Summary: We live in a world where we need EVIDENCE: There were many reliable witnesses which provide LIVE COVERAGE on the day Jesus arose from the grave.
We live in a world that demands evidence of satisfaction. AMAZON, EBAY, and nearly every website contains a CUSTOMER REVIEW section in which people are urged you to “TESTIFY to the VALIDITY of this product.” Gives us trustworthy FEEDBACK! Does it work? State the PROOF in order to make me a BELIEVER! In our world TRUTHFUL TESTIMONY is difficult to find! We met the Lord Jesus at the Lord’s Supper on Friday night and Jesus testified to the effectiveness of His death through His Word and Spirit that His broken body and shed blood were given as payment for sin to those who believe in Him, trust Him, and FOLLOW Him.
Today we celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead and see many ‘WITNESSES” to that Truth. In Matthew 27:65:”Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how." 66 And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.” (In the minds of unbelievers, JESUS’ DEATH and Burial WereTO BE FINAL!)
Matthew 28: 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."11Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests ALL that had happened.”
This account in Matthew fills our eyes and ears with sights and sounds of Jesus’ Resurrection. It screams with the true witness and testimony of the fact that JESUS IS RISEN. We immediately notice THE WITNESS OF THE WOMEN. In verse 55 it says that MANY women followed Jesus and witnessed His death from afar” but two women are mentioned by name: Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. It might seem rather strange that “2 Mary’s” are mentioned, since the Hebrew name means REBELLION, however, these WOMEN had shown that they DID NOT REBEL or BETRAY Jesus, but had been FAITHFUL followers, following Jesus to the Cross and keeping watch until the end. This was not strange at all for Mary Magdalene because she had been healed by Jesus from demon possession. (Luke 8) She had been transformed into a living testament and TOWER to the power of Jesus Christ. (TOWER is what “Magdalene” means.)
These women followed Jesus in their living, witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus in His death, and now had the powerful privilege of witnessing the RISEN JESUS. In John 20:18 it says: “Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and that He had said these things to her.” For these faithful followers, THEIR FAITH IN JESUS HAD BECOME SIGHT.
Another powerful testimony is THE WITNESS OF THE ANGEL. There are several things which God tells us in this passage about the angel: his appearance (or countenance) was like lightning, (it was absolutely DAZZLING) and his clothing was as white as snow. “Lightning” APPEARS to come down from Heaven. It is seen in the sky and it is beyond the earth. Clothing that is as “white as snow” speaks of Godly purity, spotless, without sin, and so the angel’s Clothing and Countenance were PERFECT.
The Angel’s form affirms that this ANGEL had come from the very Holy Presence of the Lord God Almighty, the Lord of Hosts. It also testifies what the entire Bible teaches: That only those who are PURE can exist in the presence of God.
But the Angel’s presence is not the only witness: The angel speaks, as angels should, for they are messengers from God’s Holy Presence. His Manner was that of peace as were the Message of his Words: "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.” This message was a soothing message of peace to the women, because they were true followers and believers, but MESSAGES FROM God do not have the SAME AFFECT on UNBELIEVERS!