Daily Word

Grief to joy | Matthew 28:1-7

1 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.

5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he[ a ] lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”

Matthew 28:1-7 (ESV) 中文

Dead and gone?

Jesus is dead and in the borrowed tomb of a secret, rich follower named Joseph. He’s been in there since Friday. The tomb was sealed and a guard set to watch it yesterday, on the Sabbath. It’s now early Sunday morning, the first day of the week.

Note about the 4 accounts

Each gospel writer has a different recounting of the tomb scene (and other events in the life of Christ), each with slight differences. These serve to show the humanity of the writers, that these accounts were not manufactured by one person. They show the different perspectives that any set of witnesses have with any indicedent, such as an auto accident. This article presents a potential sequencing and merging of the different pieces, like an attorney would do.

Grief to joy

The two Marys (and Salome – Mark 16:1) were the first to get to the tomb and become aware of Jesus’ resurrection. Can you imagine their emotional shock?! They were in despair, grieving. Suddenly, their grief is challenged with the shocking news that Jesus is not there; He has risen! Their grief is eclipsed by fear of the angels while joy is rising like the warm sun as they see the empty tomb.

The angels dressed in brilliant white clothing comfort the women, exhorting them to not be afraid. They then confirm the shocking but exciting news that Jesus isn’t there, He has risen! And they beckon them to go see for themselves that the tomb was indeed empty.

Go tell the others

I don’t know if the angel(s) needed to tell them to go tell the others. I’m guessing the women were so excited that they were already planning on doing that. Nevertheless, the command is given and they obey (we’ll see in the next passage). 

“This was a radical departure from the societal norms of the time. In a society where women’s testimonies were often disregarded, it was women who were chosen to be the first witnesses of the most significant event in human history.” (loveinbible.com *)


  • Take a moment to read all of Chapter 28. Read it slowly, meditatively. Imagine the scene, what the women were feeling. How about their overflowing amazement and joy when they see Jesus!
  • Are you telling others about the good news that Jesus, “was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.” (Romans 4:25) That by confessing, repenting and believing in Christ, our manifold sins are forgiven?
Women at the tomb. Image from www.loveinbible.com *

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