Matthew 28 Questions and Answers
1. Why do we worship on the first day of the week instead of the Sabbath?
- The Sabbath had been the special day of rest for centuries following creation. But the Sabbath Jesus spent in the grave was the last authorized Sabbath. It was the end of an era of Sabbaths, and the beginning of a new day of worship--the Lord's Day.
- Charles Haddon Spurgeon said something like this: We gather together on the first rather than upon the seventh day of the week because redemption is even a greater work than creation. Like the apostles, we meet on the first day of the week. Our Lord lifted the Sabbath from the old and rusted hinges whereon the law had placed it long before, and set it on the new golden hinges that his love had fashioned.
- Instead of placing our day of rest at the end of a week of toil, He placed it at the beginning of the week. Every first day of the week we were to meditate upon the rising of our Lord, and seek to enter into fellowship with Him in His risen life. That's why we meet on Sunday, not on the Sabbath.
2. Who were the first witnesses to Jesus' resurrection? (Read also Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18)
- According to Matthew Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (the mother of James and Joseph (v. 56). John 19:25 calls her the wife of Clopas, or Alphaeus) were the first to hear from the angel of the Lord that the Lord had risen and would meet the disciples in Galilee. When the women met Jesus along the way, they clasped his feet and worshipped Him.
- According to Mark Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body (even though according to John 19:39 Joseph had already anointed Jesus with 75 lbs of spices). There an angel told them that Jesus had risen and to tell the other disciples and Peter that He will meet them in Galilee. Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had driven seven demons. (these are the same women who were at the cross when Jesus was crucified)
- According to Luke, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women saw the empty tomb and heard the angel say that Jesus was risen - they went and told this to the apostles.
- According to John, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and found the tomb empty, she told the disciples who didn't believe her. Later she was crying in front of the tomb and saw 2 angels. When she turned around someone asked her who she was looking for. When she answered the person said her name and she realized it was Jesus. He wouldn't let her touch Him because He hadn't gone back to His Father yet.
- Peter and John went to the tomb to see if what the women were saying was true. Then they remembered what Jesus had said and believed.
3. Why do you think God sent an angel to roll away the stone from in front of the tomb?
- Not to let Jesus out - because Jesus had the power to raise Himself from the dead and to let Himself out just like He could walk through locked doors.
- To let the women and His disciples and the rest of the world know that Jesus was alive.
4. What very clear messages did the angel give the women who came to the tomb?
- Not to be afraid
- Jesus is risen just like He said He would
- Go tell his disciples and Mark includes Peter
- Jesus would meet them in Galilee
5. What did the angel look like?
- His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. (all angels are men - there are no female angels in the Bible. And they are all clothed, not naked)
6. What emotions did those who heard that Jesus was alive experience? Read also Matthew 28:11-15
- The guards were so afraid they shook and became like dead men
- The women experienced fear and joy as they ran to tell the disciples
- The women who met Jesus along the way, clasped His feet and worshipped Him
- The disciples didn't believe the women - they thought it was nonsense.
- The chief priests, out of fear that the truth about Jesus be known, and to cover up what they had been doing, bribed the guards to tell a lie.
7. Who believed and who didn't believe that Jesus was risen from the dead? (Read also vs. 11-15)
- The women seemed to believe and were filled with joy
- The disciples didn't believe initially and thought what the women were saying was nonsense. But Peter and John ran to the tomb to see if it was true. Peter saw and believed.
- The guards saw and believed what they had seen with their own eyes and were frightened by it.
- It seems like the chief priests also knew the truth that Jesus had risen but decided to use bribery to silence the truth. It is interesting that the Jewish leaders used treachery to arrest Jesus, they used illegal methods to try Him, they used slander to charge Him and now used bribery to silence the truth about Him. They were corrupt.
8. How many guards went to report to the leading priests about what happened at the tomb?
- Some of them - not all of them
- I wonder if the ones who stayed behind saw and heard the angel's message.
9. What story was given for Jesus' unexpected disappearance from the tomb? What was the truth? (Romans 8:11; Acts 2:24; John 10:17 -18)
- The story - Jesus' disciples came during the night and stole Jesus away while the guards were asleep
- The truth - An angel rolled the stone away to show that Jesus was risen from the dead.
- Who raised Jesus from the dead? God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus
- Holy Spirit - And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. (Romans 8:11)
- Jesus - The Son Himself lays down His life and takes it up again. (John 10:17-18)
- God - But God raised Jesus from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
10. If the story that was circulating was the truth, what would have happened to the guards?
- They would have been executed by the governor.
- How did the guards keep out of this trouble? The chief priests and elders devised a plan to satisfy the governor if the soldiers would take a large sum of money.
11. Everyone will have some kind of response to the Resurrection of Jesus. Some may reject it because it doesn't fit human reasoning, some of will refuse to believe it, some will have doubts and questions about the resurrection, some couldn't care less and are not interested, some may not even know about the resurrection, some may be hostile to the resurrection story and try to discredit it, and some will believe and apply the reality of the resurrection to their way of life. What is your response? How does that affect your life?
- There are many who try to explain it away, and in so doing commit spiritual suicide. They kill their hope for the future and the meaning of life in the present. But I believe because the facts are so clear and the evidence is so strong.
12. Why is it important that we know that Jesus was resurrected? (Read 2 Corinthians 4:14; 1 Corinthians 15:13-19)
- 2 Corinthians 4:14 says "that he [God] who raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also." Our belief in resurrection life is built on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because He lives, we shall live also (John 14:19).
- 1 Corinthians 15:13-19 - 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God-for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can't be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
13. Read Matthew 28:16-20. What was the first thing the disciples did when the saw Jesus at the place where He told them to go?
- they worshipped Him, although some doubted.
14. What did Jesus mean when He said all authority had been given to Him? Who gave Him that authority?
- The Greek word translated "authority" (exousia) means "privilege" or "power." It is freedom without any limitations. Jesus Christ has complete freedom of choice and action.
- Who gave Jesus all authority? God did. Philippians 2:9-11 says God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name above every name that every knee should bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
- What does mean for us as believers? Because all authority is given to the Son and passed on to us, the believer is to submit himself to Him and obey Him.
15. What kind of authority did Christ have and pass on to us?
- Jesus had authority go bind and loose, to cast out demons, to heal the sick, etc. & passed that on to His disciples
- Jesus gives us whatever authority we need so we can make disciples
- We need to open our eyes to see when we can do this
16. How are you submitting yourself to Jesus' authority?
Are you applying the authority Jesus has given you?
17. What was the command that Jesus gave to his disciples?
- Make disciples of all nations is the main command the other three are sub-commands
- baptizing the disciples in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
- Teaching the disciples to obey everything Jesus had commanded them
18. What promise did Jesus give the disciples?
- That He would be with them always, to the very end of the age.
19. Are you a Jesus worshipper?
Are you a disciple taking your orders from Jesus? What does it mean to be a disciple?
Are you making disciples and teaching them to obey Jesus? Are you consciously discipling your children or grandchildren?
20. We have studied Matthew in detail but overall what are some key lessons you learned from the Gospel of Matthew personally? Has anything in particular made an impression on you or made a difference in your life?