|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:1-12 See the affection and respect the women showed to Christ, after he was dead and buried. Observe their surprise when they found the stone rolled away, and the grave empty. Christians often perplex themselves about that with which they should comfort and encourage themselves. They look rather to find their Master in his grave-clothes, than angels in their shining garments. The angels assure them that he is risen from the dead; is risen by his own power. These angels from heaven bring not any new gospel, but remind the women of Christ's words, and teach them how to apply them. We may wonder that these disciples, who believed Jesus to be the Son of God and the true Messiah, who had been so often told that he must die, and rise again, and then enter into his glory, who had seen him more than once raise the dead, yet should be so backward to believe his raising himself. But all our mistakes in religion spring from ignorance or forgetfulness of the words Christ has spoken. Peter now ran to the sepulchre, who so lately ran from his Master. He was amazed. There are many things puzzling and perplexing to us, which would be plain and profitable, if we rightly understood the words of Christ.
Verses 1-49. - THE RESURRECTION. All the four evangelists give an account of the Resurrection. None of the four, however, attempt to give a history of it simply from a human point of sight. Each Gospel probably reproduces the special points dwelt on in certain great centres of Christian teaching, in what we should now term different schools of thought. (Attempts have been made by theological scholars to classify these as Jewish, Gentile, Greek, Roman; but only with indifferent success). The teaching which St. Matthew's Gospel represents, evidently in the Resurrection preaching dwelt with peculiar insistence on the great Galilaean appearance of the Risen. St. Luke confines himself exclusively to the appearance, in Judaea. St. John chooses for his Resurrection instruction scenes which had for their theatre both Galilee and Judaea. St. John, as his central or most detailed piece of teaching, dwells on a fishing scene on Gennesaret, the actors being the well-known inner circle of the apostles. While St. Luke chooses for his detailed Resurrection narrative a high-road in a Jerusalem suburb; and for actors, two devoted, but historically unknown, disciples. Then there is no question of discrepancies in this portion of the great history. It is not easy to frame a perfectly satisfactory harmony of all the events related by the four, after the Lord had risen; for, in fact, we possess no detailed account or history of what took place in that eventful period in presence of the disciples. We simply have memoranda of eye-witnesses of certain incidents connected with the Resurrection selected by the great first teachers as specially adapted to their own preaching and instruction. The events of the first Easter Day have Been tabulated by Professor Westcott, in what he terms a provisional arrangement, as follows: - APPROX. TIME. Very early on Sunday
The Resurrection, followed by the earthquake, the descent of the angel, the opening of the tomb (Matthew 28:2-4). 5 a.m....
Mary Magdalene, Mary the [mother] of James and Salome, probably with others, start for the sepulchre in the twilight. Mary Magdalene goes before the others, and returns at once to Peter and John (John 20:1, etc.), 5:30 a.m....
Her companions reach the sepulchre when the sun had risen (Mark 16:2). A vision of an angel. Message to the disciples (Matthew 28:5, etc,; Mark 16:5, etc.). 6 a.m....
Another party, among whom is Joanna, come a little later, but still in the early morning (Luke 24:1, etc.; comp. Mark 16:1, note). A vision of "two young men." Words of comfort and instruction (Luke 24:4, etc.). 6:30 a.m....
The visit of Peter and John (John 20:3-10). A vision of two angels to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11 13). About the same time the company of women carry their tidings to the apostles (Luke 24:10, etc.). 7 a.m....
The Lord reveals himself to Mary Magdalene (John 20:14-18; Mark 16:9). Not long after he reveals him self, as it appears, to the company of women who are returning to the sepulchre. Charge to the brethren to go to Galilee (Matthew 28:9, etc.). 4-6 p.m....
The appearance to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13, etc.; Mark 16:12).
After 4 p.m...
An appearance to St. Peter (ch. 24:34; comp. 1 Corinthians 15:5). 8 p.m....
