Scripture reading for August 5th: Matthew 28
Key Scriptures: Matthew 28:10-15 “Then Jesus said to them(the women), “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.”
Jesus personally appeared first to the women who had gone to the tomb in hopes of anointing His body. They were surprised by an earthquake and an angelic messenger who rolled back the stone revealing the empty tomb. The guards were immobilized temporarily. The angel encouraged them with the good news that Jesus was not there, but had risen! They were not to be afraid but to convey the news to Jesus’ disciples. The guards recovered and went and reported that Jesus’ body was missing. I am not sure how they explained the earthquake and angelic visitor and their supernatural immobilization. The elders and chief priests cooked up a plan involving ‘hush money’ for the soldiers and a way to explain this to other authorities. The world uses money to solve many problems because people love it. The blame was to be put on the disciples for stealing Jesus’ body. All agreed and the plan was circulated and became well-accepted among the Jews and authorities. However, Jesus was alive and began appearing to His followers! He had a plan that they would soon enact that would reach the world!
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””
Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for overcoming death, hell and the grave and proving Your resurrection by appearing to the women and Your disciples. I believe You are God’s Son, crucified and raised from death on the third day. I offer myself to You to fulfil Your great plan of reaching the whole world with Good News. Hallelujah! I am never alone and You meet all my needs!
Hebrews 13:5-6 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”(Joshua 1:5) So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)