Summary: The 1) COMPASSION 2) TERROR 3) JOY 4) WORSHIP & 5)HOPE of the Resurrection
This week has seen some tremendous devastation. At least 1,500 have been injured and tens of thousands left homeless in Italy’s deadliest quake in nearly 30 years. One official said between 10,000 and 15,000 buildings were damaged by the earthquake.
By Friday morning the death toll from the earthquake stood at 287. The quake struck at 3:32 a.m. local time and was a magnitude 6.3, according to the U.S. Geological Survey although Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics recorded it at 5.8. The government says that reconstruction costs will rise to 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) and entire towns will have to be rebuilt. http://feeds.bignewsnetwork.com/?sid=488325
About 2000 years ago another earthquake changed the world in the Middle East. After an illegal trial and execution, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, rose back to life. He did it as was foretold by Old Covenant prophets, as He Himself said and as evidenced by physical and eyewitnesses.
Recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the central event of God’s redemptive history. The resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, and everything that we are and have and hope to be is predicated on its reality. There would be no Christianity if there were no resurrection.
Although they reveal the same divine truths in perfect harmony with one another, each of the gospel writers presents the resurrection from a distinctive perspective. Matthew does not approach the resurrection from a scholarly, historical, analytical, or evidential perspective but focuses rather on the emotional reaction of a group of women who loved Jesus deeply. Their testimony changed history forever.
In it we see:
1) COMPASSION (MATTHEW 28:1)
Matthew 28:1 [28:1]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. (ESV)
As a commemoration of God’s resting after creation, the Sabbath was to be a day of rest and worship for Israel (Ex. 20:8–11). After the crucifixion of Jesus, the women went home and kept the Sabbath as the law required, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
When the women arrived at toward the dawn/daybreak on Sunday, the third day, Jesus had already risen. John states specifically that when the women came “it was still dark” (John 20:1) (Barton, Bruce B.: Matthew. Wheaton, Ill. : Tyndale House Publishers, 1996 (Life Application Bible Commentary), S. 570).
The first day of the week also translates an interesting Greek phrase, which literally means, “day one with reference to the Sabbath.”
The Jews did not have names for days of the week, such as Monday, Tuesday, and so on, but simply numbered them in relation to the Sabbath. Sabbath means “seventh,” and, although it was at the end of the week, because it was the central and holy day, all other days were reckoned by it-as the first, second, third, and so forth, day after the Sabbath.
• In the Jewish reckoning of time, a day included any part of a day; thus in relation to Jesus’ foretelling that He would rise on the third day, Friday was the first day, Saturday was the second day, and Sunday was the third day.
• Thus, Saturday night by our reckoning was actually Sunday by their calendar. Accordingly, the resurrection actually occurred sometime during the night, for by the time the women arrived as it began to dawn He had already risen from the dead (KJV Bible Commentary. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1994, S. 1961)
• Unlike the Jewish leaders, the women certainly had no expectation that the disciples would steal the body (27:62–66).
• The resurrection of Christ is the ultimate day of all time. It is the supreme event that enables life eternal. It is therefore proper, to consider all time and all our lives in relation to this event.
What we find now is not an account of how Jesus rose from the dead but of how his resurrection was discovered. At that predawn hour on Sunday morning Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb/came to look at the grave. Mark explained that they had gone back to the tomb to bring spices and perfumes to anoint Jesus’ body because they had had no time to do so before the Sabbath (Mark 16:1).
Anointing a body was a sign of love, devotion, and respect. Bringing spices to the tomb would be like bringing flowers to a grave today. Since they did not embalm bodies in Israel, they would use perfumes as a normal practice. The women undoubtedly knew that Joseph and Nicodemus had already wrapped the body in linen and spices. The women probably were going to do a simple external application of the fragrant spices (Barton, Bruce B.: Matthew. Wheaton, Ill. : Tyndale House Publishers, 1996 (Life Application Bible Commentary), S. 570).