By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 28:1-15

Well, this is certainly an interesting subject. We have discussed several things about Jesus in our study this quarter, but I’ll have to admit that I had no idea we would be looking at the present residence of Jesus!  However, on further study, I believe it will be quite interesting!

Of course we know Christ was first of all with His Father before creation, in creation, after creation, and from creation until that moment when He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. He spent nine months in gestation, and then He was born that night in Bethlehem of Judea on that first Christmas morn. He spent approximately 33 years in a human body here on this earth before He was crucified. He was placed in a borrowed tomb one late afternoon on Friday until sometime Sunday morning, at which time He got up, rid Himself of His grave clothes, rolled the huge stone away, and marched victoriously out of the grave! And that’s the story before us for our lesson today.

The 28th chapter of the gospel of Matthew is one of the passages of Scripture that brings to us the account of the glorious, miraculous, and victorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Verse one has “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary” making their way to the tomb where Jesus had been buried. Evidently what happened from verse two and following took place before the two women arrived at the tomb. The earthquake had taken place. An angel with a glowing countenance sat on the stone wearing clothes white as snow! The angel was sitting on the stone that had been rolled away from the door. The keepers of the cemetery feared the things that were happening and shook and trembled and became, verse 4 says, “as dead men.”

At that moment the conversation begins between the angel and the women. The angel said, “do not be afraid for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is risen as He said. …” Wow! Can you imagine what must have been running through the minds of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary? But the angel wasn’t through. He continued, “Come see where the Lord lay. …” Aren’t we glad the angel did not say, “Come see the place where the Lord is lying?”  Then the angel gives them a command, “go and tell His disciples that He is risen and will meet them in Galilee!”

There have been all kinds of arguments put forth trying to deny the resurrection. Even at the resurrection event, some of the guards came and told the chief priests what had happened. The chief priests gathered with the elders and they decided to give the guards large sums of money to give to the soldiers so they would lie saying that His disciples had stolen His body. Thus a conspiracy was spread as a false explanation as to what happened. But far too many post appearances were recorded, too many eyes saw His nail-pierced hands and feet, and too many post resurrection conversations with Him were spoken for anyone to believe that.

No, Jesus was raised from the dead just as He said. After His resurrection He walked and talked with His disciples for 40 days. The resurrection cannot be denied. He arose again, just as He said He would.