June 12: Jesus Raised (Matthew 28:1-15)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
This Sunday Brandon Jordan will continue a series called Making Sense of Christ and the Spirit at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament).
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. 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. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 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.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. (ESV)
This may be the final chapter of the gospel but not the final chapter of the story. The previous chapter ended with the two Marys at the tomb. We pick up the next chapter with the two Marys being the first to see Jesus raised for the dead. The angel makes this clear: "I know you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; he is risen." The resurrection of Jesus is God’s answer to our misery, joylessness, fear, evil and even our death. It is how he intends to redeem and reconcile all creation and vindicate the Son, showing the world that he alone is worthy of all worship and admiration. The resurrection is the foundation of our faith, the bedrock upon which our hope rests and the source of all our joy. Dorothy Sayers said, "What do we find God 'doing about' this business of sin and evil? God did not abolish the fact of evil; He transformed it. He did not stop the Crucifixion; He rose from the dead." If it is true, that Jesus has been raised from the dead, then what in life is more important than our worship, enjoyment and following Jesus? Seek God for grace to make this familiar message rich, beautiful and consuming to you.
Review and Apply
1. How does God vindicate Jesus through the resurrection? In what ways does this help you admire Jesus more?
2. Explain Matthew’s point in the contrast between the women and the guards?
3. What explains unbelief? How does this help us in testifying to the gospel?
4. What is the benefit of evidence of the resurrection?
5. What encouraged you most in the angel’s testimony?
6. How do you see the kindness of Jesus in this passage?
7. Explain how the resurrection inaugurates a new age? What does Jesus' raised body teach us about this new age?
8. How can you use this passage to encourage a brother or sister in the faith?