Mary and Mary Magdalene had witnessed both the death and burial of Jesus. Nothing could have prepared these two devastated women for what they would now witness as they returned to the tomb. The empty tomb and the angel’s news of Christ’s resurrection fill them with “fear and great joy.” (Matt. 28:8) From the beginning, the news of the resurrection has been opposed by the enemies of Jesus. Though the soldiers had personally witnessed the angel who rolled the stone away from the tomb, the Jewish leaders paid them to fabricate an explanation for the missing body. To encourage unbelief, many have circulated the soldiers’ story, but the truth of Christ’s resurrection will not be silenced. Because of this great truth, we are commanded to “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”. (Matt 28:19-20) Those who are truly the disciples of Jesus will joyfully do what He has commanded as a result of the transformation God has produced in their hearts through the proclamation of the Gospel.
Questions for further thought:
1. In what ways have I contributed to the call of Jesus in the Great Commission “to go and make disciples of all nations”?
2. What forces are at play in your life to prevent you from doing that? How should the resurrection change your focus on this?
Challenge: Read Matthew 28 again and determine what Christ may be asking you to do in light of His merciful death and resurrection.
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