“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:19-20
Finally, Sunday has come! The doubts and worries can be cleared away because Jesus has risen from the dead! His promise of resurrection has been fulfilled and the condemnation of the cross has been overturned! God is not the God of the dead but of the living!
The same women who were at the tomb when it was filled were the first ones to discover it empty. The angel that appeared to them told them to even come and see the place where he had laid. They were eyewitnesses that there was no longer a body in that tomb. The angel’s next command rings throughout the chapter: “go quickly and tell”. This shows, as we will see later in the chapter, the urgency for proclaiming the good news of the risen Christ.
As they departed, they left with both fear and joy. They were fearful because of what they had just experienced. If a heavenly being has to tell you “do not be afraid”, it probably means that there is something about that experience that is fearful. They also left with great joy because they knew that Jesus had risen from the grave! In fact, as they were going to tell his disciples, they ran into him and began worshiping him. Their Savior was alive!
The guards from the tomb went to the religious leaders to report what happened. The religious leaders did not believe what had happened, but in case a resurrection had really occurred, they wanted to make sure no one else believed it. They falsified a story for them to spread so that no one would suspect that this Jesus had risen from the dead.
When Jesus meets the disciples on the mountain in Galilee, he issues them a commission which continues to this very day. Jesus first says that he has received all authority. We worship a powerful Lord – we can trust in him who has authority over the whole world. Because Jesus has all authority, he tells us to go and make disciples of all nations. The gospel message is for all people of all nations and generations. We are charged with bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to all people. We do that through teaching the things that Jesus taught and about the salvation that is possible only through him. Finally, Jesus reminds us that he will always be with us. This closes where Matthew’s gospel began – “…and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us)” ().