In Matthew’s gospel, the Great Commission is closely linked with the account of Jesus’ resurrection. Both the angels and Jesus insisted that His disciples should go to Galilee to meet Him. When they arrived, He delivered the Great Commission to them. Viewing the Great Commission in light of the Resurrection, we see that:
- Because Jesus rose from the dead, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). He has been “crowned with glory and honor” with “everything in subjection under his feet” (Hebrews 2:7, 8). With His resurrection, Jesus conquered what no one before had overcome: the power of sin and the curse of death. I see in my own life how easily sin entangles me and how easily I let my own apathy kill my daily communion with God. These are powerful enemies! Yet Jesus is worthy of all authority because He broke the bonds that no man or angel could break. He was the One who crushed the devil beneath His feet.
- Because Jesus rose from the dead, we are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). As the victorious ruler and Most High God, He is worthy of all worship and praise. It is an affront and a tragedy that the entire world is not now worshipping Him. Our primary goal in evangelism is to bring the good news of salvation so that people will be freed to worship Jesus. We cannot be satisfied with a “decision” for Christ—we want true disciples who will worship Him with their words, actions, and attitudes!
- Because Jesus rose from the dead, He is with us always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). He has been with us for the past two thousand years, and He will be with us even if He doesn’t return for another two millennia. He will be with us as we worship Him and as we make disciples of others. He will be with us as we struggle with sin and He will be with us to give us victory over it. And He will be with us when this life ends and death gives way to the final victory. In all things, He is on our side and working alongside us as a friend and a brother. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 9:35).