Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 10: Saturday
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.””
Saturday’s Bible reading of Matthew 26–28, finishes this Gospel. These chapters contain Passover; Jesus’ betrayal, arrest and trial; His death and Resurrection; and His final charge to His disciples, Matthew 28:18–20, know as the Great Commission.
Some details of the events of these days given by Matthew that are not in the other Gospels include the last interchange between Judas and the chief priests and elders, the death of Judas, and the famous scene of Pilate washing his hands. R. E. Nixon comments:
“The hand-washing was a Jewish custom to signify the removal of guilt (Dt. 21:6; Ps. 73:13) but Pilate may have used it either in desperation or in mockery. The people make a terrible cry, accepting the consequences of Jesus’ death…This most Jewish Gospel affirms that it was all the people…Pilate probably gave in in the end because of the need to keep in with the emperor (Jn. 19:12).”1
The resurrection of the saints that occurs when Jesus is resurrected is also found only in Matthew. Finally, Matthew, a Jew, is the one who records the Great Commission in which Jesus tells His disciples to go to all the nations. Nixon closes his commentary with these words:
“Emmanuel, ‘God with us’ (1:13) in humiliation, is now glorified and with His disciples until the close of the age (cf. 13:39, 40, 49; 24:3). He has accom- plished His work in His incarnation. He gives us His presence so that we may accomplish ours.”
I love the way in which Matthew reminds us that even as Jesus came to be Emmanuel, ‘God with us’, Jesus gave us His promise that He is still with us right now. Whatever may happen as we fulfill the work He has given us to do, we are never alone; He is with us always.
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
Pilate Washes His Hands (Pilate se lave les mains), James Tissot: No known copyright restrictions.
1R. E. Nixon, “Matthew,”The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds.,
A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 849.
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter