November 6, 2022

The Great Commission. At The Tomb Of Jesus Christ The Angel Gives The Two Women Four Imperatives: Come, See, Go, and Tell. Jesus Breaks The Mold By Choosing Women To Be The First 2 Witnesses.

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How much authority? ALL AUTHORITY in Heaven and on Earth.

Jesus Christ Is Risen!
Matthew 28 AMPLIFIED version

1 Now after the Sabbath, near dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 And a great earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone [from the opening of the tomb], and sat on it. 3 The angel’s appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were as white as snow. 4 The guards shook, paralyzed with fear [at the sight] of him and became like dead men [pale and immobile]. 5 But 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 [He would]. Come! See the place where He was lying. 7 Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee [as He promised]. There you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”

8 So the women left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell [the good news to] the disciples. 9 And as they went, suddenly, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” And they went to Him and took hold of His feet [in homage] and worshiped Him [as the Messiah]. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me [just as I promised].”

11 While they were on their way, some of the [Roman] guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 And when the chief priests had gathered with the elders and had consulted together [to develop a plan of deception], they gave a sufficient sum of money [as a bribe] to the soldiers, 13 and said, “You say this, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him while we were sleeping.’ 14 And if the governor (Pilate) hears about it, we will calm him down and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money [they were paid for lying] and did as they were instructed; and this [fabricated] story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to the present day.

The Great Commission

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted [that it was really He]. 18 Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”
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Matthew 28:1-10. THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS Each of the four Gospels includes an account of the resurrection, and there are differences among the accounts. These differences do not discredit the scriptures, but simply suggest that the four accounts were written independently rather than collaboratively.

Matthew’s account is based on Mark 16:1-8, but Matthew adds the accounts of the earthquake (v. 2), the angel who rolled back the stone (v. 2), the guards becoming like dead men (v. 4), and the women’s encounter with the risen Christ (v. 9).

In Matthew’s day, the rumor-mill suggested that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body and the resurrection was not true. Matthew “wishes to certify the historical authenticity of the church’s preaching” by emphasizing tight security at the tomb, divine intervention, the women actually touching Jesus, the perfidy of the chief priests and elders, and bribed soldiers who lie (28:11-15) (Snow and Furnish, 3).

The resurrection is the central event of the Bible. The idea of resurrection has its roots in the Old Testament (Job 19:25-26; Psalm 49:15; Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:2; Ezekiel 37), and the resurrection is emphasized in most New Testament books.

The first account of Jesus’ resurrection was not the Gospels, but 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. None of the accounts describes the resurrection itself—i.e., of Jesus opening his eyes, standing up, and leaving the tomb. What we know of the resurrection is from witnesses of the open tomb and the risen Christ rather than from witnesses of the resurrection-event.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of our faith. “Without this reversal of the ignominy of the cross, Jesus’ death would have atoned for nothing. The resurrection demonstrates Christ’s vindication by God, who reestablishes him in heaven as Lord of the cosmos” (Blomberg).

If the resurrection is false, “we are of all men most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:19) because we have staked our faith on a lie. If the resurrection is true, it validates Jesus’ teachings and ministry as well as our faith. While there are a number of reasons to believe in the resurrection, we cannot prove it but can see it only through the eyes of faith.

Matthew’s account of Jesus’ resurrection includes a number of parallels to his account of the death and resurrection of the saints (27:51-53) (see Allison, 154):

• “Behold (kai idou) (27:51 and 28:2).
• An earthquake (27:51 and 28:2).
• Tombs opened (27:52 and 28:2).
• Fearful guards (27:54 and 28:4).
• People witness the resurrected saints (27:53) and the resurrected Jesus (28:9).
• The saints/guards go to the holy city (27:53 and 28:11).


1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

“Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn on the first day of the week” (v. 1a). The resurrection takes place, not on the Sabbath (the seventh day of the week), but on a weekday (the first day). At creation, God sanctified the Sabbath—the last day of the week. At the resurrection, Jesus sanctifies the first day.

“Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb” (v. 1b). The sabbath ended at sundown, but the women went at first light to the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and Joseph, witnessed the crucifixion (27:56). Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” (presumably the mother of James and Joseph) witnessed the burial (27:61), and now they become witnesses to the resurrection.

Deuteronomy 19:15 requires at least two witnesses in a legal proceeding, and Jewish practice admits only men as witnesses. During his ministry, Jesus broke with a number of traditions, and he breaks with another here. The Eleven, all men, are nowhere to be found, while two women serve as witnesses to the resurrection. The 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 listing of witnesses, written earlier than this Gospel, does not include Mary Magdalene, but does mention “brothers and sisters.”

