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CHAPTER XXVIII. N the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from
heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
day. This may appear not exactly to agree with Luke (23 56), who says, that the woman, having returned from the cross, prepared spices, and rested on the Sabbath. But Luke may be understood as merely stating two things; that the women, after arriving at their lodgings, prepared spices, and kept the Sabbath, without mentioning these in the very order in which they occurred. He might well mention the preparing of spices first, as the facts respecting Jesus were doubtless uppermost in his mind. Perhaps, too, the women may have prepared (Luke 23:56) what spices they had as soon as they arrived at home on Friday evening, just before sunset; and may have bought (Mark 16: 1) an additional quantity on Saturday, after sunset.
2. There was a great earthquake. The connection shows that the verb in the original ought to be rendered had been. The angel; more properly, an angel. || Rolled back the stone. Compare 27: 60. Mark relates (16: 3, 4), that the women, on their way, had been speaking together about the difficulty of removing the stone, not knowing the arrangement which the chief priests had made for the sepulchre's being kept closed. Perhaps they thought some one could be procured in the neighborhood of the spot to remove it for them; or their remark might have been simply an allusion to the weight of the stone, and the difficulty which they might find in removing it; a difficulty which had not before occurred to them, so occupied were they with the one object of paying respect to their deceas
1. The Sabbath; the Jewish Sabbath, our Saturday. || As it began to dawn. The other evangelists speak of its being very early, while it was not yet fully light. Mark 16: 2. Luke 24: 1. John 20: 1. || Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary; the same Mary as is mentioned in 27: 61. By comparing the other evangelists, we shall see that other women accompanied these. See Mark 16: 1, where Salome, mother of James and John, is mentioned; and Luke 24: 10, where Joanna (Luke 8: 3) is also mentioned, with the general remark, that certain others were with them. Matthew mentions by name merely the principal ones. To see the sepulchre. Luke (24: 1) mentions that they brought the spices which they had prepared. Their object was, not merely to see the sepulchre, but also to make use of the aromatic substances which they had prepared. See Luke 23: 56. Though they doubtless knew that spices and ointment had already been used (compare John 19: 40), yet their affection for the Saviour led them to prepare an additional quantity. It was the only way in which they could show their regard; and they doubtless believed there might be occasion for more of such preparations than had been used. For, as it was towards evening when Jesus was placed in the tomb, Joseph, and those who were with him, might not have had time to complete the anointing of Jesus. Mark (16: 1) relates that the women bought the spices after the Sabbath had passed; that is, probably after sunset on Satur-ed, beloved Lord."
5 And the angel answered, and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay:
7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead, and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee : there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
11 Now, when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and
8 And they departed quick-showed unto the chief priests ly from the sepulchre, with fear all the things that were done. and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had form the disciples of what they had seen and heard.
9. And as they went; that is, the other women, Mary Magdalene not being with them; for Mark says (16: 9), Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene. It is probable, from the statement of John, in his twentieth chapter, that Mary Magdalene, having left the ground before the other women, met with Peter and John, who, after hearing from her, came off without delay to the tomb, and found it empty, and then returned from the tomb. Mary Magdalene arrived later than they, and then Jesus appeared to her. Shortly after this, Jesus appeared to the other women, who were going, by direction of the angel, to inform the disciples. || All hail; the usual form of salutation on meeting with friends. || Worshipped him; bowed down, made obeisance to him.
5. And the angel answered. Mark (16: 5) says that the women, entering into the sepulchre, saw a young man there, who spoke to them. The angel appeared in the form of a young man. This was subsequent to his removing the stone and sitting on it. Luke states (24: 4), that there were two men. Only one of them, however, probably spoke to the women, and hence only one is mentioned by Matthew and Mark. It may here be remarked, that tombs, or sepulchres, among the people of the East, were far more spacious than tombs are among us. Those which were owned by the rich and powerful, were large subterranean excavations, consisting frequently of two, three, and even seven apartments, containing suitable places for the depositing of dead bodies. The entrance into them was by a descent over a number of steps.
9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail! And they came, and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go, tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
6. As he said. See 17: 22, 23. Compare Luke 24: 7. Matt. 26: 32.
10. Be not afraid. Terror would naturally mingle with their joy on so extraordinary an occasion. Tell my brethren. How affectionate and condescending was his language! Com
7. Into Galilee. Compare 26: 32. 8. And they departed quickly. It is probable, from the account given
by John (20: 1, 2), that Mary Magda-pare John 20: 17. This message was lene had hastened away from the place as soon as it was discovered that the body of Jesus was not there, and before the other women went away. The other women then departed, to in
a repetition of what the angel had com-. municated, and of the direction which Jesus himself had before given. See 26: 32.
