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The Surprise to End All Surprises – Haggai 2:6-9, Matt 28:1-10 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Tsang   
Wednesday, 04 April 2018 10:07

 

Easter is the most important cornerstone of the Christian faith. Without the resurrection, Jesus’ death on the cross would just be a good person dying a martyr’s death. Jesus would have been a false and failed Messiah. But when God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, everything that Jesus taught was vindicated. Jesus was authenticated as the Son of God. Nothing can be more important in our faith, the apostle Paul in 1 Cor 15 said, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

 

All four of the Gospels tell the story of Jesus’ resurrection with a different emphasis. This year, we revisit Matthew’s account and we see the following themes:

 

A. Looking vs. seeing. The interplay between look and see in Matt 28:1-10 is striking. The women came to the tomb looking for a body to embalm (28:1,5).  They left seeing the empty tomb and the risen Jesus (28:6,7,10). Seeing is a major theme in the Gospel of Matthew; to see is to understand. Many people look but not everyone can see. We look with our eyes but we see (or understand) with our hearts.

 

B. Shaking of the heavens and earth. Matthew mentioned an earthquake as the stone was rolled away (28:2). The prophet Haggai spoke of a shaking of heavens and the earth when ‘the desire of all nations’ was to come (Hag 2:6-7). Matthew is helping us see that the resurrection is indeed a fulfilment of OT prophets.


C. Go and Tell. One of the key features of Matthew 28 is the Great Commission. We are commanded to go and make disciples of all nations (28:18-20). The angels told the women to go and tell the disciples (28:7). Jesus told the women to go and tell his brothers (28:10). We are to go and tell others about the resurrected Jesus.

 

D. Fear and joy. Finally, we see the women leaving with fear and joy (28:8). This kind of ‘fear of the Lord’ fear is contrasted with the fear of the soldiers which immobilized them and rendered them like dead men (28:4). This healthy ‘fear of the Lord’ fear that the women had, mixed with joy, energized them for their mission to tell the world about the risen Christ.

 

In this Easter season, may we go and tell of the risen Christ!

 

Peace and grace, John

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 April 2018 10:17