A lot of people are, sadly, a lot like Judas. They follow after
Christ with their feet, but they fail to follow after him with their
heart. These people associate themselves with the Christian Church,
even though they do not really belong there. Often their true natures
will be revealed through their actions. They will commit terrible
sins that are destructive to themselves and others. John 13 does not
tell us what we should do when people commit destructive sins, but
Matthew 18 does.
Matthew 18 tells us to do three things when someone commits a sin that
cannot be overlooked. First, we should go to that person personally,
and seek to understand what he has done and why he did it. If he is
indeed in error, we should use the Bible to show him his fault,
seeking his repentance. If this does not work, we should get one or
two others to go along with us as we seek his repentance. If this
does not work, we should expel this person from the church.
The approach that Jesus gives to deal with sin is the best thing for
the sinner, since it pushes him towards repentance. It is the best
thing for the church, since it ensures holiness within the church and
protects the honor of God’s name. Indeed, if a church habitually
neglects this responsibility, Jesus will not be “among” them.
The cross was the greatest humiliation of Christ, but it was also the
beginning of his exaltation. He stood in the place of sinners and
endured the wrath of God on their behalf. At the cross, Christ
achieved victory over Satan, death, and Hell. By the cross, he will
draw all men to himself.
from the dead affirms to us that Jesus has
completed his earthly work of redemption and that he is indeed
glorious. He took all of our sins upon himself, and he paid the full
penalty for those sins. Thus, it would have been be unfair for the
grave to hold him forever. When he was raised from the dead, he was
glorified by God for having completed his work, and so we are assured
that our ransom has been paid.
It was appropriate, then, that Jesus’ glorious resurrection from the
dead was accompanied by glorious signs. A great earthquake and
angelic messengers struck fear into the hearts of the guards and
ultimately brought comfort to Jesus’ followers.
The angels told the women “He is not here, he has risen,” and then
told them to go look at the place where Jesus lay. This served to
confirm to them that Jesus was indeed alive. Christians in all ages
should take comfort in the empty tomb, for just as Jesus was raised,
so shall those who believe in him be raised.
The angel assigned these women with an important task. They were to
go and tell Jesus’ “brothers” in Galilee of the Gentiles that Jesus
has risen. Those who were once despised and outcast are brought into
the family of God, and are to report this good news to all men.
Through reporting the glory of the resurrection, Christ is glorified
and God’s name is made great.