|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
28:1-8 Christ rose the third day after his death; that was the time he had often spoken of. On the first day of the first week God commanded the light to shine out of darkness. On this day did He who is the Light of the world, shine out of the darkness of the grave; and this day is from henceforward often mentioned in the New Testament, as the day which Christians religiously observed in solemn assemblies, to the honour of Christ. Our Lord Jesus could have rolled back the stone by his own power, but he chose to have it done by an angel. The resurrection of Christ, as it is the joy of his friends, so it is the terror and confusion of his enemies. The angel encouraged the women against their fears. Let the sinners in Zion be afraid. Fear not ye, for his resurrection will be your consolation. Our communion with him must be spiritual, by faith in his word. When we are ready to make this world our home, and to say, It is good to be here, then let us remember our Lord Jesus is not here, he is risen; therefore let our hearts rise, and seek the things that are above. He is risen, as he said. Let us never think that strange which the word of Christ has told us to expect; whether the sufferings of this present time, or the glory that is to be revealed. It may have a good effect upon us, by faith to view the place where the Lord lay. Go quickly. It was good to be there, but the servants of God have other work appointed. Public usefulness must be chosen before the pleasure of secret communion with God. Tell the disciples, that they may be comforted under their present sorrows. Christ knows where his disciples dwell, and will visit them. Even to those at a distance from the plenty of the means of grace, he will graciously manifest himself. The fear and the joy together quickened their pace. The disciples of Christ should be forward to make known to each other their experiences of communion with their Lord; and should tell others what God has done for their souls.
Verse 4. - And for fear of him; but from the fear of him. From the fear inspired by this awful angel. It would seem, from this expression, that the soldiers were sensible, not only of the earthquake and the movement of the stone, but also of the presence of the heavenly messenger, in this respect differing from the companions of Daniel and St. Paul, who were only partially conscious of the visions beheld by the two saints (see Daniel 10:7; Acts 22:9). Did shake. The verb is cognate with the noun "earthquake;" they were shaken, convulsed with terror. If these were some of the company that had watched the Crucifixion, they were already possessed of some feeling respecting the unearthly nature of the Occupant of the tomb which they were guarding, and had a vague expectation of something that might happen. At any rate, they must have heard the late events discussed by their comrades, and were not without apprehension of a catastrophe. Became as dead men. They fell to the ground in deathlike faintness, and, when they recovered from the trance, fled in terror from the tomb into the city (ver. 11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And for fear of him the keepers did shake,.... Though they were soldiers, Roman soldiers and veterans, who had been used to terrible sights in the field of battle; were men of courage, and fearless of danger; and yet were seized with a panic, and every limb of them shook and trembled at the sight of the angel, for fear he was come as an executioner of divine vengeance upon them; who had been concerned in the crucifixion of Christ, had watched him as he hung upon the cross, and now his body in the sepulchre: and even supposing no consciousness of guilt in them, or dread of punishment from him; yet such was the glory and majesty in which he appeared, of which they had never seen the like before, that it had this effect upon them:
and became as dead men: they turned pale, as dead men, and had scarce any life, or spirit, left in them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men—Is the sepulchre "sure" now, O ye chief priests? He that sitteth in the heavens doth laugh at you.
Matthew 28:4 Parallel Commentaries
Matthew 28:4 NIV
Matthew 28:4 NLT
Matthew 28:4 ESV
Matthew 28:4 NASB
Matthew 28:4 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible