Do the death and resurrection of Jesus still have relevance to us today?
The last two chapters of Matthew are the lowest point in human history followed by perhaps the most triumphant as we follow Jesus to the cross and then find his grave empty and Jesus alive.
Matthew 27:26-54—The Crucifixion:
Crucifixion was one of the worst forms of torture known to man, essentially causing a constant asphyxiation or suffocation that could last for several days. In addition to the pain of the nails, the cramping of muscles, and Jesus’ scourging (which may not have been typical for crucifixion victims), the crucified also suffered exposure to elements, hunger and thirst, and public insult and shaming. But for Jesus, this was His coronation as King of a Kingdom of suffering.
What language in Matthew gives irony to Jesus’ Kingship? List the different ways Jesus is shown to be a King here, and what physical and social items related to Kingship show up in this passage.
What is so ironic about the abusive comments made to Jesus while He is on the cross? How do they both reveal the heart of the people and at the same time reveal God’s purpose in Christ?
Though difficult to watch, the closing scenes of Jesus’ life are filled with lessons for us as we live our daily lives amid much hardship and difficulty. More than that, we see clearly the self-sacrificing heart of God for us in contrast with the willingness of Satan and those who follow Him to kill God. As you see Jesus, the lamb of God, sacrificed for you in His death, I urge you to accept His substitutionary death in your place, that by faith, you might become a child of God’s.
The Resurrection—Matthew 27:56-28:20
Jesus was placed in a tomb owned by wealthy Sanhedrin member Joseph of Arimithea. There are fascinating parallels to Jesus’ birth where His father Joseph wraps him in cloth and lays Him in a (possibly stone) feed trough. Here He is placed by another Joseph, wrapped again, in a stone tomb. Here, Jesus would rest in death through the Sabbath hours. Early in the morning, the women come to the tomb to finish the burial process.
What attempt did the Pharisees make to ensure there could be no “resurrection”? How has this event helped to provide evidence of the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus?
What would be your reaction if you had been with the women at the tomb early on Sunday morning? Matt. 28:17 says some “worshipped” Jesus, but some were doubtful. How does this verse describe people’s reactions today when they hear of this event?
What does the resurrection of Jesus mean for the world? Why has so much effort been brought against the historical validity of this event?
Matthew 28:18-20: The Great Commission
Matthew concludes His gospel with Jesus’ authoritative commission to His disciples to make more disciples. He asks them to do the very work He did with them, teaching them, baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father, Son and Spirit, and essentially modeling the work of the Kingdom. But He leaves them with the amazing promise of His presence until the end of this age, and the inauguration of the next age at His 2nd Coming.
Matthew’s gospel ends with hope—Jesus is Alive!—and purpose for the disciples—go make disciples—and with the expectation that Jesus will return again. May God bless your continued study of this amazing gospel as this quarter has given us a taste of what is there for us if we study.