Telling the world
READ Matthew 28:11-20
The women are not the only ones with a report to make. The guards also have some explaining to do (11). This results in bribing the witnesses (12) in exchange for false testimony (13). What the chief priests had feared all along had actually happened. With more hypocrisy, they undertake to shield the soldiers if their ‘admission’ of falling asleep on the job backfires on them (14). Matthew does not tell us what happened to them. Such a dereliction of duty usually met with summary execution. It is strange that they seem to have greater fear of their human superiors than of the work of God Almighty which they had witnessed earlier (4). The falsehood that the soldiers perpetrated doubtless made it difficult for the church in Matthew’s day to witness to the Jews. It is ironic that the soldiers are to put about a story they were employed to prevent. Of course, no one was ever able to produce the body.
If the disciples had ever thought that the work of God was over and finished, they now know differently. In one sense, of course, it is finished. Jesus’ death on the cross is sufficient and final. The debt has been paid for sin. Indeed Jesus has all the necessary authority (18). But theirs (and ours) is the task and privilege of taking this extraordinary message to the world. Teaching and baptizing of converts is an essential aspect of Christian proclamation (19, 20). Matthew ends his Gospel with Jesus’ comforting words: ‘I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ The risen Lord is no longer confined by space or time. He can be always present now, but His Spirit, with all people at all time. Truly He is Emmanuel, “God with us’ (1:23; 18:20).
PRAY Ask the risen Christ to be you guide today. Ask Him to help you
as you seek to witness for Him.