November 14

Text: Matthew 28:2-4

And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.  And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow; and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.  (NASB)

The guards found Jesus’ resurrection to be a terrifying event.  Matthew does not say they witnessed the actual resurrection, but they saw the angel that rolled away the stone.  The angel did not immediately go away.  As often happens, they were distracted by secondary events.  There were numerous events that accompanied Jesus’ resurrection.

Matthew mentioned several accompanying events.

1.  There was a severe earthquake (that would grab your attention quickly!).

2.  An angel descended (wonder what that looked like?)

3.  The angel rolled the large, sealed stone from the tomb’s entrance (do you think even one of the guards said, "You cannot do that!”)

4.  The angel sat on the stone (Do you think you could describe that sight?)

The angel was described.  The angel’s appearance was like lightning.  The angel’s garment was as white as snow.  This occurred prior to modern whiting agents.  The angel was described as bright—extreme “whiteness” would be an unusual sight.  Unfortunately, the description does not answer many of our questions.  For example, what about the wings?  How can you see something that is not physical?

In the early dawn, the overwhelming impression to the guards was the angel’s brightness.  When an angel appeared in Joseph’s dream, nothing is said about brightness (Matthew 1:20).

The impact of the angel’s appearing on the unbelieving guards was this: they were so afraid that they shook.  They were so terrified they were powerless—they behaved as dead men.  They did not try to capture the angel or seek to run him away.  They were an ineffective guard!

Suggestion for reflection: How would an angel’s appearing affect you?  Why?  (Read 2 Peter 3:8-16.)

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