The appearance to the eleven and others (Luke 24:36, etc.; Mark 16:14; John 20:19, etc.).
In the above table one point must be specially noticed: two companies or separate groups of women are mentioned as going to the sepulchre with the same pious object of assisting in the final embalming of the sacred body. If this be assumed to be the fact, there will be nothing improbable in the supposition that both these groups of women, all doubtless intimate friends belonging to the little company of the Master, but living probably some distance apart in Jerusalem, came together some time on the sabbath day, and then arranged to meet early on the first day at the sepulchre. Probably the spices purchased in some haste just before the sabbath commenced were judged inadequate.
(1) For in Luke 23:56 we read of a company of women, most probably including all, i.e. both groups, of holy women, who, after beholding the sepulchre, "returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day."
(2) In Mark 16:1 we read, "When the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought [not had bought] sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him." This company (alluded to in Mark 16:1) arrives the first at the sepulchre, and sees the vision of one angel (Mark 16:5). The other company (alluded to in Luke 24:1) arrives not long after at the sepulchre, and sees the vision of two angels (Luke 24:4). In considering the accounts of the Resurrection, the following memoranda will be found suggestive: -
(1) The holy women are the principal actors in all the four accounts of the circumstances connected with the tomb. But their assertions were not believed by the disciples until their statements were confirmed by the Lord's personal appearance.
(2) When St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:5-8) sums up the great appearances of our Lord, the basis of our faith, he makes no reference to his appearance to Mary Magdalene (John 20:14, etc.; Mark 16:9) or to the women (two Maries mentioned Matthew 28:9, 10).
(3) No evangelist describes the Resurrection-no earthly being having been present. St. Matthew is the evangelist who, in his narrative, goes furthest back. He mentions the shock of the earthquake, the awful presence of the angel, the benumbing terror which seized the guards who were watching. Most probably these signs accompanied the Resurrection.
(4) The risen Lord appeared only to his own.
(5) That no future doubt should be thrown on the reality of the appearances of the Risen, he showed himself not only to solitary individuals, but to companies, i.e. to two, to the eleven (repeatedly), and to above five hundred brethren at once. And these manifestations took place
(a) at different hours of the day;
(b) in different localities - in Judaea, in Galilee, in rooms of houses, in the open air. Verses 1-12. - The Resurrection. At the sepulchre. Verse 1. - Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. In the foregoing general note on the Resurrection, the probability has been discussed of the holy women having been divided into two companies who separately came to the sepulchre. St. Luke's notice here refers to the party who arrived the second at the tomb.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now upon the first day of the week,.... On which day it appears by what follows, Christ rose from the dead, and which was the third day from his death, and so verified the Scriptures, and his own predictions:
very early in the morning; just as light began to spring, the day to dawn, and break; the first appearance of the morning; when it first began to dawn;
when it was yet dark, as in John 20:1 and so read the Syriac and Persic versions here; and the Ethiopic version, "while it was yet night": this must be understood of the time when the women set out from the city, or suburbs; for by that time they got to the sepulchre it was at sunrise, Mark 16:2 and shows their great love, zeal, and devotion for Christ, and great courage and fearlessness to go out of the city at such a time, without any man with them, and to a grave:
they came unto the sepulchre, where Christ was laid; that is, the women who came with Christ from Galilee, and who had observed where, and how his body was interred:
bringing the spices which they had prepared; on the sabbath eve, to anoint the body, but were prevented by reason of the sabbath; see Luke 23:56
and certain others with them; that is, other women; besides Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of Joses, and Salome, and other Galilean women, there were other Jerusalem women, or of Bethany, it may be, Mary, and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, and of the parts adjacent: this clause is left out in the Vulgate Latin, and Ethiopic versions, and in one ancient copy of Beza's; but is retained in the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Lu 24:1-12. Angelic Announcement to the Women That Christ Is Risen—Peter's Visit to the Empty Sepulchre.
(See on Mr 16:1-8; and Mt 28:1-5).
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