Saturday, October 12, 2019

Luther's Notes on the Gospel: Easter: 2nd Service – Jesus' Resurrection

Sun March 27, 2016
Matt 28:1-8
28:1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who 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 indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.



Luther's Explanatory Notes
1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

The first day of the week. The Scriptures begin the day on the previous evening, and the end of the same evening is the morning of the next day. Hence St. Matthew says here, that Christ rose on the morning, which was the end of the evening and the beginning of the first day of the week.

2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

An angel of the Lord descended. From Matthew it can easily be seen that Christ did not arise during the earthquake, but that the earthquake began when the angel descended from heaven and rolled away the stone from the tomb. But Christ passed through the closed tomb, without disturbing the seals that were attached to the door at the entrance, just as he did on the evening of the same day, when he passed through the closed doors of the room where the disciples were assembled. By the earthquake and the appearance of the angel, the soldiers were so frightened, that they fell down like dead men. For the angel had not come to bring joy to them; but there were other people, whom the angel had come to comfort and to cheer.

Since the angels were appointed and sent as the first preachers to proclaim the resurrection of Christ, it is a sure sign that Christ rose from the dead for our welfare.

5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 

Do not be afraid. This is the first behest, not only to the women, but also to all baptized and believing Christians, who know and believe that Christ is risen, that they shall not fear. By the resurrection of Christ, we comfort ourselves against the devil, death and hell.

7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”

Go quickly and tell His disciples. The other behest is, that they should bring the news to the disciples. But now see who are the disciples. Are they not, indeed, poor sinners, who behaved so badly toward the Lord, and forsook him so shamefully in his greatest distress, especially Peter, who also denied him? Besides, they are now together, and dare not show themselves before the Jews. They have no idea that Christ should live again, and immediately establish His kingdom. Thus we have in this behest the certain indication, that the Lord Christ has arisen for the consolation of these poor, weak-faithed, yea, almost entirely unbelieving ones.

8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

Fear and great joy. Christ hereby teaches us all how we should make a right use of His resurrection, and rejoice and be of good comfort.

Luther's Notes on the Gospel: Easter: 1st Service – Jesus' Resurrection

Mark 16:1-8 (NKJV)
16:1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”
8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.


Luther's Explanatory Notes

1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.

When the Sabbath was past. We must notice here that Mark writes in Hebrew [style] about the Sabbath, for the Jews began the day in the evening, and counted to the evening of the following day. (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13) so that the first and highest Sabbath began on the evening of the day when Christ was crucified; that is on Friday evening, at sunset; but Saturday was the high Sabbath, on which Christ lay in the tomb. Afterwards the Jews had seven whole days, which they celebrated, and called Sabbaths, and began to count with the holy day after the high Sabbath, and called it the first day of the Sabbaths; the third holy day after, they called the second Sabbath and so on.

Here the question arises, Why do we say, Christ arose on the third day, and yet he lay only one day and two nights in the tomb? To this we reply as follows: In his death he comprised parts of three days. So long and no longer must Christ remain in the tomb, that we must assume no corruption had taken place in his body; therefore Christ must rise on the third day, before corruption could set in.

2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large.

Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us? The women act here as timid and troubled people generally do; therefore they proceed without thinking of what was necessary; yea, they have no thought about the armed keepers, nor of the wrath of Pilate and of the Jews, but venture to go on their way. What impelled the good women to risk their bodies and their lives in this way? Nothing else but the affection and love for their Master. This courage they had not of themselves; but here immediately the power of the resurrection of Christ was felt, whose spirit makes these women (who are by nature very timid) so bold and courageous, that they even dared to do that which would have terrified men.

In these women we also have a beautiful example of a spiritual heart, which undertakes to perform an impossible work, of which all the world despairs. Faith can make such a heart, which sees only Christ; although these women had not yet the perfect faith. For they could neither believe nor think that Christ should rise from the dead, and become an eternal King; yet, by holding fast to the word, they have such a faith that they loved his life. They excel all others in Jerusalem, even the dear apostles. We see how much Christ is pleased with faith, that he is only concerned how He shall comfort such a heart. Therefore they also have the honor of first seeing Christ after his resurrection.

5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 

He is risen! He is not here. Christ is not here, so also a Christian must not be here. Therefore no man can confine either Christ or a Christian into certain special rules; it is said, He is not here; the husks He has left here; namely, worldly righteousness, piety, wisdom, law, and what more there is of that matter he has entirely put off.

But the factious spirits come on and say, "Very well, let us do as we please." But if becoming a monk, praying, fasting, etc., does not make you a Christian; then certainly it will not make a Christian of you if you tear down the monasteries, despise the government, eat your fill and get drunk. For a Christian, of whatever station he may be, is above everything on earth; the reason he is called a Christian is that he clings to the man who died and rose again, and is not here — in the sepulchre. Let a Christian abide by this and nothing else. After you have this treasure and riches, which is above everything, then go down and say: "A Christian must also live and be with the people," as St. Paul also says, (Col. 3:5,) "Mortify therefore your members, which are upon the earth."


Luther's Explanatory Notes on the Gospels, pp. 171-172

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