Mark 16:1 says that the women came to anoint Jesus but, in Matthew’s Gospel, a woman with an alabaster jar of ointment anointed Jesus. Jesus said, “For in pouring this ointment on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial” (26:12). In this Gospel, the women come “to see the tomb” (v. 1) rather than to anoint Jesus. Anyone who has visited the graveside of a loved one can understand why they come.


2 Behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from the sky, and came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him, the guards shook, and became like dead men.

“Behold, there was a great earthquake” (v. 2a). The earthquake, the angel with dazzling clothing, and the rolling away of the stone are eschatological symbols, telling us that God is ushering in a new age. They remind us of Israel’s encounter with God at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:18). An earthquake also announced Jesus’ death (27:51). The angel’s appearance is reminiscent of the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:9 and 10:6.

“an angel of the Lord” (v. 2b). Earlier in this Gospel, an angel appeared to Joseph to tell him to take Mary as his wife (1:20), to tell him to flee to Egypt (2:13), and to return to Israel (2:19-20).

The angel “rolled away the stone and sat on it” (v. 2c) as if to say, Fait accompli! “The stone at the tomb of Jesus was a pebble to the Rock of Ages inside” (Frederick Beck).

“His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow” (v. 3). The angel’s appearance makes it clear that the angel is no ordinary being and this is no ordinary moment in history. Jesus has risen to inaugurate a new era in salvation history. The angel’s appearance is reminiscent of Moses’ shining face after his encounter with God at Sinai (Exodus 34:29) and Jesus’ shining face and dazzling white clothes at the Transfiguration (17:2). The angel’s appearance both reflects God’s glory and authenticates the angel’s heavenly origins.

“For fear of him the guards shook (eseisthesan) and became like dead men” (v. 4). The guards are scared to death! The earth quakes (seismos), and the guards quake too (eseisthesan—from the same root as seismos). Jesus, who is supposed to be dead, is alive. The guards, who are supposed to be alive and guarding Jesus’ body, become like dead men (France, 1100). They were prepared for Jesus’ disciples, but not for the angel.


5 The angel answered the women, “Don’t be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus, who has been crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, just like he said. Come, see the place where the Lord was lying.

“The angel answered the women, ‘Don’t be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus, who has been crucified” (v. 5). The women must have feared harassment by the Roman guards, but went to the tomb anyway. Then the earthquake and the angel’s dazzling appearance must have frightened them. They must have feared that someone had played mischief with Jesus’ body. However, it is difficult for faith to dwell with fear, and the angel comes to restore faith.

• “Don’t be afraid.” These are the words that the angel spoke to Joseph concerning his pregnant fiancรฉe (1:20).

• Jesus taught, “Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows”(10:31).

• When he came across the stormy sea to the disciples, he said, “It is I! Don’t be afraid” (14:27).

• At the transfiguration, he reassured the disciples, “Get up, and don’t be afraid” (17:7).

• Now the angel says to the women, “Do not be afraid.” It is a gracious moment in which God’s messenger acknowledges the women’s natural fear and helps them past it.

The angel rolls the stone back (v. 2), not to let Jesus out, but to let the women in. The resurrection is history—has already taken place. There were no human witnesses to the actual resurrection. These women witnessed Jesus’ death and his burial. Now they witness the fact that, in spite of Rome’s best efforts, Jesus is gone. The angels assure the women that Jesus has been raised (passive voice—the raising is God’s action) just as Jesus had predicted.

“He is not here, for he has risen, just like he said” (v. 6a). The Good News is not just that Jesus’ spirit lives, but that he has been raised bodily to new life. For a full doctrine of the resurrection, we must turn to Paul, who tells us that Jesus is the “first fruits of those who have died” (1 Corinthians 15:20)—that the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection leads to the Good News of our own resurrection—that the resurrected body is somehow transformed into a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44)—but that it is a true body nevertheless. The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus’ resurrected body allows him to enter a locked room without a key (John 20:19, 26), but he nevertheless presents his wounded hands and body to Thomas for inspection (John 20:27) (see Bruner, 1077).

“Come, see the place where the Lord was lying” (v. 6b). The angel invites the women to see, not the risen Christ, but the empty tomb.

The angel gives these women four imperatives: “Come” (v. 6b), “see” (v. 6b), “go” (v. 7a), and “tell” (v. 7a) (Boice, 640-642). These could easily be the main points of a sermon.


7 Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead, and behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.”

“Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead'” (v. 7a). The angel commissions the women to tell the disciples, making them the first to proclaim the Good News of the resurrection. If Matthew were trying to concoct a believable story, Jesus would appear first to Peter or one of the other men. But just as Jesus breaks the mold by choosing women to be the first witnesses, he again breaks the mold by choosing them to be the first preachers. Their first sermon is “to the choir,” as it were—to the disciples—to those who should need no convincing but sometimes do. In this case, the “choir” has lost faith and desperately needs the word that these women bring.

“behold, he goes before you into Galilee” (v. 7b). Prior to the crucifixion, Jesus told the disciples that he will “go ahead of you to Galilee” (26:32). “Galilee is for Matthew not mere geography, but theology, ‘Galilee of the Gentiles’ (cf. 4:12-17), the appropriate setting for the Great Commission to all nations (28:16-20)” (Boring, 499). It is also Jesus’ home and the place where he has done most of his work.

“there you will see him” (v. 7c). The promise is that these disciples will see, not just the open tomb, but the risen Christ.

Matthew 28:8-10. BEHOLD, JESUS MET THEM

8 They departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring his disciples word. 9 As they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” (Greek: chairete) They came and took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go tell my brothers that they should go into Galilee, and there they will see me.”

“They departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring his disciples word” (v. 8). The women run to tell the disciples. Not only are they obeying a direct order from the angel, but also they are obeying their human impulse to share good news. In spite of the angel’s reassurance, they are afraid, the natural response to wildly unusual events. But they are also joyful, because the angel promised that Jesus is alive.

“Behold, Jesus met them, saying, ‘Rejoice!'” (chairete) (v. 9a). Jesus meets them and says, “Rejoice!” He would have spoken Aramaic, but Matthew is writing in Greek. The Greek word, chairete(from the root word, chairo), is a common greeting, and means “Rejoice!”

Joy and rejoicing are common themes throughout both Old and New Testaments. A man could rejoice in the wife of his youth (Proverbs 5:18)—or for the prospect of salvation (Psalm 51:12). Women sang songs of joy when David returned from a victory over the Philistines (1 Samuel 18:6-7). The people could rejoice at the prospect of Yahweh breaking the rod of their oppressor (Isaiah 9:3).

We first encounter this word chairo in the response of the Magi to seeing the star stop above the house where Mary was taking care of the baby Jesus. They “rejoiced with exceedingly great joy”—a literal translation would be “they were overjoyed (chairo) beyond measure” (Matthew 2:10). So from the beginning of Jesus’ life to his resurrection appearances, rejoicing was an important part of this Gospel (see also 5:12; 13:20, 44; 18:13; 25:21, 23)

“They came and took hold of his feet, and worshiped him” (v. 9b). The women immediately recognize Jesus, unlike the accounts in Luke 24:16 and John 20:14, and come to him. They take hold of Jesus’ feet, their act bearing witness to Jesus’ bodily resurrection. They worship him. This is one of only three occasions in the Gospels where people worship Jesus (see 2:11; John 9:38).

“Don’t be afraid” (v. 10a). Jesus repeats the angel’s reassurance. He also repeats the angel’s command to go and tell the disciples, but with a significant difference. He says, “Go tell my brothers that they should go into Galilee” (v. 10b). Brother-brother is a more intimate relationship than disciple-master. Another gracious moment! Jesus promised to confess before the Father anyone who confesses Jesus before people, but warned that he will deny anyone who denies him (10:32-33). The disciples have deserted Jesus (26:56), and Peter has denied him (26:69-75). Justice demands that Jesus reciprocate, but love demands that he forgive.

The eleven disciples go to Galilee (28:16)—”Galilee of the Gentiles” (4:15)—where they hear Jesus tell them to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (28:19). This is not the first time that Jesus includes Gentiles in his ministry. The Magi (2:1-12) introduced Gentiles at the story’s beginning. Jesus healed a Centurion’s servant (8:5-13) and a Canaanite woman’s daughter (15:21-28). Now the Great Commission formalizes ministry to those outside the Jewish nation.


11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city, and told the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave a large amount of silver to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Say that his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him and make you free of worry.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were told. This saying was spread abroad among the Jews, and continues until this day.

These verses are not part of the lectionary reading, but belong with it.

Even though the guards are frightened at the earthquake and dazzled by the angel, they do not become disciples. They are hirelings (see John 10:13) whose remain loyal to their paymasters. Having been bought, they stay bought!

