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The Empty Tomb

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Scripture Reference

Matthew 28:1-20

See also Mark 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-53; John 20:1-31

Key Verse

1 Corinthians 15:4 (NET)

“and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures”

1. Read the Passage

Read Matthew 281-20.

Dig deeper

If time allows, read the resurrection account in all four Gospels.

2. Observe the actions and attitudes of Jesus:

To emphasize the impossibility that anyone could steal the body, Matthew stresses the fact that the tomb was sealed securely and that a guard was posted. (see Matthew 27:65-66). Matthew’s account of the resurrection is short one but informative. As you read the passage, list evidences of Christ’s resurrection:

Matthew lists the following evidences:

    1. The resurrection was attested by several witnesses (the women, the guards, others).

    2. Although the tomb with Jesus’ body was sealed it was later discovered empty; the body was no longer there.

    3. The excuse of the soldiers was illogical for no Roman soldier would admit to sleeping on the job. The penalty for sleeping on the job was death.

    4. Jesus appeared to many people providing even more witnesses to His resurrection.

Here’s a question for you to consider: Why was the stone rolled away? Did Jesus need to roll the stone away so He could exit the tomb?

Look at verse 6. The angel tells the women: “Come and see the place where He lay.” Perhaps the stone was rolled away so the women could see that Jesus was no longer in the tomb.

3. Understand the culture

Different details in the Gospels:

“When you read the Gospels side by side, you’ll notice some apparent discrepancies. For example, Mark reports that there were three women at the tomb of Jesus on resurrection Sunday, while Matthew speaks of only two…If four members of a band wrote stories about life on the road with a famous musician, we would expect a lot of overlap, but also some variation. People see the same things differently.”

As you study the Gospels, the core question to consider is this: Who was Jesus? Each Gospel writer writes to a different audience and each adds his own personality to his writing; this explains the variations in their accounts. In spite of these, there are some truths that are certain: Christ lived a sinless life. Christ died and rose from the dead on the third day just as He had said. Jesus is both Lord and Christ. One other detail is certain: the Gospels all agree that how people respond to Jesus determines whether they live or die eternally.

4. Observe the response of the People

The women’s response (Matthew 28:9) –

The guard’s response (Matthew 28:4 and 28:11-15)

The religious leaders’ response (Matthew 28:11-15)

5. Your Response:

How will you respond to Christ? Will you be like the women and worship Jesus or will you be like the religious leaders and continue to refuse to believe in spite of all the evidence presented to them.

May you and your family be like the women and worship Christ for what He has done on the cross. Rejoice with your family. Enjoy this Resurrection Day for Christ the Lord has risen today, Hallelujah!

Related Topics: Easter, Children