Matthew 27-28
(Death and Resurrection)
October 12th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

    Bible Gateway
    Matthew 27-28 (King James Version - KJV)
    Matthew 27-28 (New Revised Standard Version - NRSV)
    Matthew 27-28 (New International Version - NIV)
    Matthew 27-28 (The Message - MSG)

    US Conference of Catholic Bishops
    Matthew 27 (New American Bible - NAB) (click the "next chapter" link on the site for chapter 28)

    British Bible Society
    Matthew 27 (Good News Bible - GNB) (click "Next" for chapter 28)

    Key Verse

    But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay."

    - Matthew 28:5-6 (NRSV)

    Summary of Chapters

    These two chapters conclude Matthew’s Gospel with a somewhat rapid succession of extraordinary events. For instance, Judas hung himself in guilt for handing over Jesus. Meanwhile, Jesus had been presented to the governor for sentencing. The people had an opportunity to set Jesus free, but they choose a rabble-rouser instead.

    After receiving notification of his sentence, Jesus was mocked and tortured by the soldiers. He was then humiliated on the way to Golgotha and suffered for several hours on the cross, enduring further mockery, but the earth shook when he finally heaved his last breath:

      From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Psalm 22:1)”).

      When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

      Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

      And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

      At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

      - Matthew 27:45-50 (NIV)

    Jesus was buried but rose on the third day, as he said he would.

    He appeared first to two women, then to all the disciples. He told them to “make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19 - NIV)” and reminded them that he would be with them always.

    Reflection and Application

    There is so much to cover here, so we will just pick up on a few themes.

    The first theme worth noting is that Judas could have been forgiven. It’s true that his betrayal of Jesus was more severe than what the others had done. However, his act was part of the fulfillment of Scripture. Moreover, God says we can be forgiven for anything. Judas thought he was an irredeemable failure, but he could have been forgiven. We can remember that no matter what sin we have committed that we too can be forgiven. We must never view ourselves as irredeemable.

    In previous chapters, Jesus had demonstrated his power over life and death and the forces of nature. He could have slipped through the hands of the soldiers as he had done on other occasions. He had shown that he could halt storms and walk across water, so he could have popped himself off the cross if he wanted to, and he could have healed his own wounds as they occurred. Why didn’t he?

    Jesus obeyed his father, and suffered for our behalf. He sacrificed himself for the people who believed in him prior to his arrest and for the people who would believe in him afterwards, including those of us who came along two thousand years later.

    Notice the interaction between the angel and the women at the empty tomb. The angel encouraged the women to believe what they saw, share it with others, and to rejoice. The women obliged and began spreading the Good News. Then Jesus put the disciples in charge of his ministry. These guys who repeatedly misunderstood his memos were now in charge. The sheep that scattered at the sign of danger were now told to gather the sheep. Jesus forgave them, trusted them, and promised to be with them to perform the duties that they could not. All he asked in return was that they make disciples of all nations. He asks us the same thing. Are you ready?

    When Jesus died on the cross many people thought he was dead forever. Even his disciples were unsure of what happened. But God resurrected him on the third day and he lives with us today, yet many people still believe that God is dead - or never existed.

    We have reached the end of the book of Matthew. What are the words you remember from this book? Check out a word cloud for the book of Matthew to see what words occurred most often by clicking the link below:

    Book of Matthew Word Cloud

    Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

      Related Questions
      1. Have you had any success bringing a plant or tree back to life after it appeared to be dead or dying?
      2. How can we show our gratitude for what Jesus has done for us?
      3. The disciples were instructed by Jesus to make disciples of all nations. What is your assignment from Jesus?
      Recommended Prayer
      Father, we know you allow evil to have its temporary victories, but that you win in the end. Give us strength, wisdom, and voices to tell the Good News to others.

      Suggested Prayer Concerns
      Those Falsely Accused

      Looking Ahead

      Tomorrow's reading: Introduction to the Gospel of Mark and Study of Mark 1-3 (Jesus Draws a Crowd)

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