Matthew 28 – He Is Risen

HE IS RISEN

Our text begins quite symbolically with the dawn of a new day.  This first day of the week would come to be known as the “Lord’s Day” where Christians would gather in the name of Jesus for the next two thousand years and counting (John 20:1; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10).  This new day of worship is significant in at least two ways.  First, death has always been an enemy to humanity.  Due to the sin of our first father, Adam, death was brought into the world (Romans 5:12).  Death reigned over man unchecked because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  A new man is needed to rescue us from the inescapable clutches of death.  That man was Jesus Christ (Romans 5:18-21)!  Jesus conquered the last enemy of mankind, death (I Corinthians 15:26).  There is nothing to fear in death for those in Jesus (I Corinthians 15:55).  There is only eternal life for those who place their trust in the better man, Jesus Christ (John 3:16).  Second, there is incredible hope for the believer, not only for eternity, but also in this life now.  Scripture teaches that the same Spirit of God that raised Christ from the dead now lives in us (Romans 8:9-11).  This does not mean we will not face trials and struggles in this life.  God tells us we will suffer, but that our suffering has a purpose to make us complete in Christ and full of hope (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:3-5).  It does not matter what trials or sufferings you face.  What matters is that you know Jesus will bring you through them and you will be stronger on the other side.  This is our hope in this life, as well as in eternity.

 

THE GREAT COMMISSION

The commission of Jesus to His disciples is called “great” for a reason.  Remember, when Jesus first called these men He told them He was going to make them “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).  History has shown the words of Christ to be a reality.  The Abrahamic covenant is truly fulfilled in Jesus.  Through Israel God wanted “all” nations to be blessed (Genesis 22:17-18).  It is these final words of Jesus to His disciples that show the heart of God to save sinners of every tribe, nation, and tongue (Revelation 7:9).  The interesting thing is that God wants His saved people to be part of the discipleship process moving forward.  First, Jesus tells His disciples to go.  There is no comfortable sitting in God’s mission.  Many people get the “go” part right, but the miss what they are supposed to be doing.  “Going” does not mean you “go” and do whatever you want to do.  The call to “go” is combined with the command to “make disciples.”  How do we know if we are making disciples?  Jesus gives us the answer.  It is the reason His Words are recorded for us in Holy Scripture.  A disciple is made when they believe the Gospel and are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit.  However, baptism is not the end of the disciples journey.  Rather, it is the beginning.  A disciple matures as they hear and obey all the teaching that Jesus has given us through His Word.  Finally, all mature living organisms within nature are able to be part of reproducing themselves.  This is true for a mature Christian as well.  A mature disciple is someone who is following the great commission and making other disciples.  The good news is, despite our many failures, Jesus is with us all the way to the end!

 

Study Questions

  1. What does Jesus conquering death mean for those who trust in Him?
  2. Why is teaching the rest of the Bible important in making disciples?
  3. How can a mature disciple be identified?
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