Richard Piles

Resurrection Morning


Today, we have come to the very last chapter in Matthew’s Gospel, and we will finish our study in Matthew at the end of this month.  Thank you so much for your patience.  It takes time to study God’s Word in a verse-by-verse format, and it takes a considerable amount of time to study the longest Gospel.


Once we finish Matthew, this summer, I will be preaching a series in June, July, and August called “Ordinary People…Extraordinary God.”  I think the church and our church is prone to deify men and women in the Bible when in reality, they are simply ordinary people just like us.  However, they and we serve an Extraordinary God, and He can work in extraordinary ways in our lives so I hope you will be around this summer as we look at Noah and Jacob and Joseph and David and Peter  and Paul and the woman at the well.


At this point in Matthew’s Gospel, we have come to Sunday morning after the crucifixion of Christ.  In other words, it is Resurrection Morning.  I would suggest to you that this day is the most significant day in all of Christendom.  It is the day that separates Christianity from every other world religion including Judaism.


The resurrection account of Jesus Christ is recorded in all four gospels: Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20, and Matthew 28, and that is our text on this morning, and the title of my sermon is “Resurrection Morning” as we look at Matthew 28:1-15.



  1. The Resurrection of the Dead, Matthew 28:1-6.

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came 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 from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.  5 But the angel answered and 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 is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.


Verse 1 tells us the time and the place of Resurrection Morning.  It was after the Sabbath which ended at sundown on Saturday night.  It was the dawning of a new day, which would be Sunday, also known as the first day of the week.  By the way, and I said this on Easter, the Church of Christ around the world worships on Sunday rather than Saturday because Jesus was raised on a Sunday morning. 


We then see Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and Joseph, coming to look at the grave.  The other gospels let us know that at least two other women were in this group.  Salome was the wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John, the sons of thunder mentioned by Mark (16:1).  Luke mentioned Joanna (24:10).  Mark’s gospel also lets us know they came to anoint Jesus’ body with oil because they were fully expecting Jesus to still be dead and in the tomb.


Upon arrival, an earthquake occurred, and remember, this is the second earthquake since Friday.  As the earthquake occurred, the angel of the Lord appeared and rolled the stone away from the tomb.  Incidentally, rolling the stone away was not to let Jesus out, but to let the women and witnesses in to see.  Mark says this angel had the appearance of a young man.  From other gospels, we know there were two angels, but apparently only one of them spoke.  That one then sat upon the tomb ready to greet the ladies. 


As you can imagine, his appearance was visually impressive and even terrifying.  The Roman guards who were on post guarding the tomb from tomb raiders shook with fear and became unconscious at the sight of this manifestation.


By the way, if friends or family tell you that they saw an angel, but weren’t scared to death, be cautious of their experience.  Every time humans encounter angels in the Bible, the humans are always scared for their life. 


28:5 records the angel speaking to the women.  He encouraged them not to be afraid, and he reminded them why they were there. 


However, Jesus was not in the tomb.  He had been raised by the Holy Spirit just like He told them would happen.  Jesus had been brought back to life.  In verses 7-10, we see the resurrection of the dead.



  1. The Obligation of the Disciples, Matthew 28:7-10

7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”  8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.  9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” 


In verses 7-10, we see the angel of the Lord continuing to speak to the women, and we see the women demonstrate what appears to be three obligations for the disciple of Christ. 


First, go and tell that Jesus is risen from the dead.  Go and tell that Jesus conquered death and sin and the grave and is alive today, and part of that message is that He will meet you in Galilee.


I said this three Sundays ago, but I need to say it again.  Remember that all of Jesus disciples had abandoned Him.  It wasn’t just Peter or those in the garden who couldn’t stay awake.  Matthew 26:56 says all of His disciples forsook Him and fled. 


Matthew 25:56, Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.


However, before He was crucified and now after, Jesus promised to forgive them and reunite with them in Galilee.  You may have turned your back on Jesus recently or a long time ago, but Jesus is ready to forgive you and reunite with you today. 


As disciples of Christ, we have an obligation to go and tell the good news.


We also have an obligation to worship.  That is what the women did in verse 9.  On their way to the other disciples, they met the resurrected Christ and fell at His feet and worshipped Him, and we have that same obligation today.


We worship with the Body of Christ on Sundays, and Hebrews 10:25 says don’t forsake that obligation, and it should come before sports and before fishing and hunting and golfing and family reunions. 


Hebrews 10:25, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.


We also worship with our lives on Monday through Saturday.  Romans 12:1-2 tells us to live our daily lives at work and at home and at school as an act of worshipping the Lord.


Romans 12:1, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.


Thirdly, we not only have an obligation to go and tell and an obligation to worship, but we also have an obligation to comfort one another.  At this particular time, all of the disciples except these women believe that Jesus was dead.  After all, they saw Him brutally beaten and crucified on the previous Friday.  Consequently, the believe that if that was the fate of Jesus, it could very well be there fate sooner rather than later.


Jesus told these women not to be afraid, and tell the others that He is alive, and they will see Him again.  Can you imagine their reaction when the women told them? 


There are people all around you today that need to be comforted with good news.  We live in a world full of bad news.  Bad news is what make the most headlines.  Bad news is what people talk about for days and days.  Bad news is what we are prone to remember first.


Be ready today on Mother’s Day and the rest of this week to comfort those in need with good news.


What goods news do we have?  Jesus died in your place so you wouldn’t have to die for your sins, and He’s coming again, and one of the greatest promises and invitations in all of the Bible is found in Romans 8:28 that can be true of you today and you can share this week.


Romans 8:28, 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.


As disciples of Christ, we are obligated to go and tell, to worship, and to comfort one another.



  • The Execution of Deception, Matthew 28:11-15

11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.


There were three groups of people in this plot to deceive that is still going on today.  First, we have the Romans Guards.  Remember, when they saw the angels, they passed out due to fear.  Consequently, it would be reported that they had let Jesus escape. 


The guards took their fears to the chief priests or the Jewish Religious Leaders.  These were Jesus’ severest critics and opponents. They wanted Jesus dead because He challenged their authority and claimed to be God’s Son.


When they heard what had happened, they bribed the guards and told them to tell others that Jesus’ body was stolen.  They then promised to smooth things over with the Roman Governor because these guards would be in danger of losing their lives if it was reported that they fell asleep on the job.


The final person or group that is still trying to execute deception today is not actually mentioned in this text.  The devil himself and his demons are still trying to convince as many as they can that Jesus is not alive and hasn’t been resurrected and is a waste of your time today. 


In John 8:44, Jesus told us that devil is liar and the father of liars, and that is his nature, and he is trying to deceive you today. 


He might be telling you that you aren’t lost without Christ.  However, Romans 3:23 says we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  And Romans 6:23 says they wages of sin is death.  Apart from Christ, everyone is lost and headed to hell.


He might be telling you that you can’t be saved.  However, Jesus offers forgiveness of sin and eternal life to anyone who will believe.  Romans 10:13 says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 


He might be telling you on Mother’s Day that you can’t forgive or shouldn’t be forgiven.  However, I can confidently say to you this morning that God’s want you to forgive just as you have been forgiven, and He wants to forgive you regardless of your past.  Now please don’t misunderstand me this morning to say that forgiveness takes away earthly consequences of our sin.  It doesn’t, but God can forgive and is ready to forgive any and every sin for the person who comes to Him with a repentant heart. 

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