STUDENT POST: Hope of the Resurrection

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series featuring outstanding excerpts from student papers at the BibleMesh Institute, which offers affordable online training for local churches, schools, and ministries. The author’s name has been withheld for privacy and security purposes. She is preparing to serve as a missionary overseas.

The Bible records Jesus’ resurrection in all four Gospels, but this post will focus on Matthew’s account in 28:1-10. Jesus had been crucified and laid in a tomb. At the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary, who was probably the mother of James and Joseph (Matthew 27:56), came to the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake. An angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled the stone away from the entrance to the tomb, and sat upon it.

The angel looked like lightning, clothed in snow white clothes. The guards trembled in such fear of the angel that they became like dead men. But the angel reassured the women, telling them not to be afraid. He told them he knew they came to seek Jesus who was crucified. But they may not have anticipated the astounding news that came next. Can you imagine going to visit someone at their tomb and encountering an angel instead? And then hearing the angel’s announcement that Jesus was no longer there, for He had risen! The angel added that it had happened “as He said.” (Matthew 28:6) The angel then invited them to come and see the place where the Lord lay.

After this, the angel instructed them to go to the disciples quickly and tell them that Jesus was risen from the dead, and that He would go on ahead of them to Galilee and meet them there. The women did as the angel had instructed them with fear and great joy, and hurrying along, they went to the disciples.

As the women went, Jesus met them. When He greeted them, they fell and worshiped Him at His feet. Then Jesus repeated the instructions to them to not be afraid, and to go to tell “His brothers” to go to Galilee, where they would see Him.

The fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead has great significance for who He is and the future of those who believe in Him. His resurrection from the dead is central to the Gospel and indicates that He is Lord even over death. His crucifixion was not His defeat, but rather He willingly died and even told His disciples ahead of time that it would happen. John 10:18 says, “I have authority to lay [my life] down and I have authority to take it again.” Jey Kenagaraj says of this verse, “The idea of taking back the life laid down, which occurs twice (10:17-18), anticipates Jesus’ resurrection.”[1] When He rose from the dead, it happened “as He said” (Matthew 28:6). He had willingly completed a process which resulted in His glorification, and His power over death was placed on display for all to see and hear.

His resurrection gives His people hope. Those who put their trust in Jesus need not fear death any longer, for as the Scriptures say, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54b-55). The Bible teaches that those who trust in Jesus will take part in the resurrection to eternal life. It is greatly important for those of us who believe to know that our Savior does indeed have power over death and so is able to protect His people from its sting.[2]

[1] Jey J. Kenagaraj, John : A New Covenant Commentary (Havertown: Lutterworth Press, The, 2013), 109, ProQuest Ebook Central.

[2] Albert F. Harper, Beacon Bible Commentary, Volume 8 : Romans Through 1 and 2 Corinthians (Kansas City: The Foundry Publishing, 2011), 457, Accessed April 1, 2021. ProQuest Ebook Central.