
Broadus says, "The gates [to the city of Jerusalem]
would be closed at sunset and opened at dawn."
Women arrive at the
tomb (v. 1)
Mark tells us the women
purchased spices at the end of the Sabbath day (6
p.m.), but did not actually take it to the tomb
until early the next morning. "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."
The women came with their
tribute even though the soldiers guarding the tomb
would have prevented them from breaking the seal,
entering in and using their spices. They have come
to complete the burial process that was hastily done
on Friday afternoon before the beginning of the
When the women arrived
early in the morning Jesus had already risen and
left the tomb. How did He get out? Simple, He just
passed through the cave walls like He did the grave
clothes and locked doors later. The stone was rolled
away and no one was within the tomb.
The stone removed
The Lord got their
attention with the violent earthquake.
"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."
All of the things that
took place in this verse happened almost
simultaneously. The coming of "an angel of the Lord"
initiated these other things. "All at once there was
a violent earthquake, for the angel of the Lord,
descending from heaven, came and rolled away the
stone and sat on it" (Jerusalem Bible). It
happened suddenly. There is the sudden earthquake,
the angel coming from heaven to the tomb and rolling
away the stone. The angel kicked the stone away, not
to let Jesus out of the tomb, but to let the women,
and later the disciples and probably the soldiers to
look in. Unless the stone was rolled away the women
and others would surely think the body of Jesus was
still there inside the tomb. The stone that guarded
the tomb became the seat for the angel. The angel
rolled the stone over and sat on it.
"Behold" is a vivid work
Matthew uses to call the attention of the readers to
the tomb where Jesus had been laid.
The reason for this
earthquake and the timing of it is "an angel of the
Lord came down from heaven and rolled the stone
away." John Mark tells us it was a "young man," and
Luke gives us additional information that two men
were there in dazzling clothes. They were messengers
sent from God from heaven. Keep in mind "angels" in
the first century did not have wings; artist put
wings on them in later centuries. Nor is this "the"
angel of the Lord in Old Testament Christophany.
Moreover, regardless of what Hollywood thinks they
were male, not women." Angelic visitation at the
resurrection is recorded in each of the Gospels. In
deed, the important thing is the unusual angelic
visitations at Jesus' birth, resurrection and when
Christ returns at His Second Coming.
Mark says the women asked
themselves, "Who will roll away the stone for us
from the entrance of the tomb?" Looking up, they saw
that the stone had been rolled away, although it was
extremely large. Entering the tomb, they saw a young
man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and
they were amazed" (16:3-5).
Matthew describes the
appearance of the angel. "And his appearance was
like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow"
(v. 3). "Appearance" may mean "face" was as shining
brightly as lightening and his clothing was as white
as pure snow. It was very white in appearance.
The Roman guards
passed out (v. 4)
The Roman soldiers saw
the angel "and the guards shook for fear of him, and
became like dead men." They trembled with fear at
the sight of the angel and passed out cold like dead
men falling to the ground. They were paralyzed with
fear like dead men.
In Joseph's garden
the Almighty was laughing.
The angels sure made a
powerful impression on the guards. I have wondered
what affect this appearance of the angels had on the
soldiers in later years. It was not something they
could pass off and easily forget. I wonder what went
on in their minds when they heard the message that
Jesus rose from the dead? I wonder how many of these
men later put their faith in Christ.
The Roman soldiers would
not have had any problems defending the tomb from
several Galilean fishermen, but they weren't
prepared for angelic being rolling the stone door
back from the entrance.
"They trembled" indicates
a powerful action that overwhelmed them with
paralyzing fear. They were terrified. The fear
paralyzed them and they "became like dead men" when
they were face to face with an angel. In all of
their military experience they had never experienced
a terrifying moment like this.
The angel's message
is Jesus is risen (vv. 5-8)
The angel said to the
women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are
looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not
here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see
the place where He was lying. 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."
The angel didn't say
anything to the Roman guards. They had all fainted.
So he turned his attention to the women. "Don't be
afraid" is better "Stop being afraid." The
imperative indicates the women were already afraid
and were told to stop being afraid. The emphatic
pronoun "you" adds to the strong emphasis. He began
by calming the women down.
The women came looking
for the body of Jesus who had been crucified. They
were not looking for the risen Jesus. They had come
to bury the dead and there was no dead body to bury.
Perhaps they would like to minister to those poor
Wouldn't it be
interesting and probably humorous if we could listen
in to the conversations in heaven? Do you ever
wonder what angels think about the situations we get
ourselves involved in?
"He is not here, for He
has risen" (v. 6). The emphasis of the Greek is "God
has raised Him from the dead." It is the same
passive used in verse seven. It is almost tongue in
cheek, "as He said he would." It happened just like
Jesus said it would.
