Morris, Leon. The Gospel according to Matthew. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1992.
“Matthew 28” pp. 733-750.
Matthew 28 takes up the story of Jesus at the resurrection. Morris observes that there are many differences among the accounts in the four Gospels but there are also similarities. “One of these is that each tells of something completely unexpected. It is clear that, despite the teaching of Jesus, his followers had no expectation that he would rise from the dead (Morris 1992, 733). The differences show that the authors were independent in their accounts of the story.
In verses 1-10 Jesus’ resurrection is made known to some women. Matthew focuses on the women’s primary purpose, going to see the tomb (Morris 1992, 75). They were surprised by an angelic appearance, which is found in one way or another in all the Gospels (Morris 1992, 735). The guards were overwhelmed by the appearance of the angel (Morris 1992, 736). The angel pointed out that Jesus was not there and had been raised from the dead. He was observably not there. The women were to go to the disciples and tell them of the resurrection and that they were to go to Galilee to meet him (Morris 1992, 737). Matthew alone mentions Jesus meeting with the women on their way to find the disciples. The women recognize Jesus as their king and by touching him are able to attest to the physical resurrection (Morris 1992, 739).
Verses 11-15 deal with the guards, who would not have been able to reveal what happened. They disclosed the events to the chief priests. An agreement was reached involving a large bribe and a story of events which could result in the death of the guards (Morris 1992, 741). The story of guards sleeping on duty and allowing disciples to steal the body would be a serious confession (Morris 1992, 742).
In verses 16-20 Matthew concludes with an appearance of Jesus to his disciples on a mountain in Galilee, where he sends them to all nations with the triune name of God (Morris 1992, 744). Matthew ignores all appearances of Jesus in Judea, recorded in the other Gospels. Morris points out Matthew as focusing on the worship given to the risen and commanding Lord (Morris 1992, 744). Jesus proclaims himself to be the one who has received authority (Morris 1992, 745). The disciples are to go and make disciples. Morris affirms baptism as the initial rite in making disciples. Though he does not say anything of its function he does affirm it was typical from the start of the Christian period (Morris 1992, 747). The invocation of the Trinity also appears present from the start and has always been associated with baptism (Morris 1992, 747). Baptism is followed by careful teaching (Morris 1992, 749). As his people baptize and teach Jesus promises to be present with them forever (Morris 1992, 749).