Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
3. The Appearance of Christ
(Matthew 28:8-10)
8So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.9And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” (Hebrews2:11)


The two women ran quickly from the tomb. Both fear and great joy quickened their pace. They obeyed the words of the angel, and ran to the disciples to tell them the glory of the living Jesus. Joy added wings to their motion.
Suddenly, they saw Jesus coming to them. They stopped, spellbound before the living Lord as He was walking. He softly spoke to them. The One that stood before them was neither a spirit, nor a ghost. He spoke understandable words, not cursing His enemies who crucified Him, nor abusing His disciples who had fled from Him. Instead, He gave the women His new peace. The word joyful “Peace” is the heart of the Easter celebration.
Whoever wants to understand the scope of this divine salutation must remember that separation between God and man was a result of our sins, which are transgressions against a holy God. The Holy One stood against us, and His judgment colored the history of mankind. Yet Jesus, accepting the penalty of our sin as our substitute, died on the cross and reconciled us with the Creator. We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. This calling, “have peace full of joy” is the greatest message that we can communicate to anybody. The Lord who is raised from the dead is the proof and the guarantee of our peace with God. If Christ had remained in His tomb, we would not have known that we were actually reconciled with God. However, Christ is risen, and this fact confirms to us that God has accepted the sacrifice of Jesus as a ransom for us. He was the innocent Lamb who died as the holy substitute in our place.
There was no wrongdoing in Christ. In full harmony with His Father, He has fulfilled all the requirements of righteousness. Thus, God remains righteous, though He justifies sinners, for He has completed our punishment in His Son. Dear friend, have you received peace with God through faith in Christ, the living, Risen One?
Christ did not greet the women saying, “Peace be upon you.” He does not force His peace on anyone, but makes us responsible for accepting or rejecting His peace, which He offers freely to us. His love does not make us to accept His peace, but gently bids us to receive it as free people.
When the women realized that it was Jesus who stood before them, they threw themselves at His feet, worshiped Him, and tried to hold Him. He did not prevent them from touching Him so they knew He was not an imagination or ghost but was a living being with a touchable physical body. The comprehension of Jesus’ divinity frightened the women. Therefore, the Lord emphasized again what the angel had already said to them at the tomb, “Do not be afraid!” By this order, Jesus tells us not to be afraid of death or of what comes after death, for He is the proof of our hope.
Afterwards Jesus referenced His fleeing disciples as “My brethren.” This beautiful phrase showed a love for them above our comprehension. In His sufferings, death and resurrection, Jesus granted to us the privilege to participate of His own Sonship. We have become children of God through our faith in His Son. The eternal God is no longer angry with us for our sins but has declared Himself our Holy Father. The eternal Judge does not condemn us but accepts us as His dear brethren. How great is His grace for those who believe that we, who are sinners, hear the judgment from the mouth of Christ, “My brethren.”
Jesus then called the women to service by sending them to His disciples to confirm the message of the angel that He was will go before His brethren to Galilee and meet them there.
Thus, the living Christ meets with you today, not simply to give you joy, but also to send you to your relatives and friends that they may meet the Lord and experience His grace.

Prayer
We glorify You, our living Lord who is raisen from the dead, for You met the women who were looking for Your dead body, and saw the angel in Your empty tomb. We thank You for You offered them Your peace, having made reconciliation between God and men. You are our peace. You have made us Your brethren, as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. We glorify You for, by Your resurrection, You proved Your holiness, our actual salvation, and Your triumph over death. You made us messengers of Your life. You gave us life that we might communicate Your peace to whoever wants to live in You.
Question
What did you learn from Christ’s meeting with the women when they fled from the empty tomb?