The Message of the Angel of the Lord
Text: Matthew 28 : 1 - 20
How should one regard the words of a special messenger from the Lord? Of course we must pay close attention to everything he has to say. Let us take time to dwell on what was said to the women disciples.
“Do not be afraid…” Matthew 28:5
How well the angel knew the women disciples. It is probably standard or common knowledge among angels that the first thing they need to do is to allay the fears of the people they are sent to minister unto.
1. Natural fear of the unusual
We normally fear the unusual. That is the way we are as human beings. Those fears can be quite irrational if they are not allayed.
2. Natural fear for the supernatural
This is also something that we all tend to have. It is a good and healthy thing to have this sense of fear for a supernatural being like an angel. However, if there is an unhealthy sense of fear, then the mind can be closed because it is petrified by fear.
3. The power to allay fear
Just a word from the angel of the Lord and the fears of the heart can be stilled. Marvelous is that power given to angels!
“For I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified” Matthew 28:5
The angels were witnesses of this great event. They were there when Jesus was crucified. They stood to attention as they watched their Lord crucified.
The women were there at the crucifixion scene too. They were of course not conscious of the presence of the angels at the scene, but there was one essential difference. The women thought of Jesus as one “who was crucified”. The angels of God went beyond His crucifixion – as they had been told!
“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.” – Matthew 28:6a
1. “He is not here”
He was there in the tomb – for just a little while! But He was no longer there!
2. “He is Risen, as He said”
Did they not believe what Jesus had said to them? He had told them that He would rise from the dead! His word was inviolable! His word had power and authority. Death or Satan could never hold Him down!
“Come, see the place where the Lord lay” – Matthew 28:6b
1. Were there misgivings in the heart?
What is the best thing to do when there are misgivings in the heart? The angel urged them to deal with their fears and their doubts. They should check out the tomb. They would find that the tomb was indeed empty.
2. “Come… See”
What gracious words! What gentle words! What practical words! There was no point allowing fears to grow and foment when they can be dismissed easily.
“And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead…” – Matthew 28:7a
1. The Resurrection was News that must be shared
The angel hinted at the knowledge of the absence of the other disciples. He knew that they had trouble believing that Jesus could be raised from the dead. Nevertheless Jesus had risen from the dead! And that news had to be shared!
2. The message to proclaim – “He is risen from the dead.”
This would become one of the central themes that the apostles would preach! The women were the first to bring this great doctrine to the ears of the other disciples – and of course this would have special reference to the men!
3. “Go quickly…”
How should the news of the resurrection be received? How should it be shared? Surely there must be that sense of excitement and urgency in the heart! “Go quickly…” captures the essence of how the message of the resurrection should be delivered.
There was no time to waste. News of the resurrection would dispel fear and gloom. It was the perfect antidote of all the fears that may have resided in the hearts of the disciples.
“And indeed He is going before you into Galilee: there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you” Matthew 28:7b
1. Proof of The Resurrection
What if the disciples did not believe? They would find all the proof they would need when they saw Jesus at Galilee. A dead man would not be able to get out of his tomb, much less go to Galilee ahead of them!
2. A challenge to exercise faith and obedience
The women must now exercise their faith and obedience. These were the words of an angel of the Lord. Jesus had sent one of His angels to give them a special word of encouragement and instruction. They must not fail to exercise faith and obedience!