will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
Matthew 28:3 (NIV)
3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.
The angel shown with an intense brightness, a fitting messenger for the light of the world. Lightning is as close at John could come to relay some sense of this incredible light.
Snow is a sign of purity of those things from heaven, it reflects the full light shown upon it, undimmed by earth.
We shall be like this son of God when we make our appearance in the kingdom of heaven. The angels will marvel at you and me.
Ephesians 4:17-18 (NIV)
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
This futility of thinking Paul speaks of continues to grow today as many in churches and as church leadership falls away from the Word of God. Jesus is no longer the reason for coming together or considered the head of the body, His body, which is the true church.
When you hear someone say, “I don’t get it, what is the problem?” when someone says there is more than one way to God, there is no truth, or that God blesses homosexuality; they truly don’t get it. Their heart is not open to the things of God because it is hardened. The absence of light has darkened their understanding.
It doesn’t matter how inclusive one is, or what good deeds are done, or how one measures themselves and finds it good. This futile thinking seems good to man, but the Word of God states otherwise. That is why the Authority of Scripture is rejected. It reveals the futility of man’s own thinking.
It only matters about a heart surrendered to Jesus. All good things flow from that relationship with Him.
Ezekiel 18:32 (NIV)
32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!
Our Father wishes that everyone would live. Death entered creation through disobedience. The arch-angel Satan, due to his desire to be equal to God, has been judged. The penalty is death. The fate of those who follow is the same.
The choice is repent and live. It is not a command so much as it is a plea. Life comes from Him for He is the source. His pleasure is in life.
Luke 22:20 (NIV)
20In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
The Last Supper pictures the cross, the meeting place between the Old and New Covenants. They are actually part of the same story, the revelation of God’s love.
The Passover feast was given to remember God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. It is the occasion and setting which gives meaning for what is to happen.
Both remind us of what God has done and will do.
There is a feast to come, an everlasting supper with the Lord. He will again drink the fruit of the vine at His banquet table. Let us lift up the cup.
Matthew 28:2 (NKJV)
2 And 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.
Behold is translated from the Greek word “idou” . It means listen to what follows because it is important, pay attention!
The earth moved as an angel came and moved the stone that sealed His tomb. Only the grave clothes remained, no longer needed. Death could not hold Jesus.
The angel sat on the stone. Remember Jesus is referred to as the cornerstone of the new temple, which is His body. The temple continues to enlarge with each new believer. Jesus is also the mercy seat pictured by the ark of the covenant. We rest on His sacrificial work on our behalf.
Another “movement of earth” had taken place. Jesus defeated death, for He is risen. The earthly body He had assumed in the incarnation had left the tomb, forever joined and transfigured with His Spirit and was soon to be sitting beside the Father in heaven.
On that day, “earth” was truly shaken.