Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
1. The Empty Tomb and the Angel’s Words
(Matthew 28:1-4)
1Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.2And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.3His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.4And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. (Matthew17:2, Acts1:10,20:7,1Corinthians16:2, Revelation1:10)


The first day after the feast began to dawn, woman made their way to the tomb to complete the anointing of Jesus’ body. They could not think of doing anything on Friday before sunset until they carried out this final act of respect and love.
The Passover-Sabbath was the worst day for them and the disciples. Their Messiah died and every hope for God’s imminent kingdom had disappeared. Nothing remained for them but weeping, despairing, and pessimism. Yet love and respect to Jesus drew the women to the tomb to sit near the grave of the Holy One.
When He died, the earth that received Him shook for fear. When He arose, the earth that resigned Him leaped for joy in His exaltation. This earthquake was a result of the bonds of death being loosened, the fetters of the grave being shaken off, and atonement being introduced to all nations. It was the signal of Christ’s victory. The heavens rejoiced and notice was hereby given that the earth also might be glad. It was a sample of the shaking that will happen to the earth at the final resurrection, when mountains and islands shall be removed, and the earth may no longer cover her dead. (Isaiah 26:21)
While on the way at dawn, the women were concerned with the heavy stone. They wondered who might roll it back for them from the tomb. The Lord responded to the women’s desire and sent an angel to open the entrance to the empty tomb. The angel appeared with a great earthquake, the guards shook and fell down like dead men. The angel rolled back the stone and sat on it, as a symbol of Christ’s triumph in His resurrection.
The angel did not descend from heaven to help Christ to rise from the dead, for the Prince of Life needed no assistant to overcome death. The Lord arose quietly of His own accord, passing through His linen burial wrappings without tearing them, and passed silently from the midst of the rocks. He then entered into the locked rooms where the disciples were gathered. Although no one witnessed Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the tomb was empty when the women arrived there.
Death is the enemy of all men. It harvests all those born of women. Your death is unavoidable, so seek the wisdom of God that you may be ready.

Prayer
Lord Jesus, You are the risen from among the dead. We glorify You as the only One who has overcame death, sorrow, and Satan. You give Your followers Your eternal Spirit, new life and joy. We thank You because You sent an angel to move the stone away from the tomb before the women arrived. You answered their prayers and encourage us to believe and to see that You have solved our problems, for You are living and saving us. Hallelujah!
Question
For what did the angel roll back the stone from the tomb?