Our Response to the Resurrection
The contrast between desire and reality is also heightened; they come to “view” the tomb but end up “seeing” the Risen Lord
Matthew says that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb, but the only indication as to their reason was that they came to see it. Mark tells us that when the Sabbath was over they bought spices, and both Mark and Luke say that they brought their spices to the tomb, evidently to complete the burial that had been done in haste on the Friday. Presumably Matthew omits the reference to the spices because he knows (as the women probably did not) that there was a guard at the tomb that would have prevented them from using their spices anyway; the whole reference to spices was for him irrelevant.
Mark tells us that as they came to the place they discussed the problem of rolling the stone away, as well they might, for it was a great stone (27:60). But when they arrived, they found their problem solved; the angel had done it for them, and having rolled the stone away he sat on it. What had been an insuperable obstacle for the women was no more than a place to sit for the angel
They were not facing a situation in which Jesus had undergone a totally unexpected fate and had then experienced an unanticipated deliverance. He had prophesied both his death and his resurrection, and it was important that his followers should come to understand that the wonderful happening that had just taken place was in fact no more than what Jesus had prophesied during his lifetime. The angel backs up his statement that Jesus had been raised by inviting them to come and to see the place where he lay
Response of Belief
The message is clear. God is absolutely sovereign, and no actions of humankind can turn aside his divine will. Neither the opposition of the Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers nor the ignorance of the disciples can stop the resurrection from happening.
Response of Fear
Fear is always the result of an angelophany (or theophany), so the guards are typically filled with fear (who wouldn’t be?!). The imagery of “quaking” uses the language of the “earthquake” from v. 2; there was a shaking (σεισμός) of the earth and there is another shaking (vb. σείω) of the guards. They then fall into a “dead” faint. We must remember that these were Roman guards, trained never to fall down. They would easily have turned back anyone desiring to raid the tomb, but who can stand against God himself? Hagner says it well, “The irony is not to be missed: the ones assigned to guard the dead themselves appear dead while the dead now have been made alive.”