Jesus had repeatedly
promised for at least six months before His death
that He would be crucified and then rise again from
Obedient women (v.
"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."
Jesus has risen from the
dead. You will see Him in Galilee.
The angel repeated his
message for emphasis, "He has risen from the dead"
and not only that Jesus is going ahead of you to
Galilee and will be waiting for you there. Paul
tells us in First Corinthians 15:6 that Jesus
appeared to more than five hundred on one occasion
and this may well have been in Galilee.
The women were obedient.
"And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great
joy and ran to report it to His disciples" (v. 8).
They did precisely as the angel told them. They left
"trembling with astonishment" (Mk. 16:8). They were
afraid but very happy.
Imagine for a moment
those obedient women taking off in a run to tell the
disciples and in obedience they meet Jesus.
Jesus met the women
Suddenly Jesus appeared
to the women and they went up to Him. They
recognized Him without any difficulty. They came
right up to Him and took hold of His feet in an act
of worship. These women had been the last at the
cross to leave and were first at the tomb, and now
they are the first to see Jesus alive.
And behold, Jesus met
them and greeted them. And they came up and took
hold of His feet and worshipped Him. Then Jesus said
to them, "Do not be afraid; go and take word to My
brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will
These women "worshipped"
Him meaning they ascribed deity to the object of
By taking hold of His
feet they symbolically recognized Jesus as King and
divine. He made it clear to them that He was more
than a mere mortal. They fell at His feet and held
them. Jesus accepted their worship. These women
demonstrated their submission to their risen Lord in
a manner in which subjects were accustomed to render
obeisance to a sovereign king in the East.
The apostle Paul tells us
one day we will do likewise because "at the name of
Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in
heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that
every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians
The obvious thing Matthew
is telling us is the fact that Jesus' resurrected
body was a real body. This is the real thing and not
a hallucination or vision. They could feel His body
was as real as theirs. It was not a spirit or ghost.
The risen Lord reinforced
the message of the angel to go and tell. Then Jesus
said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and take word to
My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they
will see Me" (v. 10).
The sequence of events
continues. These women had been told Jesus was
alive, and Jesus had confirmed the truth to them by
their seeing, hearing and touching Him for
themselves. They had no trouble accepting this
wondrous fact. Jesus is alive!
We know from the evidence
in the other Gospels that the women ran and found
the disciples (Lk. 24:9). However, the disciples did
not respond positively at first to their message
(vv. 10, 11, 22-25; Mk. 16:13).
Jesus met the
disciples (v. 16-17)
"But the eleven disciples
proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus
had designated. When they saw Him, they worshipped
Him; but some were doubtful" (vv. 16-17).
This verse may parallel
Mark 16:15-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:6. This was
probably the time when Jesus met with over five
hundred followers. The apostle Paul tells us that
most of them were still alive when he wrote his
letter to the Corinthian church. They were still
giving testimony that they had seen Him alive.
The disciples who had
been scattered since the crucifixion and behind
locked doors in Jerusalem, made their way to Galilee
and there saw Jesus with their own eyes and
worshipped Him. Matthew was one of them and this is
his testimony of that meeting. Most of the other
recorded appearances of Jesus alive after His death
took place in Judea and Jerusalem.
Some "doubted" or
"hesitated" (v. 17; cf. John 20:24-29). Why did they
hesitate? Did this doubting take place prior to the
resurrection appearances? When did they entertain
doubts? Was this a hesitation at first until they
fully discerned that it really was Jesus? Is the
doubt referring to the eleven disciples alone, or to
a larger gathering of disciples, perhaps some of the
500 Paul refers to (1 Cor. 15:6)? Did all eleven of
the disciples worship Jesus even though some of them
had their doubts? How can you "worship" if you have
doubts? Who were those who doubted? Did the "doubt"
and the "worship" take place at the same time? Were
the events separate?
These men were not
gullible as seen in various Scriptures (Luke 24:16,
37, 41; John 21:4; 20:24-25). They were searching
for the truth. "When they saw Him, they worshipped
Him" (v. 17) just as the women had done (v. 9).
Doubt can be helpful
rather than a hindrance to our faith. Doubt can be
an incentive to go deeper and seek the truth and
therefore cause our faith to grow.
The last appearance and
ascension of Jesus into heaven took place at Bethany
near Jerusalem (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-12; Mk.
report to Jewish authorities (vv. 11-15)
Christianity has nothing
to hide. It is an open book to be read by all. Just
like the resurrection the facts, the words of the
lying authorities is told simply. The soldiers were
as prompt as the women. Did they see Jesus alive?
Did they know He was alive? "Some of the guard" went
to the chief priests. We do not know what happened
to the others.
Matthew explains the
source of the lie about the disciples stealing the
body of Jesus. Everything is reported in a
Of great interest is the
fact that the guards reported "everything that
happened when the angel came to the tomb." The
Jewish leaders were given an authentic testimony by
credible witnesses they had chosen who where there.
They had demanded the guards be Roman. They had
demanded the seal on the tomb. These witnesses on
duty at the grave gave a testimony as to what they
saw and experienced at the tomb! They stated the
truth that the body of Jesus was supernaturally
removed from the grave.
"Now while they were on
their way, some of the guard came into the city and
reported to the chief priests all that had happened.
And when they had assembled with the elders and
consulted together, they gave a large sum of money
to the soldiers, and said, "You are to say, â€˜His
disciples came by night and stole Him away while we
were asleep.' And if this should come to the
governor's ears, we will win him over and keep you
out of trouble." And they took the money and did as
they had been instructed; and this story was widely
spread among the Jews, and is to this day" (vv.
When you get an
eyewitness report like this you are forced to decide
to accept it or come up with rationalizations and
defenses for your lies. The religious leaders had
the facts of the empty tomb. They knew something
extraordinary had happened. There was no body in the
tomb. If you can't produce the body then your only
alternative is to pay off the soldiers with a large
bribe (v. 12). They paid them a "considerable sum of
money." It was substantial. But the fact is clear:
the body had not been stolen.
The Roman soldiers had to
say, "We were sleeping while on duty as guards at
the tomb and Jesus' disciples came during the night
and stole His body."
There must have been a
considerable amount of money that passed hands that
day for Roman soldiers to say they slept on the job.
This was a serious military offense that would have
brought down the heaviest of Roman military penalty
If they were asleep they
could not have known it, and if one of them knew, he
would have awakened the others. Either way the
soldiers would have committed a crime and would have
been severely disciplined.
The plan of the Jewish
authorities was rather feeble. It was simply bribing
the guard. They gave them a considerably large sum
of money. Their ghastly mistakes have caused them a
lot more than thirty pieces of silver. How long do
you think the guards could keep quiet about what
happened? Would you have admitted to sleeping on the
job as a Marine? Would they have admitted to
dereliction of duty to their Roman superiors? It was
a "substantial bride" to accomplish such deception.
The chief priests were
asking these seasoned Roman soldiers to sign their
death warrant. It would have been suicidal to say
they were asleep on the job. No one would have
believed that for a moment. Matthew must have told
this event with a roar of laughter. Of course, there
are always those who are gullible for such
deception. The facts are simple: the tomb was empty
and eyewitnesses saw, heard and touched Jesus.
How would they respond to
their superiors when they said, "The disciples came
by night and stole Him away while we were asleep"
(v. 13)? How would they know that if they were
asleep? The crucial question would be what are you
trying to cover up? What were you doing when this
happened? Sleeping guards simply could not know what
happened to the body.
The plan that was put
into action was to prevent just such from occurring.
The religious leaders demanded that the guards be
stationed at the tomb. The soldiers certified that
the body was in the tomb when it was enclosed by the
stone and Pilate's seal was pressed onto the hot wax
seal on the cord.
There was no denying that
the body was no longer there. They had failed as
guards. They could have told of the appearing of the
angels and what he had really taken place. But who
would believe them if they had testified about
The soldiers are told
that if the lie should come to Pilate's ears they
will pay him off, too. "If this matter is heard
before the governor, we will satisfy him and keep
you out of trouble" (Matthew 28:14, NET). "And
if the Governor should hear of this, we will
convince him that you are innocent, and you will
have nothing to worry about" (TEV). "We will win him
over" (NASB). The "we" is emphatic; "we will
straighten it out with him." The historian Philo
expressly states that Pilate was known for taking
bribes. This was also true of Governor Felix (Acts
The verb "satisfy" or
"win" implies "with money." Remember, Pilate had
been manipulated and was against these Jewish
leaders and their decision to crucify Jesus. In
essence they were saying, "We will pay him what is
necessary." Bribes were flowing in all directions.
The "guards took the
money and did as they were instructed" (v. 15). We
do not know if Pilate got his or not.
Who are the
The chief priests said
Jesus was the deceiver (27:63), however the evidence
is clearly the opposite. The leaders themselves had
made it clear that there was no possibility of the
body of Jesus being stolen. On the third day Jesus'
body was not in the tomb. He was gone. The
precautions the Jewish leaders took gave abundant
evidence of the truth of the resurrection.
All of the bribes and
lying could not alter the facts. The same Jesus whom
they had caused to be put to death and sealed in the
tomb was now a living reality.
"No multiplication of
evidence will convince those who are stubbornly
resolved not to believe. . . Men in the infatuation
of unbelief will believe any story, however
impossible," writes John Broadus.
