Sunday 16 April 2017

Bible Book:

“And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.” (v. 2)

Matthew 28:1-10 Sunday 16 April 2017

Psalm: Psalm118


Although Matthew is the first Gospelin the New Testament, it was not the Gospel to be written. Scholarsbelieve that Mark was the earliest of the four Gospels, and thatMatthew and Luke used Mark and another source.

The Gospel was written inapproximately AD80. Known as the 'Jewish Gospel', one of itscharacteristics is that it contains a large section of teachings byJesus (including the Sermon on the Mount in chapters 5-7).

Today's passage comes after the deathand burial of Jesus. When Jesus died there was an earthquake (Matthew 27:51), a sign of the divine and thesupernatural. Pilate had instructed that the tomb should beproperly sealed, as he was reminded that Jesus had said somethingabout being raised from the dead on the third day (Matthew 27:62-66).

In Matthew 28, the account of theResurrection, there is another description of an earthquake. Anangel came and rolled back the stone, though Jesus was not there.It is interesting to notice that the very guards who weredetermined to ensure that the tomb would be sealed, were paralysedwith fear (verse 4).

The stone was rolled back so that thewomen could see where Jesus had been lying. The sealed tomb couldnot keep Jesus in. His resurrection had broken down barriers whichhuman beings tried to put in his way. The resurrection of Jesus isimportant because it brings new life and new hope. His messagewould live on; nothing could stop that from happening, least of alarge tombstone!

That is why Charles Wesley could writethe hymn (Singing the Faith 298)

Vain the stone,the watch, the seal;
Christ hath burst the gates of hell:

To Ponder

  • What are the barriers in your own spiritual life that you needto break down?
  • And what are the barriers that the Church needs to break down;barriers which try and keep Jesus out?
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