Jesus Christ is declared to be the Son of God with power, by His resurrection from the dead (v. 18; Romans 1:4) and the acceptance by the Father of His atoning work on the cross is thereby assured for all who will receive it. Those who would be kept in the consciousness of His presence (v. 20) must attend to that which He has appointed the carrying of the message of salvation to all men.
1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
9 ¶ And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
11 ¶ Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
16 ¶ Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 ¶ Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 28 Intro – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 28:1-15 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 28:16-20 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 28:1-10 – The Open and Empty Tomb
Ere the sun had risen and while the glory of the dawn was faint in the Eastern sky, the women were well on their way. But He whom they sought had gone. How often we look down into the grave of the dead past, and into the vault where we have buried twin-souls; or we peer for help into the diaries, prayers and rites of departed saints or a moribund church—but we do not find the Lord. The divine Leader of souls is not behind us, but before; not in the grave of the dead past, but in the van of the world’s march. Lo, he beckons us on to follow the Ascension mountain and the opened heaven!
The Lord engaged women as messengers of His resurrection. See Psalm 68:11. How eagerly they caught His idea, and with what alacrity they endeavored to fulfill it. And as they went He, for whom they went, met them! It is ever thus. We go on His errands, but we do not leave Him as we go. On the contrary, He meets us. See Isaiah 64:5. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Matthew 28:5—The angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye.
The emphasis is on the pronoun ye. The angel meant, As for these sentinels that are quaking in dread and becoming as dead men, it is meet and natural that they should do so. They are strangers to Him whom ye seek, and are set here to do the work of his foes. But there is no need for those that seek Jesus to fear.
Are you seeking the forgiveness of your sins through his blood? Fear not ye! Do not fear that they are too many to be forgiven. Do not fear that you have not the right faith. Do not fear that you will find his door shut. Do not fear that He will always be remanding you of what you have cost Him. Do not fear that He will let you drift from Him again. Ye seek the Lord who was crucified. Fear not!
Are you seeking a closer identification with his death? Fear not! There is no possibility of realizing the life which is life indeed, except through identification with the death and grave of Jesus. We must sink deep down into reunion with Him who lay there as our representative. But as God takes us at our word, and begins to strip us of all we had taken pride in; as the fear of what may be involved crosses our hearts with its chill dread—again we may be assured as we hear the angel say, “Fear not ye: …ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.”
And when at last you are seeking to follow Him through the valley of shadow—Fear not! You will never see Him as He is, till this mortal is surrendered, and the house not made with hands entered. But it the heart faints, and the flesh fails, fear not ye, who through that mysterious change seek Jesus that was crucified, but now liveth for evermore at the right hand of God. —Our Daily Homily
Matthew 28:11-20 – The Great Commission, of the Risen Lord
What absurdity in this mendacious explanation! How could the soldiers know who stole the body, if they were asleep? Skeptics have to believe greater marvels than believers. Was it likely that Christ’s friends would have wished to unwind the clothes that covered that sacred body? Would His enemies have taken the time, or forfeited the rich shroud that Joseph’s love provided? Men will believe any lie rather than God’s truth, because their hearts are evil.
This mountain at the conclusion of our Lord’s life corresponds to the mountain of temptation at the beginning. There He was offered the empire of the world, if only He would take the easy lower path; here He is acknowledged King of the world, because He took the harder one of obedience unto death. This glorious charge to His Church has the ring of universality. It combines the herald and the shepherd, and assures each humble disciple that the day will never dawn, however stormy, on which his Lord will not be near. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Matthew 28:19 – The considerable actions in the world have usually very small beginnings. Of a few letters, how many thousand words are made! of ten figures, how many thousand numbers! A point is the beginning of all geometry. A little stone flung into a pond makes a little circle, then a greater, till it enlarges itself to both the sides. So from small beginnings God doth cause an efflux through the whole world. (Charnock)
Matthew 28:20 – A mother one morning gave her two little ones books and toys to amuse them, while she went to attend to some work in an upper room. A half hour passed quietly; ane then a timid voice at the foot of the stairs called out, “Mamma, are you there?” – “Yes, darling.” – “All right, then;” and the child went back to its play. By and by the question was repeated, “Mamma, are you there?” – “Yes.” – “All right, then;” and the little ones, reassured of their mother’s presence, again returned to their toys. Thus we, God’s little ones, in doubt and loneliness, look up and ask, “My Father, art Thou there?” and when there comes, in answer, the assurance of His presence, our hearts are quieted.
Matthew 28:20 – The best test of apostolic succession is apostolic success.