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Matthew 28:6

ESV He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.
NIV He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
NASB He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.
CSB He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
NLT He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.
KJV He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

What does Matthew 28:6 mean?

The angel at Jesus' tomb is speaking to some women who have come to add burial spices to Jesus' body (Matthew 28:1–5). They had wondered who would roll away the large stone for them. They were present when Jesus was initially buried (Matthew 27:61), so they know there is an extremely large stone closing the entrance. They may not have known that the tomb had been sealed and guarded (Matthew 27:62–66). Arriving, they find the stone already rolled away and a terrifying-looking angel present.

The angel has told the women not to be afraid, the kind of comment angels often need to make when first speaking to human beings (Luke 1:11–13; 2:9–10; Acts 10:3–4). He knows they are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. Then he adds these immortal words: "He is not here, for he has risen, as he said." These words hold the hope of Christianity for the world. Jesus had defeated death. He had died for the sins of humanity, and He had been resurrected to eternal, immortal life.

The phrase "as he said" is crucial. That Jesus knew He would be resurrected and told His followers ahead of time was another confirmation that He was truly the Son of God. It was more evidence that He fully participated in the events that led to His terrible death and glorious resurrection.

In Matthew's gospel, Jesus declared on three occasions that He would be killed and then be raised "on the third day" (Matthew 16:21; 17:23; 20:18–19). Commentors often debate the minute details of how long Jesus was in the grave. Such debates miss the point of an obvious prophecy, and even more obvious miracle. Even on the shortest possible time scale, Christ would have died on Friday, the first day. His body would have lain in the tomb on Saturday, the second day. He was resurrected on Sunday, the third day.

The angel offers evidence to the women of Jesus' resurrection. He points to the place where Jesus' body had previously been. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, at least, witnessed Joseph of Arimathea placing Jesus' body there (Matthew 27:61). Now it is clearly gone. The empty tomb is the hope of eternal life for all who believe in Jesus.
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