SERMON NOTES: WOMEN WITNESSES (Matthew 28:1-10)
From Matthew 27:62-28:15 two reports about the resurrection of Jesus are set side-by-side: the true report comes from some women and the false report comes from some guards. Verse 6a is the key text.
- The fact of women witnesses.
– 28:1. All four Gospels say that the first witnesses to the risen Christ were women. Matthew names Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (the mother of James and Joseph in 27:56); Mark adds Salome (Mark 16:1); Luke adds Joanna plus others (Luke 24:10); John only mentions Mary Magdalene although she speaks in the plural (John 20:1-2). Often women could not give evidence in court. Hence their omission by Paul (1 Cor.15:5-8).
- The women confront the evidence.
(a) An angel rolled away the stone – 28:2-3; see Mark 16:3.
(b) The guards fainted from fear – 28:4.
(c) This is not mythology – 28:5. The one who was crucified on a Roman cross on the Friday is alive on the Sunday.
(d) This was prophesied – 28:6. ‘As He said’ refers to Matt.16:21; 17:22-23; 20:18-19.
(e) The two Marys are told to investigate the empty tomb – 28:6c.
(f) The women respond in a most believable way; they know both fear and great joy – 28:7-8.
- The women meet the risen Christ.
– 28:9-10. Verse 9 is very earthy. It is often translated as ‘rejoice’, as in Matthew 5:12.
– Ghosts do not have feet. The women worship Jesus. Matthew The Bible tells us that human beings are not to be worshiped, nor are angels, only God. See 28:6a.