April 10th, 2020 – Matthew 28:6

Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 28:6  “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.              

Now, Jesus has been crucified.  And when it was time to bring His dead body down from the cross, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph who also had become a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, and Pilate ordered it given to him.  “And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the grave.” Matthew 27:59-61. 

The next day, after the preparation, the chief priests and pharisees met with Pilate. “and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, After three days I am to rise again. Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” Matthew 27:63-64.  Pilate was not interested in this, for it was the Jewish leadership that was concerned about the idea of resurrection,  so Pilate essentially told them to place their own guards at the tomb, which they did.

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.” Matthew 28:1.  Now, it is understood that they came there not just to see the grave, but to see whether they could enter in and anoint the body with the spices and ointments which they had prepared and brought with them.  Suddenly a great earthquake hits.  According to Matthew, “for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.” Matthew 28:2b.  An angel of the Lord descended from Heaven, rolled the stone away and then sat on the stone.  The guards appears to have collapsed in fear, however, the woman seemed to be afraid but not to the same extent.  “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.”  I believe they said this to ease their minds.  Then, they say what the focus verse is, “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.” Matthew 28:6.  After they saw that He was not there, they left quickly to go back and tell the disciples as the angel told them to. 

But there was a  surprise awaiting them as they were going back. “And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped 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 see Me.”  Matthew 28:10.  Then they left to deliver the message.

This is the picture Matthew draws for us regarding the resurrection of Jesus.  Everything was put into motion when both Mary’s arrived at the tomb.  The angel comes, the stone is rolled away, and the angel declared to them that Jesus was not there, even though there were many guards at the tomb and the stone had not yet been rolled away before they arrived.  Both ladies had incredible faith and were, both afraid and full of joy. “and they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.” Matthew 28:8.  And I believe that to remove any possible doubt regarding a resurrection because of the words spoke about taking the body to fake it, He appears to them with a message to the disciples. 

As I have said before, this was the greatest 3 days in history, and this event was its culmination.  Jesus was crucified for the sins we have committed, was buried in the tomb of a rich disciple, and then was raised in order to sit at the right hand of the Father for our sake, and soon to come back so we can be with Him forever.  So, let us rejoice and be glad for as the angel said, “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.”  Matthew 28:6.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

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