During the French Revolution, somebody said to Talleyrand, bishop of Autun: “The Christian religion—what is it? It would be easy to start a religion like that.”
“Oh, yes,” Talleyrand replied. “One would only have to get crucified and rise again the third day.”
Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996), 669.
When thinking of the resurrection of Jesus, it is helpful to think of it in the light of two words
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Jesus enabled His own to:
A. Be declared righteous
16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
B. Become gradually more righteous
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
C. Be used to reach others with the Gospel
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,
1. Jesus told His disciples what He was going to do. (Matthew 26)
1 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, 2 “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. 8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. 10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. 11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. 12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. 13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.
The details to what was coming should not have been a surprise to the disciples.
The writings of moses pointed to the coming Messiah
The writings of the prophets pointed to the coming Messiah who would suffer
The teachings of Jesus pointed to Himself as the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets
2. Jesus did what He told His disciples He was going to do. (Matthew 27)
A. He was beaten and bruised
26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified. 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. 28 And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.
B. He was betrayed
Matt 26:56b - then all the disciples fled
C. He was crucified
35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”
D. He rose again (Matt. 28:1-6)
Look with me in Matt 27:57-66
57 Now when evening had come, 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 commanded the body to be given to him. 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb. 62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.
They did everything humanly possible to keep Jesus and his teaching buried - but they miscalculated one tiny factor - he is Deity!
1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
3. Jesus gave instructions on what His disciples are to do. (Matthew 28)
From the resurrection, we have several times within 40 days where Jesus meets with individuals and groups of His followers to encourage and equip them. Just before His ascension back to Heaven, we see His commissional call to His followers
18 And Jesus came 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 of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
A. Their assignment flowed out of His authority (28:18)
Matthew emphasizes this theme throughout his Gospel (e.g., Matt 7:29; 9:6; 21:23). Jesus has repeatedly demonstrated His authority over all things—the human body, demons, natural elements (such as wind and water), the Sabbath, sin, and even death.
The resurrection is the ultimate validation of Jesus’ divine authority.
20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Christ has all power
Christ is to be preeminent (first place in all things)
he is establishing this - and it is crucial
All authority is Christs!!!
B. Their assignment focused long term (28:19-20a)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
The imperative (make disciples, that is, call individuals to commit to Jesus as Master and Lord) explains the central focus of the Great Commission, while the Greek participles (translated go, baptizing, and “teaching” [v. 20]) describe aspects of the process.
Focused Long Term
Through disciple making
we are to go, we are to baptize, we are to teach all that Jesus commanded
It extends beyond just them
2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
The gospel is to be reciprocated
What are you doing to obediently take the Gospel to the next generation?
C. Their assignment foretold of companionship (28:20b)
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Dear friend, as you live out this faith in Christ, you are never alone!
Jesus’ promise is clear - God is with His own. He never leaves them.
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”