Summary of passage: Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to Jesus’ tomb after the Sabbath at dawn. An angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled the stone back. He appeared like lightning in all white. The guards were afraid of him and fainted.
The angel told the women to not be afraid and that Jesus has risen. Come and see and then go and tell the disciples that Jesus is in Galilee. The women did as told and on the way Jesus met them. They worshipped him and Jesus told the women the same message as the angels said.
The guards went into Jerusalem and told the chief priests what had happened. The chief priests and elders bribed the guards to say that the disciples had come and stolen Jesus’ body and they would keep the soldiers from getting into trouble because of it. The soldiers agreed.
3a) Three days after he was crucified on the Sabbath. Mark 16:1 says when the Sabbath was over. Luke and John both say the women arrived early on the first day of the week.
b) Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. Mark 16:1 says Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus and Salome. Luke does not name them until verse 10, saying Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and others. John just mentions Mary Magdalene.
c) Jesus had already risen.
4a) A violent earthquake had accompanied the angel. His appearance was like lightning and he single-handedly opened the tomb. Mark tells us that the tomb was already open and a young man dressed in a white robe was sitting in Jesus tomb. They were afraid as well because Jesus’ body was missing. Luke says that two men in clothes gleaming like lightning suddenly appeared beside the women in the tomb that had already been opened. John says Mary Magdalene saw tow angels in the tomb seated where Jesus’ body had been. She was crying and then Jesus himself appears to her.
[Fear is a natural human response to supernatural events and things the mind cannot comprehend nor understand.]
b) They came to him, clasped his feet, and worshiped him. The other gospels’ versions are too different here to compare.
c) The same thing the angels told them to do: “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” The other gospels’ versions are too different to compare.
d) Personal Question. My answer: With Jesus, fear is masked by a hope and a knowledge of what is to come. Everyone is afraid at times in their life especially as children since there is just so much we do not know yet. We are afraid of people, of evil, of bad things happening, of death of ourselves or of loved ones, of the unknown, of circumstances that spiral out of control, etc. But with Jesus we can be calm as the storm swirls around us and find comfort in him.
With the Holy Spirit, he is always present within so we don’t have to be alone when frightful things happen in this world. Pray and he will be there–always.
5a) Jesus’ friends: With joy and worship.
The guards: With fear.
The Jewish leaders: With fear and denial and deception.
The Jewish people: Not told in Matthew. Luke leads us to believe confusion.
b) Personal Question. My answer: The disciples didn’t understand themselves Jesus’ death and purpose yet so how could they invent such a story of resurrection? Also, they doubted as well what they had seen until Jesus himself appeared to them. Furthermore, they had no motivation to invent such a story. They would only be persecuted more for saying such a thing. Why bring that upon themselves?
Conclusions: A better question for 5b would have been “Which group in part A could you identify with and how do you respond to Jesus’ Resurrection?” Overall, liked this lesson. Interesting how again the story and the details vary amongst the disciples. Love how the priests are still trying to be in control of earthly events and to maintain their power. But money cannot hide the Truth.
End Notes: The women were headed to properly embalm and care for Jesus’ body. Jewish law strictly forbade handling dead bodies during the Sabbath and since he died during a Sabbath celebration they had to wait for its conclusion.
Matthew is the only one who notes the earthquake. The earth shook at Jesus’ death and at the announcement of his resurrection.
Jesus is the first one recorded in the Bible to be resurrected with a new body. He is still resurrected in heaven.
Jesus had already left the tomb when the angel appeared. The only reason the stone was rolled away was for the benefit of the witnesses to testify that Jesus was not there. Note how it’s the same people who watched Jesus’ body being placed in the tomb who witnessed to its being gone. This proves the truth of their words.
Jesus’ resurrection proved that he had paid our sins with the Father and that it was accepted.
If you are running towards Christ, it is likely he will meet you. If you are moving slowly, there is more chance of failure along the way. So run to him!
Historically speaking, there is more evidence for Christ’s resurrection than most other events in history. Doubters are those like the priests: they know the truth but reject it. And for that they will pay the price.
Fun Fact: This is the first time Jesus calls his disciples “Brothers”.