29 April 2014

BSF 2013-2014: Matthew 28

Last week, we left Jesus in the tomb after His crucifixion. But He didn’t stay there long!

Jesus was crucified on Friday. On Sunday (after the Passover), some of Jesus’ female followers go to Jesus’ tomb with the intention of anointing Jesus for His burial. There is a violent earthquake. Two angels come down from heaven. They are as bright as lightning, and their clothes are as white as snow. The Roman guards charged with watching over the tomb fall down like dead men.

The women are afraid. Mary Magdalene runs away to tell Peter and John. The angels tell the women to come and see the empty tomb and then go and tell others.

Later Mary Magdalene is crying outside the tomb. Jesus approaches her and calls her by name. She recognizes her risen Savior. Jesus also appears to the other women who were at the tomb. They fall down at His feet and worship Him. Jesus instructs the women to tell his brothers (the disciples) to meet Him in Galilee.

Jesus’ resurrection:
  • proves He is the Son of God.
  • verifies the truth of Scripture.
  • assures us of our future resurrection.
  • is proof of a future judgment.
  • is the basis for Christ’s heavenly priesthood.
  • gives us power for Christian living.
  • ensures our future inheritance.
  • proves the power of God.
Because Jesus resurrected from death, sin no longer has victory over believers. Because Jesus lives, all believers will live forever. The same power that resurrected Jesus from the dead is the same power that lives in every believer.

Because of Jesus’ resurrection:
  • I can face tomorrow.
  • I have a future.
  • I have the Holy Spirit.
  • I have a living hope.
  • I have an inheritance.
  • I can live by faith.
  • I am secure in Christ.
  • I will live eternally with my Savior and other believers.
  • I can know Jesus Himself and participate in His sufferings.
  • I can set my heart and my mind on eternal things.
  • Jesus lives forever to intercede on my behalf.
The guards were eyewitnesses who could prove that Jesus resurrected. They share their story with the religious leaders. But instead of believing in Jesus’ resurrection, the religious leaders concoct a false story, claiming that the disciples stole Jesus’ body. The religious leaders also offer a bribe to the guards to share this false story. The guards accept the money and agree to spread the lie.

The disciples themselves doubted Jesus’ resurrection, so why would they have stolen Jesus’ body?!

Next Jesus meets two of His followers on the road to Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. As the two men discuss everything that had happened over the last three days, Jesus joins them on the road. His identity is hidden from the men.

Jesus explains all of the Scriptures to them and how He had fulfilled all of the prophecies. Then while eating dinner together, Jesus opens the men’s eyes so they could recognize Him.

One week later, Jesus appears to the disciples in the upper room. Thomas puts his fingers in the nail prints in Jesus’ hands and his hand in the hole in Jesus’ side. Jesus appears to more than 500 people over 40 days.

After 40 days, Jesus takes His disciples to a mountain in Galilee. Jesus tells them to go and make disciples of all nations. Jesus promises to be with them always. This is called the Great Commission.

There are five parts to the Great Commission:
  • Go – Obey Jesus’ command as you go about your everyday life.
  • Make disciples – A disciple is a lifelong learner, someone who accepts the teachings of Christ.
  • Baptize – This is an outward confession of an inward decision to follow Christ.
  • Teach – Jesus said His disciples should teach all that He commanded.
  • The promise – Jesus will be with us as we do these things.
Jesus didn’t give the Great Commission just to His 11 apostles. He also gave us the Great Commission. Christians today are called to be solid, truthful, faithful witnesses for Christ.

And just like that, our BSF year is over! I’ll give one final recap of my personal study next week.

Things to Think About
  • Resurrection is the passing from existence in a fallen, decaying human body to existence in an eternal, glorified body.
  • Jesus’ death paid the price of sin for me. His resurrection gives me power over sin. Sin no longer has control over me. Am I claiming this power to defeat sin in my life?
  • Am I listening to what people say about Jesus, or am I discovering the truth for myself?
  • Am I obeying the Great Commission?