Good morning – What do you know? ..I am still in Matthew but thanks be to God I finish the book today concluding with Matthew 27 & 28.
These last two books of Matthew chart the arrest, cross examination of Jesus, his death and resurrection and the Great Commission that he left us. Let me seek to summarize some of my thoughts here:
We see that despite much being levied at him from arrest to crucifixion Jesus opened not his mouth. Jesus closed his mouth so that we can now rejoice and indeed on rising in Chapter 28:9 he tells us the Church to Rejoice.
Through the these two last chapters you see human nature at its worse. The spirit of envy at work causing people to disparage and to deny him his proper place as king of king and Lord of Lord. With their own mouth the people were prepared to chose a known murderer over Jesus going even further to say ‘his blood be on us and our children’ . There were oblivious to the fact that everything they sought to slander him with was God using them to stamp to proclaim His Lordship as ‘King of the Jews’ though they did it to mock, He was crowned and robed – a foretelling of what we will see with our own eyes not too long from now.
We see the record of his pain and anguish when the human part of himself struggled against the scoffing, the nails and the pain. He had been beaten and scarred and his blood poured out. There was none to help. God turned his back on Him so that we could be saved. In that 9th hour the divine transaction took place – our Lord and Savior in the place of us all.
At the penultimate cry Jesus gave up the ghost triggering the opening of prison gates to those who are dead and opening up our entrance to God through his flesh and the veil. It is on this that our faith and conviction rests. Jesus rolled and continues to roll away the stones of our lives, if we would let Him and if we receive the message of the cross. The final chapter records the resurrection our Lord returning with a shout of triumph and amidst a welcome of worship. It was a time of rejoicing then and will be a time of rejoicing on His return. Others need to hear too. Here, His time was short. He needed to ascend, but he left the great commission for us to Go – to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all things that is , holiness, obedience, breaking of bread, fellowship and of course baptisms in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
And so we do.
Father we will never know or be able to appreciate what you went through in these final days. Our forbears show to us the nature of man and the weakness of the flesh.
Father once again we say sorry for the times when our voices added to the voices of those who denied and who condemned you. Forgive us for the times when we again cause you pain by our unholy transactions with cheats, thieves and robbers. Lord take away the spirit of pride and envy which seek to separate us from you and to cause murder and death in our generation. Let the work of the cross not be in vain , but ever stand tall in our minds, so that we can be quickened to Go and make disciples out of every nations.