Matthew 28 is a short version of what happens post crucifixion. Matthew doesn’t use a lot of words here. He lets the other writers capture the details. He just goes for the big rocks. Mary and Mary went to the tomb the morning after the Sabbath. A series of things happen on the way to the tomb: “a great earthquake, and angel, rolled back stone”. Quite a surprise for them for sure. The angel was sitting on the stone with an “appearance like lightning…his clothing white as snow”. Can you imagine the emotion and fear. The “guards trembled” beause they certainly weren’t expecting this set of events. Their neck was on the line. They went and told the chief priests what had happened and were paid off to keep quiet and claim that the disciples had come during the night and “stole Him away”. That was the story they were to tell any who asked. Meanwhile the angel had instructed the two Marys to go “quickly and tell His disciples”. They were off in a flash and left “with fear and great joy”. That is quite a combination of emotion. They were awed by the experience with the angel and Jesus resurrection, but at the same time joyful that He had arose. Along the way Jesus met them and they recognized Him and worshiped Him. He instructs them to tell the disciples to meet Him in Galilee. And that is exactly what happened. Jesus met them on the mountain as instructed. “When they saw Him they worshiped Him, but some doubted”. There is a little different reaction from the disciples. The Marys were filled with fear and joy, the disciples with worship and doubt. Seemingly opposite emotions that were expressed by both groups.
Matthew captures some of the most important words that Jesus speaks as this chapter comes to an end. Jesus gives them their instruction, and ours as well, that all of us are to be focused on. “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.” Jesus gives us our marching orders. He uses verbs to describe what we are to do, and it requires action on our part.
– Make disciples
– Baptizing them
– Teaching them
We can’t fulfill this command sitting on the sideline. We have to be in the game. We have to be part of His plan. We have to do things. The instruction is pretty clear. The question is not what we need to do – but are we doing it? Are we working to fulfill His commission for us – reaching His purpose for our life? We need to go….make….baptize…..teach. Are you involved? Time to get on with it!