Changing Defeat into Victory

Key Verse: “The angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
—Matthew 28:5,6

Selected Scripture:
Matthew 28:1-15

IN THE LAST LESSON WE considered the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. The religious leaders of Israel appeared to have won a victory. Today’s lesson, however, gives the scriptural record of his resurrection, and the change from seeming defeat into victory for Jesus. This was a major step forward in the Divine plan for the restitution of mankind from sin and death.

Matthew’s record informs us that at the close of the Sabbath an angel of God had descended from heaven to roll back the stone that had been blocking the entrance to the tomb of Jesus. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, identified as the mother of James and Joses (Matt. 27:56), had evidently come to the Lord’s tomb with spices to embalm his body. The angel proclaimed that the Lord Jesus had been resurrected, and invited them to come to the place where Jesus’ body had lain.—Matt. 28:1,2

Concerning the angel, we are also told that “His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.” (vs. 3) The angel had appeared in dazzling brilliance so that the startled women would know that they were in the presence of an angel instead of a man. They were instructed to take the message of Jesus’ resurrection to his disciples; and that Jesus would go before them into Galilee. (vs. 7) Jesus had announced to his disciples in the upper room, “After I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.”—Matt. 26:32

There was an exciting encounter that Sunday morning as the women ran to reveal to the disciples that Jesus had been raised from the dead. “As they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.”—Matt. 28:9,10

Meanwhile, those who had been commissioned to watch over Jesus’ tomb went into the city and proceeded to inform the Jewish religious leaders about the great events that were taking place. “When they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”—vss. 12-15

Our Lord had no doubt given explicit directions to his disciples as to where they would find him when they arrived in Galilee. When they came to the designated place in the mountain, they found him there and began to worship him. Some, however, were not convinced that they were in the very presence of the risen Jesus. “Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (vs. 18) As a Divine being, our Lord could now command all things, both in heaven and on earth.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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