Matthew 28:16–20 brings us into the intimate final moments between Jesus and His faithful disciples, His closest followers, His best friends as He passes on the baton of spiritual power...not political power.
Like the narratives of Christ's birth, the accounts of His crucifixion and resurrection are so familiar that we can miss the full intensity of the unexpected event. Though Jesus warned His disciples, they were not at all prepared for the trauma of His death or the shock of His resurrection. Because we know the outcome, it's hard for us to identify with what they must have felt.
Although we may wish we could have been present at Jesus' birth, who wishes to have seen His cruel, torturous death? Few want to read the details of what He suffered. We've sanitized Easter with aromatic lilies and colourful eggs.
But we must know exactly why the Father let His Son hang on the cross and why Jesus chose not to escape it. We need to grasp the glory of His resurrection. What blending of love and power can we see in these events? It's almost as if Jesus could hear the tearful praises of future believers singing:
My sin—O, the bliss of this glorious tho't—
My sin—not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!1
We hope these resources will help you better understand what really happened when Jesus died and rose from the dead, why there was no other alternative, and why it makes all the difference today!
¹Horatio Spafford, “It Is Well with My Soul.”
Matthew 28:1–15 shows how Jesus’ harshest critics attempted to explain away the empty tomb. So what really happened? Join Pastor Chuck Swindoll as he carefully examines the historical evidence to reveal the only explanation of the empty tomb: God raised Jesus from the dead.
Pastor Chuck Swindoll explains the spectacular, often-overlooked events in Matthew 27:51–66 as he teaches how God provides His people with hope in dark times.
The final hours of Jesus’ life were about as excruciating as anyone can endure. Matthew 27:27–50 shows how He suffered violent scourging, incessant mocking, and hours of unimaginable pain hanging on the cross until He finally offered His last breath.
Matthew 27:11–26 tells of a rather strange group at the fourth trial: Jesus the innocent captive, Pilate the vacillating judge, Barabbas the notorious prisoner, and Mrs. Pilate the judge’s wife.
In Matthew 27:1–10, we see how shame consumed Judas, leading him to take his own life. Join Pastor Chuck Swindoll as he explains this difficult passage and warns of the dangers of secret sins.
Pastor Chuck Swindoll guides us through the tense passage of Matthew 26:57–75 to reveal another who was on trial: Peter. Listen in and do some self-reflection to consider how we, too, might be on trial today.
While Jesus may have been the Son of God, He still possessed a fully human nature. We see this humanity on full display in Matthew 26:31–56 as Jesus prepared Himself for His fate.
The 12 disciples shared many special moments with their Master like personally experiencing miracles and receiving private lessons on the kingdom of heaven. However, few of these instances were more intimate than the Last Supper found in Matthew 26:17–30.
Matthew 26:1–16 sets the stage for the final act of this gospel account. Each event preserved in this passage moves us one step closer to Jesus’ horrific crucifixion.