We conclude the teaching series on Matthew's gospel on the mountain top of the resurrection of Jesus. Andrew draws out the centrality and basis of our faith as a result of this truth.
When you read the resurrection accounts in all 4 gospels they all highlight different things. Not contradictory but complementary where they differ. By reading all 4 gospels we get a more complete picture of the most important doctrine and truth in Scripture.
The authors of the gospels are not working from just their own knowledge but also testimony of other witnesses.
Andrew harmonises all 4 gospel accounts of the resurrection day, 8 days later with Thomas, and in Acts, 40 days later. Matthew condenses a lot of what we see in the other gospels and appearances. Even pieced together, the gospel accounts don’t give us a whole account of the resurrection.
After Christ’s resurrection for approximately 6 weeks there were many appearances to many people.
Our first emotion when we confront the realities of Christ can be one of fear. When the Lord does what we asked for or what he said he would do, the joy is mingled with fear. An over-awed kind of response seems to be natural when the living God has met us in a personal way.
Jesus appearance is no longer abstract, the disciples were able to hold Jesus’ feet, Mt 28:9-19
Significance and importance of the resurrection:
If there is no resurrection then there is no christianity, no faith, 1 Cor 15:12. If Christ is not raised then we are of all people to be most pitied.
If Christ didn’t overcome death then what use is he to us. Other teachers had some good ideas but if he hasn’t overcome death then he cannot set us free from the one thing that binds us; our sins that condemn us to death. 2 Cor 5:17. We are new creations.
In Christ on the cross, God was accounting our sins to Jesus so that eh could suffer the death due for all the sins. he only was able to carry all of that sin to the grave and to rise again and then reconcile us to God. Because of Christ we can be free of our sin. If Christ dies and stayed dead then he was only paying for his own sin but because he rose from death it proves he was sinless and is able to pay the price for our eternal life. Death could not hold him.
Because of this the resurrection is the central pillar of our faith. It is able to impute righteousness to our account because God so loved the world. Righteousness is credited to us for eternity because of the resurrection. The central pillar of our faith.
This is why people try to destroy this truth. Mt 28:11 Attempts to create untruth and lies. The guards were most likely to be temple guards, not Roman soldiers because if soldiers on watch fell asleep then that would have meant death to them.
Jesus ends his ministry in Galilee where it started in Mt 4:12. The message has now been opened up to the Gentiles. Go therefore to all nations. Jesus has all authority to tell is to GO. This is not a Jewish message anymore. Galilee is at the outer edge when compared to Jerusalem. The message has spilled over to become a global message. Even in Mt Ch1, the genealogy of Jesus begins with Abraham, not Adam. It was the promise to all peoples.
Matthew begins with a promise to the whole world and ends with a commission to the whole world.
We are in a sense now in Matthew 29, the discourse after the narrative of Jesus resurrection. We are the living message, teaching the world around us and leading people into a living relationship with Jesus. Jesus is continuing to speak through his word and through his people.
1. It is predicated on Jesus authority. I am telling you, “Go”. Sometimes when we share the gospel and make decisions about life choices we fear offending people or disrupting the status quo. Rocking the boat. Family and friends might not be happy but in fact the authority of the Lord is behind the instruction or opportunity. He says do this, go this way, talk to that person. We can rest on the authority of doing what Jesus wants. If the person is offended then that is up to Jesus to look after. Perhaps the person needs to be disrupted.
Remember that Jesus can handle the consequences of us obeying the command to make disciples.
We have the liberty to obey. We can wash our hands of the consequences.
2. Go. There needs to be a sense of going in our life. There are go-ers and stayers. Our lives need to always be going forward in Christ. We should not put up barriers on our christian life and protect what we have. We should always be ready to move forward on the authority of Christ. Be ready to let the word and prayer to overturn our life. We don’t have to move anywhere but always moving forward with the lord in your life. Always trying to live more holy lives or witness to more people. Phil 3:7:15 Pressing forward in the fullest experience with the resurrected living Lord.
3. The promise. Jesus is with us until the end of the age.
Jesus is with you. If we have faith in Jesus, he is with us. Heb 13:6. Now post resurrection the bond with Jesus is unbreakable. Rom 8:31-38. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Post resurrection we get the abiding continuous presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will come and make his home with us.
Therefore, what stops us obeying Christ. What stops us making him our first priority? Let all the consequences fall to Jesus.
What should we be concerned about when our focus is on Jesus because he lives with us, and in us, because Jesus rose from the grave. Amen!