In Matthew’s Gospel, the resurrection is the resolution of the story and the final proof of Jesus’ messiahship and authority. Jesus was born “King of the Jews” according to Matthew. He performed many miracles, taught that He was the Messiah with the very authority of God. Jesus predicted His own death 3 times in Matthew’s Gospel: in Chapter 16, verse 23, Jesus reveals that His death was always a part of God’s plan; in Chapter 17:23, He predicts not only His death, but also His resurrection; and in Chapter 20:21, He predicts is death and resurrection again. Matthew claimed that a major part of Christ’s message was repentance because the kingdom of heaven is near. God was going to deal with sin, so people needed to turn their sin over to Him by confessing it.

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In Matthew 27:51, we read that at the moment Christ gave up His spirit, the veil in the Temple was torn in half from top to bottom. In Christ’s death, God eliminated the barrier between Himself and people. Since that barrier was sinfulness (Genesis 3), we can know that Christ suffered the wrath for all sin. In fact, the apostle John argues that “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world” (1 John 2:2 HCSB).

Because of this we can repent, know God and have eternal life. This is the Gospel, but Jesus’ death is not the end of the story!

 

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his robe was as white as snow. The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men.

But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there. ’ Listen, I have told you.”

So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell His disciples the news. Just then Jesus met them and said, “Good morning!” They came up, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him. Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.[1]

 

Since I don’t feel the need to explain this text in too much depth I am just going to point out a couple things. The first is that Jesus is alive. In fact, throughout all the Gospels and in Acts we see more than 500 eyewitnesses who claimed to see Jesus alive after He was crucified and entombed. Here Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saw Him and worshipped Him.

Jesus being raised proved that He has authority over not only sin, but also death. When we trust in Christ and repent, He overcomes our sinfulness and gives us eternal life. The Gospel is this simple and I don’t want to distract from that by writing much more here. We must repent and turn to Christ if we want the eternal life that He offers.

 

[1] Matthew 28:1-10 (HCSB)

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