Christ the Lord is risen – Easter 2021

Bible Readings

  • Isaiah 25:6-9
  • John 20:1-18
  • Matthew 28:1-10

Introduction

In Matthew’s Gospel chapter 28 we have the command GO twice.

Let us go back down the road of time and history to that great event that gave mankind a hope and assurance for all eternity. Let us go to the empty Garden Tomb, the tomb that our Lord borrowed from Joseph of Arimathea, which He only needed for three days (Matt. 27:57-61 & John 19:38-42) for Christ would not need it any longer than that. The two Marys went to the tomb that morning first Easter Morn. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Mk. 16:1 and when they got there, they found a young man dressed in white robe who told them, “He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.” (Mk. 16:6). They went to anoint the dead and found a living Lord Jesus. They went to mourn and found a cause to rejoice. The two that met Jesus on the road to Emmaus hurried back at night and told the disciples that they had seen the Lord alive. (Luke 24:13-35).

Like Saul’s denial when he met Jesus on the Damascus Road (Acts 9), we live in a world today that is still denying the Resurrection. Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:12, “Christ has been raised from the dead; how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead… if Christ had not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” The Resurrection is a living fact and because Christ has been raised, so will we rise also.

I want to look at the two commands given to GO, One by angel and the other by the Lord himself.

Then go quickly and tell his disciples

The command to the women was to GO QUICKLY. It was urgent: for the disciples were still living under the shadow of the crucifixion and burial. They were still living with cowardice and betrayal. They were still crushed by shattered hopes and frustrated dreams, defeat, and fear. The ride into Jerusalem seemed a distant memory. That is why the dear women had to GO QUICKLY; so that the disciples too would learn of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. The angel’s first concern was that the Lord’s disciples would learn of His rising from the dead, “ go, tell His disciples.” (Mk. 16:7).

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations

Matthew, the one-time tax collector, tells us in the Gospel named after him that before Jesus returned to His Father, He give us this command which is to GO. “Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And lo; I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:19-20).

General Wm. Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, said, “While there is one lost soul, I will fight.” The souls in our villages, in our towns, our cities, in our land, and in our world, they have the right to know that God’s Son went to the cross, died and on the third day rose from the grave for them. We have the command to go and tell them which must be obeyed.

The late Field Marshal Montgomery at the end of WW2 in 1945 could say, “The Lord has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes.” We can say that about Calvary and the Empty Tomb.

Isaiah the Prophet could write “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trust in you.” (Is. 26:3). We too can know that peace that only Jesus can give by putting our trust in the living Lord Jesus.