Bible Study – Wednesday July 12, 2023

In Matthew 27:62, the chief priests and Pharisees made a petition to Pilate on the Sabbath asking him to authoritatively command the tomb in which Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus to be made fully secure in order to prevent Jesus’ disciples from secretly stealing His body from the tomb and telling everyone that He had risen. To these men, such a fraud would have been worse than Jesus’ claim to be Messiah.

Pilate granted these men’s request and gave them a sizeable watch of Roman soldiers, instructing the Jewish religious leaders to make the tomb as secure as they could. Ironically, in their sealing of the tomb and setting such a formidable guard of soldiers to stand watch over it, these evil men through their precautions were in the process of making proof of the Resurrection to be irrefutable! This provides a clear picture of the sovereign hand of God superintending the affairs of men, even using their evil actions to accomplish His purposes.

As Matthew 28 begins, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary traveled to the tomb in the early morning on Sunday, the day after Passover. Prior to them reaching the tomb, there had been a violent earthquake that came about as an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, rolled back the tombstone, and then sat upon it.

This angel was clothed in brilliant white clothing, and he radiated both the holiness of God and the purity of his nature through the sparkling luster of his garments. The appearance of the angel caused the battle-tested Roman soldiers to be fearfully shaken, so much so that they became like dead men from their terror: nearly scared to death!

But the angel declared to these faithful women that they ought to stop being afraid … because they had come to the tomb with noble intentions. And the angel announced amazingly good news to them: the crucified Jesus whom they sought was no longer there, for He had risen from the grave back to life, just as He predicted He would. This was an act of the triune God! The angel then told these women to do 2 things: first, to observe the empty tomb as witnesses that Jesus was no longer dead; and second, to urgently take the message of Jesus’ resurrection to the eleven disciples. The risen Lord would appear to them in Galilee, with Him leading the way.

The women obeyed, quickly leaving the tomb with fear and great joy. As they ran to tell the disciples, they were suddenly greeted warmly by Jesus along the way. They took hold of Jesus’ feet, receiving irrefutable confirmation Jesus was alive in the flesh! And rightly, they fell down and worshiped Him as God. Jesus gave them the same instructions as the angel had, telling them again to cease from being afraid and to quickly communicate the news of His resurrection to His disciples, whom He kindly called His brothers.

Listen to this teaching on Matthew 27:62-28:10 by clicking on the link below: