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Matthew Chapter 28

Memory verses for this week:  Josh 8:35  There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them. 

Introduction: In the Chapter 27, we saw Christ being brought to Pilate who wanted to release him due to finding no fault in him.  But the people cried out to crucify him, so he was condemned to death.  He was beaten and mocked before being taken to Calvary.   There he was crucified and died paying the sin debt of all mankind for those who will turn to Jesus for salvation.   The veil of the temple was torn apart from top to bottom at his death signifying that the entrance to God was opened up by Jesus.   Also, many of the graves of the saints were opened and they were seen in the Holy City after Christ was resurrected.   The chapter closed with Pilate sending soldiers to seal the tomb of Christ to prevent his body from being stolen away.


I.   The Resurrection of Jesus Christ 

Mat 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.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ has been preached for almost two thousand years and will continue to be preached by God’s chosen men until Jesus comes again.  The sabbath day mentioned here was the Old Testament Sabbath Day which was Saturday.  There were other Sabbath days that he Jews observed, but this one was the weekly Sabbath.   We know that Christ was crucified on Wednesday, the day before the “High Sabbath” day as mention in John Chapter 19.

John 19:31  The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

We find the two women coming to the sepulchre early on the first day of the week, meaning sometime before dawn time on Sunday morning.  The Jewish day began at 6pm on the prior day.  Mary Magdalene is mention and deserves special consideration.   No doubt the reason she came to the sepulchre was because of her intense love for Christ.  This is the woman who had seven devils cast out of her by Jesus Christ.

Mark 16:9  Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Mat 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.

Mat 28:3  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

Mat 28:4  And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

It was certainly not necessary for the angel of the Lord to roll back the stone for Christ to come out of the grave.  He had risen during the night prior to this time.  Notice the appearance of the angel.   His countenance was like lightning and his raiment white as snow.   This appearance had a profound effect on the keepers of the grave.   They were really frightened by his appearance.

Adam Clarke in his commentary said this about the keepers who became as dead men.

The keepers—became as dead men—God can, by one and the same means, comfort his servants, and terrify his enemies. The resurrection of Christ is a subject of terror to the servants of sin, and a subject of consolation to the sons of God; because it is a proof of the resurrection of both, the one to shame and everlasting contempt—the other to eternal glory and joy. 

Mat 28:5  And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

Mat 28:6  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

The angel has a message for the women.  You know his appearance would frighten a person who was expecting to come to a grave, seeking a dead man.  Rather you find an angel of the Lord.

He tells them to not fear, because the one whom they sought had risen.  He says to come and see the place where the Lord lay.   He is not here had to be the best of news to the women that they had heard in many days.   He then tells them to go and do something in verse 7.

Mat 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.

Mat 28:8  And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

 The women are given a commission by the angel.     He tells them to ‘Go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead.’   Can you imagine the joy that must have overcame them in that moment.  All those promises Christ had made were now real.  He was no longer dead, but alive and coming to meet with them in Galilee.  It says they were obedient to the command, and departed quickly with fear and great joy.   What a blessing to be chosen to bring the news to disciples.  Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. Christ gave such proofs of his resurrection as were corroborated by the scriptures, and by the word which he had spoken (Lu. 24:6, 7-44; Mk. 16:7); for here we must walk by faith, not by sight.


Mat 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.

Mat 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.

On their way back to the city, they meet Jesus and were instructed as to what they were to do.  Jesus tells them to not be afraid.   God constantly encourages us to trust him and to not fear, but we as humans have a tendency to be fearful.   Apparently these women were filled with fear, and it was understandable.  He had told them of how he would be resurrected, but this still had not prepared them for such an occasion as this.   His instructions were the same as the angel… GO  and  TELL.


II.  Keepers of the Sepulchre Report of the Watch

Mat 28:11  Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

Mat 28:12  And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,

Mat 28:13  Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.

The keepers come back and report about the watch.  They come first to the chief priests and tell them what had happened.  Perhaps those words they used three days before now come back to haunt them.  They had mocked Christ about his promise of rebuilding the temple in three days.

