The Historicity of the Resurrection (Matthew 27:63-28:15)
Scripture: Matthew 27:63
This sermon covers the events just before and after the resurrection of Christ in the bigger context of the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus disciples had fled in fear and the Jewish leadership when to Pilate to ask that the grave would be made secure. They called Jesus a "deceiver" who had predicted His own resurrection from the dead. They were given a Roman guard to make sure that the body stayed in the tomb.
The enemies of Jesus had contempt for His claims, but affirmed that He made those claims. They secured the tomb and put the guard in place. Two women followers of Jesus came to see the tomb and exhibit a strength that was lacking in both the guards and the disciples, as the events unfold. We show how the angelic appearance with an earthquake and bright light is reminiscent of such occurrences in the OT and earlier in Matthew. The Greek text says that both the earth and the guards shook.
The women became witnesses of the empty tomb and then the risen Christ. The guards fell on the ground like dead men. We show various similarities between the birth narrative in Matthew 2 and this one. The difference between worshippers and conspirators was faith and a willingness to follow the truth as it happens in history. The Jewish leadership and Roman authorities rejected the truth while the women witnesses worshipped Christ. Everyone agreed that the tomb was empty. We call people to turn to Christ in faith.