A continued study in the Gospel of Matthew:The Messiah of Promise
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. 2 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. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come; see the place where he lay. 7 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.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” 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 tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
Like our last segment, there is a lot of potential contradictions surrounding the resurrection of Jesus, but as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 15, if this event did not happen, then our “Faith is in vain.” How so? Why would that be true? Most religions can continue as religions even if part of their story isn’t true, but true Christianity hinges on this one event. This is either a historical moment or it’s not true. Jesus didn’t just raise in our hearts as some purport. Luke 24 reminds us that this is clearly a physical, yet new body, resurrection! This is important because Jesus had to be God to be perfect and be able to take on our sins, and He had to be truly human to be a perfect substitute, so when He rose, He rose like we will, in a physical, albeit spiritual, body (See 1 Corinthians 15). There are many stories in regard to the resurrection and its sequence and I would highly recommend that you go to page 16 of this document and read “Are There Discrepancies in the 4 Resurrection Accounts In the Bible?” and “A Resurrectin Sequence” to sort out some of the so called discrepancies we find in the 4 Gospels. It is important to gain a solid understanding of this event, and see it as a physical, historical momemnt, because our ”Faith” is not ethereal and metaphysical, it matters now, and into eternity. Our faith is based on historical reality, or it’s a false faith. Jesus either was a real person, who was God and came to us a human, who died for our sins and was resurrected into a physical body, and now is ascended into heaven and seated that thr right hand of God, and is coming a second time in judgment, or ther is nothing real to our faith, but the faith we can muster up.
- Why is it important that Jesus’ resurrection was a physical, and not just a spiritual one?
- How does this one event in history change everything?
- What is your faith in?
- What practical sense does the resurrection have in all of our lives?