New Defender's Study Bible Notes
28:1 end of the sabbath. “In the end of the sabbath” means “after the sabbath.” In the Jewish reckoning, the day began at sundown, so the first day of the week was already well along when “it began to dawn.”
28:2 angel of the Lord. Angels were present at the Lord’s birth, strengthened Him in the wilderness temptation and the passion in Gethsemane, and rolled away the stone at His resurrection (not to release Him from the tomb but to allow the disciples to see that it was empty). However, He was all alone on the cross!
28:6 as he said. The angel would gently remind both the women and the disciples that Jesus had repeatedly promised He would rise from the dead in the third day! Why, then, were they coming to embalm Him in the tomb?
28:9 Jesus met them. Each of the four gospel writers has a different account of the resurrection events, written from his own knowledge and perspective. While they may appear superficially to be somewhat contradictory, their very differences prove the absence of collusion. Furthermore, when compared carefully, the contradictions vanish, and their combined testimony becomes an impregnable verification of the reality of Christ’s bodily resurrection.
28:15 reported among the Jews. The willfulness of unbelief is set forth in its stark ugliness here. The soldiers on watch knew beyond doubt that Christ was risen. They had felt the great earthquake and seen the fearful angel break the seal and roll away the stone (Matthew 28:2-4). They knew the body was gone, and they also knew the disciples could not have stolen the body. The chief priests knew all this too, and they had been so concerned about the possibility of resurrection that they had persuaded the governor to seal the tomb and set the guard. The soldiers were entrusted with the tomb’s security under penalty of death, but they were helpless against the mighty angel.
Despite all this, the greed of the soldiers and the hatred of the priests were so great that they were willing to spread the absurd lie that the disciples had stolen the body. Furthermore, the Jews as a whole were apparently quite willing to believe the impossible story. The whole city knew Jesus had been crucified and buried; they also knew the tomb was empty. If they were to reject the truth of the resurrection, they seemed to have no other choice except to say the body was stolen—despite evidence to the contrary, such as the massive stone and the Roman seal and the heavy guard. As time went on, however, and the disciples vindicated their honesty by their willingness to suffer persecution and even death for their testimony, it became absolutely certain that this story was nothing but a desperate fabrication.
28:18 All power. This constitutes a clear claim to omnipotence, and therefore to deity. Jesus Christ was omnipotent Creator in the beginning (John 1:1-3), but He had laid aside His deity to become man and die for the sin of the world (Philippians 2:5-8). Now, having become Redeemer as well as Creator, He has again assumed all the attributes of God, as well as those of glorified man.
28:19 Go ye therefore. “Go ye” should actually read “As ye go.” Jesus had already, by this time, told His disciples He was sending them into all the world (John 20:21). Now He was saying that, as they go, they were to go making disciples, then baptizing them, then teaching them all they had been taught by Christ.
28:19 Holy Ghost. The Lord here explicitly teaches the doctrine of the Trinity—one name, yet three names. The three Persons are each equally and fully God, and always presented in the logical order of Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Yet there is only one God. See also the notes on Romans 1:20.
28:20 observe all things. Therefore, how can any one profess Christ while rejecting any of His teachings, (e.g., Biblical inerrancy, literal Creation, global Flood)?
28:20 with you alway. Christ has ascended back to heaven, but He is present in every believer in the person of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17).