“When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””
A New Tomb
At nightfall, a disciple named Joseph of Arimathea had the courage to approach Pilate and ask for Jesus' body. His request was granted, so he respectfully took it away and laid it in his newly built tomb with a large stone rolled in front of its entrance before leaving. The following morning, the chief priests and Pharisees approached Pilate regarding Jesus' promise of resurrection. In light of their own fears that people might believe he had been resurrected, they urged Pilate to secure the tomb to prevent any theft or interference with his body. He obliged them by dispatching a squad of soldiers who sealed the enormous stone and positioned guards around it at all times.
About dawn on the first day of the week, a couple of women make their way toward the tomb. Grief-stricken and disillusioned, the disciples try to cope with all they have seen and endured during the last few hours. A great earthquake occurs as an angel descends from heaven and rolls the stone back to reveal the truth about the King. Death and darkness could not hold the King, and the cross was not the end. The angel's appearance was extraordinary. It was like lightning and snow. The guards were so overwhelmed with fear that they fainted on the spot. He then comforted the women, informing them not to be afraid as he was aware of their search for Jesus, who had been crucified at this place but no longer remained in the tomb—having fulfilled His promise by rising from the dead! The angel invites the women to see for themselves and then hurry to Galilee to inform the disciples. He wants them to know that they will see Jesus. Matthew narrates that their emotion was one of fear coupled with tremendous delight when they left in a rush; they were sprinting so as not to delay informing the disciples when suddenly, Jesus appeared before them. Falling prostrate at His feet, Jesus comforts them, saying, "Do not be afraid." Then repeating what was already instructed by the angel beforehand, Jesus tells them to tell his brothers and go to Galilee, where they will see him.
The guards inform the chief priests of what has happened, prompting a hasty meeting to come up with an alternate story. The religious leaders offer monetary compensation in exchange for the guards' cooperation and guarantee to make sure they are not held accountable by their superiors. Thus, all parties involved can agree on this fabricated narrative without any issues arising. For a price, the guards were willing to concede that they had fallen asleep and that Jesus' disciples had stolen away his body during the night. Matthew further states this story circulated for years afterward.
The King's Directive—Go
As instructed, the disciples made their way to Galilee's mountain. Upon Jesus' arrival, they had diverse reactions: some worshiped Him while others were filled with doubt. The risen King then proclaimed His ultimate reign over all things—ruling and having authority in heaven and earth. Every enemy is defeated, and King Jesus reigns. He commissions his servants to go and make disciples of all nations. Jesus' directive is not a suggestion or an option. The King, with all authority, commands his servants to go and make disciples. They should baptize and teach these disciples to obey. The King demands allegiance and obedience and promises to always be with his servants. The King lives. The King reigns. The King is near. Long live, King Jesus!
Happy New Year!He Will Save His People From Their SinsMy Beloved SonTemptation And MinistryThe SermonLeaving, Lying, Limits, Love, Largesse, and The Lord's PrayerTreasure, Anxiety, and JudgmentAstonishing AuthorityStorms, Demons, and HealingJesus Is CompassionateHis Eye Is On The SparrowSwords, Rewards, and MessengersThe Lord of the SabbathBlasphemy, Bad Trees, Signs, and FamilyStories, Sowers, and SoilsParables, Hidden Treasure, and RejectionFame, Food, Fear, Faith, and FringeReal Issues And The Power Of GodDying To Find LifeLike The SunChildren, Temptation, Sheep, And ForgivenessMarriage, Kids, And MoneyTo Serve And Give His Life
The ArrivalStories That StingQuestion TrapsHidden Motives And LamentThe End...?UnexpectedReady?Punishment, The Plot, And PerfumeTreachery, Passover, and The CupBetrayal, Injustice, And DenialThe Field Of Blood And The GovernorCrucifixion And DeathAll AuthorityMark—The Beginning Of The GospelHealing, Preaching, And The Forgiveness Of SinEating With Tax Collectors, Fasting, The Sabbath, And An Escape BoatThe Twelve, Blasphemy, Family, And A ParableParables And PowerA Different Kind Of StormPower Had Gone Out
Death, Hunger, And MiraclesCommandment Or TraditionDo You Not Yet Understand?The Christ And A Glimpse Of His GloryUnbelief, Confusion, And SinDivorce, Children, And PossessionsTo Give His Life As A RansomHosannaThe Rejected Stone, Taxes, And The Great CommandmentDestruction And The EndNo One Knows, An Anointing, And A Promise To BetrayPassover And GethsemaneThe Kiss, Arrest, And DenialPilate, Simon, And The CrucifixionDeath, Burial, Resurrection, And What\'s NextTheophilus And A Visit From GabrielMary And The MagnificatBenedictusThe Arrival And The ShepherdsSimeon, Anna, And The SpiritFruits Keeping With Repentance And BaptismThe Wilderness, Nazareth, And CapernaumSimon's Mother-In-Law, Fishing, A Leper, And Sins
Tax Collectors, Fasting, Sabbath Controversies, And The TwelveWhy Do You Call Me Lord, Lord?Jesus Marveled, A Raised Son, And QuestionsA Sinful Woman And A ParableObeying The Word, A Storm, And DemonsTwelve Years, Twelve Apostles, And SpeculationGreater, Costly, And GloryNot Getting It, The Cost, And AppointedWoes, Neighbors, And What Is NecessaryHelp Us Pray And A Divided Kingdom?Signs, Lights, And WoesHypocrisy, Fear, A Fool, And AnxietyParables, Division, And The TimesWarnings, A Daughter Of Abraham, And Jerusalem, JerusalemA Son Or An Ox, Parties, And DiscipleshipLost ThingsThe Dishonest Manager, The Law, And Anguish In This FlameMillstones And Mustard SeedsPersistent Prayer, Humility, A Childlike Faith, And The Rich RulerEverything That Is Written, A Blind Beggar, And A Wee Little Man
A Parable, A Colt, A Prophecy, And A CleansingAuthority, Wicked Tenants, And TaxesThings To Beware Of And WidowsDestruction, Persecution, The Son Of Man, And WatchingThe Plot, Betrayal, Lord's Supper, And Inappropriate BehaviorPrediction, Fulfillment, Agony, Betrayal, And DenialMistreated, Taken Before The Council, Pilate, Herod, And Delivered To Be CrucifiedCrucifixion, Death, And BurialHe Is Not HereDisbelieved For JoyIn The Beginning…The Lamb Of God And A WeddingZeal, What's Inside, And Born AgainHe Must Increase