Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“The Messiah Is Risen! (Matthew 28:1-20)” pp. 365-373.
Chapter 28 of Matthew’s Gospel is what makes it truly gospel (Mitch 2010, 365). In this chapter all that Jesus has said and done is validated through the resurrection. The account is presented as historical fact, not a fanciful tale (Mitch 2010, 366). Jesus had been placed in the tomb before the start of the sabbath, on Friday afternoon. He was discovered as gone on Sunday morning, the third day. The women who went to the tomb found an angel and an open tomb, along with soldiers who are paralyzed with fear (Mitch 2010, 366). The angel announced the resurrection and sent the women to the disciples (Mitch 2010, 367). Jesus also met the women and showed that he was physically present (Mitch 2010, 367). Jesus’ reference to the disciples as his “brothers” shows that he forgave those who had denied and abandoned him (Mitch 2010, 368).
The empty tomb is presented as obvious. The issue in verses 11-15 is how to explain it (Mitch 2010, 368). The Jewish leaders paid a large sum of money to the guards for their statement that the disciples had stolen the body (Mitch 2010, 369). If they were found negligent the soldiers would be guilty and face severe penalties.
In the final five verses of the Gospel Jesus gathers the Eleven in Galilee, where his ministry had started (Mitch 2010, 370). Jesus asserts his authority. He, true man, bears all divine authority. Using that authority he sends his disciples to all the world. “Christian discipleship is a total way of life, a commitment to pattern our daily actions and decisions after the example set by Jesus and his most heroic followers” (Mitch 2010, 371). This discipleship begins with baptism according to the Trinitarian belief articulated by Jesus. Jesus promises to be with his people forever as their risen Lord.