Matthew is writing this account, in part, to counter the rumor that the disciples stole Jesus’ body from the tomb. These verses tell how that rumor got started. The soldiers report the early morning events to the chief priests, who bribe them to say that the disciples have stolen Jesus’ body from the tomb. Matthew notes, “This saying was spread abroad among the Jews, and continues until this day” (28:15).
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I share a snippet of Spurgeon's Bible Commentary.
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The Tomb of Jesus
April 8, 1855 by C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892)

"Come, see the place where the Lord lay." Matthew 28:6 .

Every circumstance connected with the life of Christ is deeply interesting to the Christian mind. Wherever we behold our Saviour, he is well worthy of our notice.

"His cross, his manger, and his crown, Are big with glories yet unknown."

All his weary pilgrimage, from Bethlehem's manger to Calvary's cross, is, in our eyes, paved with glory. Each spot upon which he trod is, to our souls, consecrated at once, simply because there the foot of earth's Saviour and our own Redeemer once was placed. When he comes to Calvary, the interest thickens; then our best thoughts are centered on him in the agonies of crucifixion, nor does our deep affection permit us to leave him, even when, the struggle being over, he yields up the ghost. His body, when it is taken down from the tree, still is lovely in our eyes we fondly linger around the motionless clay. By faith we discern Joseph of Arimathea, and the timid Nicodemus, assisted by those holy women, drawing out the nails and taking down the mangled body; we behold them wrapping him in clean, white linen, hastily girding him round with belts of spices; then putting him in his tomb, and departing for the Sabbath rest. We shall, on this occasion, go where Mary went on the morning of the first day of the week, when waking from her couch before the dawn, she aroused herself to be early at the sepulchre of Jesus. We will try, if it be possible, by the help of God's Spirit, to go as she did not in body, but in soul we will stand at that tomb; we will examine it, and we trust we shall hear some truth-speaking voice coming from its hollow bosom which will comfort and instruct us, so that we may say of the grave of Jesus when we go away, "It was none other than the gate of heaven" a sacred place, deeply solemn, and sanctified by the slain body of our precious Saviour.


Angels said, "Come, see the place where the Lord lay." The Syriac version reads, "Come, see the place where our Lord lay." Yes, angels put themselves with those poor women, and used one common pronoun our. Jesus is the Lord of angels as well as of men. Ye feeble women ye have called him Lord, ye have washed his feet, ye have provided for his wants, ye have hung upon his lips to catch his honeyed sentences, ye have sat entranced beneath his mighty eloquence; ye call him Master and Lord, and ye do well; "But," said the seraph, "he is my Lord too;" bowing his head, he sweetly said, "Come, see the place where our Lord lay." Dost fear then, Christian, to step into that tomb? Dost dread to enter there, when the angel pointeth with his finger and saith, "Come, we will go together, angels and men, and see the royal bedchamber?" Ye know that angels did go into his tomb, for they sat one at his head and the other at his foot in holy meditation. I picture to myself those bright cherubs sitting there talking to one another. One of them said, "It was there his feet lay;" and the other replied, "and there his hands, and there his head;" and in celestial language did they talk concerning the deep things of God; then they stooped and kissed the rocky floor, made sacred to the angels themselves, not because there they were redeemed, but because there their Master and their monarch, whose high behests they were obeying, did for awhile become the slave of death, and the captive of destruction. Come, Christian, then, for angels are the porters to unbar the door; come, for a cherub is thy messenger to usher thee into the death-place of death himself. Nay, start not from the entrance; let not the darkness affright thee; the vault is not damp with the vapors of death, nor doth the air contain aught of contagion. Come, for it is a pure and healthy place. Fear not to enter that tomb.

I will admit that catacombs are not the places where we, who are full of joy, would love to go. There is something gloomy and noisome about a vault. there are noxious smells of corruption; oft-times pestilence is born where a dead body hath lain; but fear it not, Christian, for Christ was not left in hell in Hades neither did his body see corruption. Come, there is no scent, yea, rather a perfume. Step in here, and, if thou didst ever breathe the gales of Ceylon, or winds from the groves of Araby, thou shalt find them far excelled by that sweet, holy fragrance left by the blessed body of Jesus; that alabaster vase which once held divinity, and was rendered sweet and precious thereby. Think not thou shalt find aught obnoxious to thy senses. Corruption Jesus never saw; no worms ever devoured his flesh; no rottenness ever entered into his bones; he saw no corruption. Three days he slumbered, but no long enough to putrefy; he soon arose, perfect as when he entered, uninjured as when his limbs were composed for their slumber. Come then, Christian, summon up thy thoughts, gather all thy powers; here is a sweet invitation, let me press it again. Let me lead thee by the hand of meditation, my brother; let me take thee by the arm of thy fancy, and let me again say to thee, "Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

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