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The story of the resurrection itself picks up with two Mary’s going to see the tomb of Jesus. When they got there, there was an earthquake that rolled the stone back and an angel that appeared.
The Mary’s don’t seem particularly fazed by this, but why would they be after hanging out with Jesus while He was alive and performing miracles? The guards that had been sent to the tomb to ensure the body wasn’t kidnapped are a different story.
4And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.Matthew 28:4
I’m not really sure what “like dead men” means. It sounds obvious but they could have either passed out or become catatonic. Either way, they weren’t much use in guarding at this point but they could have made for some decent witnesses had they not been bribed to lie about it in the next paragraph. There are far too many people involved for that to be a long lasting secret though.
The angel speaks to the women, who become excited and anxious before running to Galilee where Jesus would meet them and tell them to share the news of his resurrection with the disciples.
I’ve heard this preached a few times and read a few books that cover this piece of the story that make a clear distinction here. Jesus appeared to these two women first. For all the people that He could appear to, He chose WOMEN to see first in a time and place that women were often not highly valued as people.
I’ve heard people go on about how odd it is and how distinct it is and to wonder aloud why Jesus would appear to them first. While the why always matters, we are only given that this is the order in which it happens. The Mary’s are at the tomb at the point of the earthquake and see it shake open. They see the angel and it speaks to them. They see Jesus and He tells them to tell the disciples who He then instructs to make more disciples of all the nations. No why is apparent, but it matters that women were a part of this and that they were not the ones who are mentioned as having doubted, too.
The chapter ends with what I’ve heard called the Great Commission:
18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inb the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28: 18-20
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