Matthew 28

This devotional is written by Caitlin Knight.

Matthew 28

Jesus Has Risen
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

The Guards' Report

11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.' 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."


These verses form the last encounter of Jesus and the disciples at the end of the Gospel of Matthew. The disciples haven't yet seen the resurrected Jesus, and have gone to a mountain in Galilee as instructed by Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.

I can't imagine the conversations before they journeyed, or en route to the Galilee mountains. We don't know how they travelled, but it's a 35 hour walk. A 35 hour walk to see your friend who apparently has risen from the dead? It must have seemed like a fool's errand.

In other Gospels we get scenes of Jesus ascending into Heaven, but if the books of the Bible were novels, Matthew almost feels a bit unfinished plot wise.

What did Jesus look like on the mountain? How did they find him there? Where did they go afterwards?

We don't know, but we do know what they did do once they saw him there: "When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted"

I've never noticed this little sliver of doubt in this extract before, as we mostly focus on the 'great commission' that Jesus gives.

Reading it again, I found it incredibly refreshing. A reminder that the disciples were real people, humans who had just seen one of their best friends brutally killed; another had taken his life after betrayal and they had travelled up a mountain on the hearsay of other friends.

Even as Jesus stood before them, they doubted what they were seeing. But... they still worshipped. Through the turmoil and confusion they chose to try and look to Jesus and worship him. And because they did they heard one of the comforting statements in scripture:

"I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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