12. Large money; a large sum of
15. Until this day; the time at which Matthew wrote this account, which was at least eight or ten years after the event.
16. Then the eleven disciples went
18 And Jesus came, and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them. in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;
money. While we slept. A more away into Galilee. Previously, howunsuitable story could scarcely have ever, to this, Jesus had appeared to his been devised. For how could the disciples. Mark (16: 12) and Luke soldiers know what had happened (24: 13-35) relate his appearing to while they were asleep? How im- two of them; Mark (16: 14), Luke (24: probable that four (27: 65) Roman 33-49), John (20: 19-23), relate his soldiers should fall asleep while on appearing to the disciples in the abguard, in face of the severe punish- sence of Thomas; and John (20: 24ment which the Roman military law 29) relates the instance of his appearthreatened! Such carelessness, they ing to them when Thomas was presknew, must have occasioned their ent. || Into a mountain, where Jesus death. How improbable that the dis-had appointed them; had directed them. ciples, who had manifested such fear John (21: 1-24) mentions a preceding when their Master was apprehended, meeting of Jesus with the apostles in and who had for the most part deserted Galilee, at the sea of Tiberias. || They him, should venture on such an at- worshipped him; bowed down in revtempt! But the chief priests must erence. Some doubted. There might make up some story; and they calcu- have been some present, besides the lated largely on the credulity of the apostles, who might not before have people. seen Jesus since his resurrection; or while the principal part of the apostles distinctly perceived that it was Jesus, and accordingly made obeisance, the others might not have been wholly convinced that it was Jesus, till he actually came up to them.
14. We will persuade him. As they had carried their point with Pilate in respect to the crucifixion of Jesus, they had no doubt they could easily satisfy him in regard to the soldiers. They knew the power of a bribe. Besides, Pilate would, in a few days, as soon as the passover celebration was concluded, remove to Cesarea, and would care but little about the stories that might be circulating among the Jews in Jerusalem.
18. All power is given unto me, &c. Compare John 17: 2. Acts 2: 36. Eph. 1: 20-22.
19. Teach all nations; not confining your labors to your countrymen, the Jews. The word here rendered teach is different from the word rendered teaching in the following verse, and properly signifies make disciples. The apostles were directed to go forth into all the world (see Mark 16: 15),
20 Teaching them to observe | with you always, even unto the all things whatsoever I have end of the world. Amen. commanded you and lo, I am
wherever they could, and make known the facts and doctrines respecting Jesus and the new dispensation, and bring men to be disciples of Christ. || Baptizing them. By being baptized, those who should embrace the doctrines of the disciples were to be separated from other men, in respect to religious matters, and to form a distinct religious community. In the name of the Father, &c.; that is, unto the Father, &c., as manifesting in this appropriate way their faith and obedience in respect to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. For explaining the phrase in the name of, compare 1 Cor. 1: 13 with 10: 2. The idea is, not that baptism was to be administered by the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but that by baptism there was to be professed a subjection to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Those who should receive the doctrines of the apostles were to be baptized, and by baptism to testify their recognition of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as the fountain of authority and the source of blessings. 20. Whatsoever I have commanded you; that is, during his previous instructions both before and after his crucifixion. Unto the end of the world; while the world shall stand. Compare 13: 39, 40. The language shows, that Jesus meant this injunction for all who should succeed the apostles in making known the gospel. So long as the gospel is unknown in any part of the world, it is the duty of the ministers and followers of Jesus to labor for its extension. Mark (16: 15, 16) gives the language of this com
mission in a slightly different form, but retaining the same meaning. Probably at various times, and in various ways, Jesus enjoined on the apostles the duty of making known every where the glad tidings; for he spent forty days on earth after his resurrection, and was during that time instructing his apostles. See Acts 1: 3.
The account which Matthew has given of events after the resurrection of Jesus, is very brief; the other evangelists have furnished additional information; and it is from their combined accounts that a full view of the events must be drawn. But it is, perhaps, not possible to arrive at complete certainty in regard to the order of the different events related by the four evangelists; nor is it necessary. Paul's statement, also, in 1 Cor. 15: 5-7, should be connected with the accounts given by the evangelists. By examining these several accounts, it will appear that there was most abundant and satisfactory proof that Jesus had actually risen from the dead.
In Mark 16: 19, 20; Luke 24: 50 -53; and Acts 1: 9-12, may be found an account of his ascension to glory.
"All hail the power of Jesus' name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
"O that, with yonder sacred throng,
We at his feet may fall!
GOSPEL OF MARK.
THE evangelist Mark is generally believed to be the same person as John who was surnamed Mark, of whom frequent mention is made in the New Testament. His mother resided in Jerusalem, and in her house the early followers of Christ were in the habit of assembling. It was to her house that the apostle Peter repaired, when the angel had delivered him from prison. See Acts 12: 12, &c.
John, surnamed Mark, was the companion and assistant of Paul and Barnabas, in their evangelical labors. See Acts 12:25. 13:5. In one of their tours (see Acts 13: 13), John (the same person) left Paul and Barnabas, and returned to Jerusalem. In consequence of this, when Paul and Barnabas were proposing another tour, and Barnabas was desirous to take Mark with them, Paul made objections. Paul and Barnabas then separated, and Barnabas took with him Mark, and went to Cyprus. See Acts 15: 36-39. Barnabas doubtless felt a special interest in Mark, as being Mark's uncle (see Col. 4: 10), and willingly went to Cyprus, instead of accompanying Paul, inasmuch as Barnabas was a native of Cyprus (see Acts 4:36). We read no more of Mark in the book of the Acts, as the remainder of that book is occupied in relating the labors of Paul.
In the Epistle to the Colossians (4:10), in the Second Epistle to Timothy (4: 11), and in that to Philemon (v. 24), Paul makes very kind and respectful mention of Mark. Doubtless the apostle became satisfied with the truly upright and Christian character of Mark, and cheerfully admitted him to a corresponding place in his esteem and affections.