Easter Service- 2008
Title- He Has Risen Indeed!
Text- Matthew 28
Matthew 28:1-20 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. 2 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. 3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. 5 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. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7 "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." 8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. 10 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."
11 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. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 and said, "You are to say, ’His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ 14 "And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble." 15 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.
16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
I. The Confirmation
II. The Cover-Up
III. The Commission
Please turn to Matthew chapter 28 with me. Matthew 28 offers us a brief description of the resurrection of Christ and the events that followed. This isn’t the most detailed account; Luke and John have details that Matthew doesn’t include.
Each of the four gospel writers wrote from their own personal perspective and for a particular purpose.
- Mark wrote to show that Jesus was the suffering servant.
- Luke wrote to show how Christ was the son of man.
- And John wrote to show how Christ was the Son of God.
- Matthew’s reason for writing his gospel was to prove to the Jewish people that Jesus was their long awaited messiah and king.
Matthew was trying to convince the Jewish people to believe in Jesus. Even here at the very end of the book, Matthew is giving us all the evidence we could ever need to see that Jesus is alive, He has risen from the dead, He is who He said He was. He is risen!
(You need to be on your toes today. I’m going to make the claim that He has risen a number of times this morning/evening; when I do you need to respond accordingly.)
Follow along as I read Matthew 28…
In this passage we see three evidences to the fact that Jesus Christ has in fact risen from the dead. The first one is the confirmation that He is alive by eyewitnesses.
If we were investigating a crime scene, one of the first things we would want to collect is eyewitnesses. People who were actually there, who saw the event, who can give a testimony to what it was they saw. Well proving Christ’s resurrection is exactly what Matthew sets out to do. He wants his readers to hear these firsthand reports of the resurrection of Jesus.
The first two eyewitnesses were Mary Magdaline and the “other” Mary. This “other” Mary was probably the mother of James and John. These two women come to the tomb to mourn.