What happened to the lie
when the news spread that people had actually seen
The important thing is
this: Neither the Jews nor anyone else could produce
the body of Jesus. Nobody was ever produced by
anyone. The tomb was empty! And it still is.
The resurrection of Jesus
Christ proves that sin has been punished. The
payment for our redemption has been paid in full.
The tomb is empty because
Jesus rose triumphantly.
GO AND TELL THE WORLD
John A. Broadus correctly
says, "The Great Commission shows the true nature of
the Messianic reign, as spiritual, and destined to
be universal." Jesus has absolute authority.
authority of Jesus (v. 18)
"All authority has been
given me" (v. 18). "My Father in heaven has given me
all authority." He spoke as one who had already
entered heaven. Jesus has absolute authority over
all living creatures in heaven and earth. He is
sovereign. He has the fullest possible authority of
the sovereign God. He has absolute power and
authority. There are no limitations. We must be
clothed with His power or we will fail miserably.
All the authority of heaven is behind this
commission. Matthew began his Gospel with the
arrival of the royal king from the lineage of King
David who was crucified as "King of the Jews" and
has risen from the dead and in His glorified risen
state claims unreserved complete supreme authority
in "heaven and earth" as King of Glory! He is now
possessed in all the fullness of Lordship over the
The commission (v.
"Go . . . make disciples"
is the main command of imperative force in this
sentence. The commands to baptize and teach are
means to accomplish this goal of discipleship.
"Go . . . make . . .
disciples . . . baptize . . . teach" are all
imperatives. The job of all disciples is to make
disciples in all nations.
The gospel is for
everyone: "all authority . . . all nations . . . all
that I have commanded . . . always."
In Matthew's Gospel a
disciple is both a learner and a follower of Jesus.
The disciple is always learning, and he puts into
action what he has learned from the Master Teacher.
It involves wholehearted commitment to the Lord
Jesus. He continues to learn and follow until the
day he is taken home to be with Christ in heaven.
World evangelism depends
on our being obedient to the command of Jesus just
as those women who saw Him that first Easter.
The Trinitarian formula
is clear in this passage: "in the name of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Spirit." The formula is
emphatic and crucial in the text. We are to do that
with the clear authority of the Triune God. There is
no evidence for a Jesus only theology. The whole
Godhead was involved in our salvation (Eph. 1:3-14).
There is the sense of one name not three names. The
Trinity was at the baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:16-17).
Jesus attributes our
salvation to the Godhead. "Christ's resurrection was
the work of the Triune God. The Father raised Him
from the dead (Rom. 6:4; Gal. 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:3). So
did the Spirit (Rom. 8:11; 1 Tim. 3:16). And the Son
took back the life which He had laid down (Jn.
10:18; cf. 2:19, 21; 11:25). God the Father adopts
us as His son and heir, God the Son washes us in His
blood and God the Spirit dwells in us and sanctifies
Security of His
presence (v. 20)
"I am with you always
(lit. all the days), even to the end of the age" is
great theology for our day (cf. Ex. 3:12; Josh. 1:5,
9; Isa. 41:10; 43:15). This is not a promise; it is
a statement of fact.
"I will be with you
always, at all times." He is with us under all
conditions and situations. How long do we go before
Jesus has in mind the
time from His resurrection until the end of the
world or end of time. He will never leave us. The
one who experienced God forsakenness will never
leave us down and out.
Jesus did not say, "I
will be with you," but "I am with you." No less than
"I" is emphatic. There is certainty, security and
comfort in what He says.
You have not been left to
serve Christ as well as you can on your own. You
have a great companion throughout your life. "I am
with you" wherever you are He is there.
No fact in history stands
on such firm evidence as the resurrection of Jesus
Christ. Men do not believe because they do not want
to believe. There is solid evidence that Jesus
Christ rose from the dead and He is alive today. The
choice is yours because "there is salvation in no
one else; for there is no other name under heaven
that has been given among men by which we must be
saved" (Acts 4:12). There are no choices without
Jesus Christ was
"declared to be the Son of God with power by His
resurrection from the dead." It is the seal of the
divine acceptance of His sacrifice for our sins. The
blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us of all sin. The
resurrection completed His work of atonement and
stamped it with divine approval (Rom. 4:24f; 8:44; 2
Cor. 5:15; Rom. 10:9-10). It says that the Father
has accepted the Son's perfect sacrifice as a
complete and perfect ransom for all who take their
refuge in Christ.
A non-missionary church
never has much of Christ's presence. Obedience to
all of the King's commands is required if we stand
before Him and are to enjoy His smile and His words,
"Well cone, good and faithful servant."
28:1-20 Jesus has Risen!
Series: Life of