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Dead And Alive


Matthew 28:1-10

We have been studying Matthew for a long time and now we come to the end…and that is “Good News.”

Now, as we go through this passage it seems that Matthew really wants to make the point that when Jesus died on the cross…He was really dead.

So Matthew seems to make every effort to point out that Jesus was really dead.

57 And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given over to him.

Now, what you need to know is that back then, the death of a condemned man on the cross did not mark the end of his humiliation.

The only way you could give a crucified man a proper burial is if you had permission from the Roman magistrate in charge of the area.

But in Jesus’ situation some one did.

But there is something else I want you to know about this man…it is found in the gospel of Mark in chapter 15:43.

And if you look at Mark 15:44 when  Joseph makes his request for the body of Jesus and Pilate is surprised that the body is already dead.

Now, this is the same centurion that Matthew spoke of back up in verse 54.

So in vs. 57 and 58 Joseph of Arimathea asks for the body of Jesus…and Pilate orders that the body be given to him.

But now Matthew is not through.  To make sure that everyone knows that Jesus was really dead he tells us about the actions of Joseph in verse 59.

Did you hear me? He was dead!

But Matthew is not through. Look at chapter 26:62.

62 Now on the next day, which is the one after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ 64 “Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest the disciples come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

Now, look at Matthew 28 starting in vs. 1: Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.

Now, look at vs. 2: And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow; 4 and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6 “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7 “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead;

 What happened to the body?

Did the disciples steal the body?

Did the enemies of Jesus steal the body?

What happened to the body?

Listen, God did not roll that stone out of the way to let Jesus out.

Well there is no need to wonder. The only thing to wonder about is, “Will you hear the word of God on the matter?”  Look at verse 6 again.

But Matthew isn’t through!  Look at verse 8 at the reaction of the ladies.

“And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

So the ladies go to report to the disciples…and look at what happens in vs. 9: And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they shall see Me.” 

Vs. 11 Now while they were on their way, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and counseled together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ 14 “And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.” 15 And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.

And with this account, God, through Matthew, has given indisputable proof that still exists today that Jesus was all that He claimed to be…that He is the Son of God….that someday our Lord will return and judge this world…He has given us the empty tomb!

Is it all a lie? Or is it the truth? If it is the truth…and Matthew says it is…God says it is….and the empty tomb says it is….then I hope that you are courageous enough to do that which the truth demands. Look at vs. 16:

But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. ” 

All through the gospel of Matthew, Matthew has been calling us to discipleship…not just people who have been baptized…He has called us to die to ourselves….and take up the cross and follow after Him.