Mat 27:39  And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

Mat 27:40  And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

Mat 27:41  Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

Mat 27:42  He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

It says they gave a large amount of money to the soldiers and told them to lie and say that the disciples of Christ came and stole away the body while they slept.   We know they were far from the will of the Lord in what they did, because they were breaking one of the ten commandments when they asked them to lie.

Exo 20:16  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

This was really sad.  These religious leaders did not care what God said in the Word of God.   They were doing what they wanted to do.   Many religious leaders in our day are like this.  If what hey desire to do conflicts with God’s Word, they ignore it and go on and do it their way.  This is not pleasing to the Lord, and things accomplished outside of the ways God has laid down will cause loss of rewards.

2 Tim 2:5  And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

2 Tim 2:6  The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

2 Tim 2:7  Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Mat 28:14  And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.

Mat 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.

These soldiers were promised immunity in case they were to be caught in the lie.  If it comes to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him.   It says that this false saying by the soldiers is still reported even until this day.    Today, most Jews still do not believe that Jesus was resurrected.  But one day they will believe and will come back and be God’s chosen nation and be in full fellowship with Him.

Zec 13:6  And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

III.  The Great Commission

Mat 28:16  Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

Mat 28:17  And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

The eleven disciples went and met with Jesus in a mountain appointed them.   It says they worshipped him, but some doubted.  I have a hard time comprehending the doubt  at this late date.  What else could Christ do?  I mean he taught them, he did miracles in his presence, and now has come back alive from the dead.    Some people are slow learners.

Matthew Henry made these comments.

The place was a mountain in Galilee, probably the same mountain on which he
was transfigured. There they met, for privacy, and perhaps to signify the exalted
state into which he was entered, and his advances toward the upper world.

II. How they were affected with the appearance of Christ to them, v. 17. Now
was the time that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, 1 Cor.
15:6. Some think that they saw him, at first, at some distance, above in the air,
ephtheô epanoôHe was seen above, of five hundred brethren (so they read
it); which gave occasion to some to doubt, till he came nearer (v. 18), and then
they were satisfied. We are told,

1. That they worshipped him; many of them did so, nay, it should seem, they
all did that, they gave divine honour to him, which was signified by some
outward expressions of adoration. Note, All that see the Lord Jesus with an eye
of faith are obliged to worship him.

2. But some doubted, some of those that were then present. Note, Even among
those that worship there are some that doubt. The faith of those that are sincere,
may yet be very weak and wavering. They doubted,
edistasanthey hung in
as the scales of the balance, when it is hard to say which preponderates.
These doubts were afterward removed, and their faith grew up to a full assurance,
and it tended much to the honour of Christ, that the disciples doubted before they
believed; so that they cannot be said to be credulous, and willing to be imposed
upon; for they first questioned, and proved all things, and then held fast that
which was true, and which they found to be so.


Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Mat 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:

Mat 28:20  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.

Probably there are no more important verses in the bible than these final three here in Matthew.  The commission the Lord gave was to His church, and it was a commission to go into all the world with the Gospel.   He declares that “All power’ is given unto me in heaven and in earth to accomplish this.   The commission requires effort... the first words are GO YE.    The were to do three things, just as we are today.  So many forget the third and very important thing we are to do.

1.  Make Disciples by preaching the Gospel

2.  Baptize those who are saved into the church

3.  Teach them to observe all things whatsoever Jesus had commanded.

This last part has to do with discipling the people.   So many times we lead a person to the Lord and never see them grow into a mature Christian.  It takes time and effort to teach the ‘all things’.   But we are not to fail in this. 

He says that we have the promise that he will be with us all the way, even unto the end of the world.  When Jesus comes back, there will still be some true churches preaching the pure Gospel of Christ.   Salvation by grace is what John the Baptist preached, and that is what we are to preach.  Not of us, but salvation is a gift of God.   If we want Jesus to be with us to the very end, we need to be fulfilling all three parts of the commission.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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