Text: Matthew (Chapters 27 and 28)
OBSERVE: The following are the main points located within these two very important chapters:
INTERPRET: The Gospel of Matthew emphasizes the earth-shattering implications of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ more than any other gospel. This gospel also brings us back to the central motif of the kingdoms of heaven and earth. The darkening of the heavens, the shaking of the earth, and the resurrection of the dead would have been clear signs to the Jewish people that the present age was ending and the age to come had begun.
Jesus’ earthly ministry was coming to an end. This gospel ends with Jesus commissioning his followers in Matthew 28: 16-20 which is often referred to as the Great Commission. Christians today tend to focus on its evangelistic aspect – which is certainly a big part of this sending task. But the commissioning is actually to make disciples, not merely to win converts. This discipleship includes playing a role in bringing others to Christ, helping others to grow in obedience in their faith and to continue this until the day that Christ returns.
APPLICATION: How are we to respond to understanding these two very important chapters? We need to respond in faith understanding what earth-shattering difference this makes for us both now and forever. We need to come to the same conviction as the Roman Centurion that “Surely, Jesus is the Son of God”. But we are also need to live obedient lives that are worthy of being followers of Jesus. We also have our marching orders: we are to take the good news to all nations, baptizing those who believe in the good news, and teaching them “to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). The church is called to be a disciple-making machine, and every one of us in the church has been empowered with the Holy Spirit to be a part of this discipleship in some way. We are to do this together.
REFLECTION: Are you certain that Jesus is the Son of God? Are you living a life that reflects that Jesus is the Lord of your life? Are you fulfilling your role in the church to help fulfill the Great Commission?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus; thank you so much for everything you have done for me. Surely, you are the Son of God! Now that your earthly ministry has been completed, I pray that your Spirit will empower your church to continue your ministry here on earth. Help me to find my role and place in your church to be a part of your Great Commission. AMEN.
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