After discussing his views on worshipping idols, Paul finally ended with his views on the resurrection. He stated that Christ had died for our sins, was buried, and rose on the third day according to the scriptures. Paul then asked if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of them say that there is no resurrection of the dead? Thus, he addressed the question of a general resurrection for all.
They did not believe Mary (Mk 16:11-16:11)
“But when they heard
That he was alive,
And had been seen
By Mary Magdalene,
They would not believe it.”
κἀκεῖνοι ἀκούσαντες ὅτι ζῇ καὶ ἐθεάθη ὑπ’ αὐτῆς ἠπίστησαν.
This long ending of Mark is the only text to indicate that there was some doubt about the resurrection of Jesus, although Matthew, chapter 28:17, indicated some doubt on the part of the apostles. John, chapter 20:24-29, had the doubting Thomas story. Here, the text said that when they heard that Jesus was alive (κἀκεῖνοι ἀκούσαντες ὅτι ζῇ), and had been seen by Mary Magdalene (καὶ ἐθεάθη ὑπ’ αὐτῆς), they would not believe it (ἠπίστησαν). They had some skepticism about this story about the risen Jesus, perhaps because Mary Magdalene, a woman, was bringing them this news.
The women depart from the tomb (Mt 28:8-28:8)
They left the tomb
And great joy.
καὶ ἀπελθοῦσαι ταχὺ ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου μετὰ φόβου καὶ χαρᾶς μεγάλης ἔδραμον ἀπαγγεῖλαι τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ.
This text is similar to Mark, chapter 16:8-10, but there the whole question of the short and long ending of Mark comes up. In verse 8, the scared women do not tell anyone, then in verse 9, they told Peter and his friends, and then in verse 10, Mary Magdalene told those who had been mourning his death. Luke, chapter 24:10, had Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James, and the other women tell the apostles about the resurrection. John, chapter 20:2, had only Mary Magdalene tell Peter and the other beloved disciple about Jesus’ resurrection. Clearly Mary Magdalene was involved in these incidents at the tomb. Here Matthew said that these women, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, left the tomb quickly (καὶ ἀπελθοῦσαι ταχὺ ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου) with both fear and grace or great joy (μετὰ φόβου καὶ χαρᾶς μεγάλης). They ran to tell the disciples of Jesus what had happened to him (ἔδραμον ἀπαγγεῖλαι τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ). Thus, the resurrection of Jesus became common knowledge to the male disciples of Jesus via these women, Mary Magdalene in particular.
Jewish religious leaders want to have the tomb secure (Mt 27:63-27:64)
We remember what
This impostor said
While he was still alive.
‘After three days,
I will rise again.’
That the tomb
Be made secure
Until the third day.
His disciples may go.
They may steal him away.
Then they will tell
‘He has risen
From the dead.’
The last deception
Would be worse
Than the first.”
λέγοντες Κύριε, ἐμνήσθημεν ὅτι ἐκεῖνος ὁ πλάνος εἶπεν ἔτι ζῶν Μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας ἐγείρομαι.
κέλευσον οὖν ἀσφαλισθῆναι τὸν τάφον ἕως τῆς τρίτης ἡμέρας, μή ποτε ἐλθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ κλέψωσιν αὐτὸν καὶ εἴπωσιν τῷ λαῷ Ἠγέρθη ἀπὸ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ ἔσται ἡ ἐσχάτη πλάνη χείρων τῆς πρώτης.
This is unique to Matthew, who remarked that this group of high priests and Pharisees called Pilate “Lord (λέγοντες Κύριε)!” They said that they remembered (ἐμνήσθημεν) what this impostor or deceiver had said (ὅτι ἐκεῖνος ὁ πλάνος εἶπεν), while he was still alive or living (ἔτι ζῶν). He had said that after three days (Μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας), he would rise up again (ἐγείρομαι). Thus, they wanted Pilate to command (κέλευσον οὖν) that the tomb be made secure (ἀσφαλισθῆναι τὸν τάφον) until the third day (ἕως τῆς τρίτης ἡμέρας). Otherwise, Jesus’ disciples might come and steal him away (μή ποτε ἐλθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ κλέψωσιν αὐτὸν). Then they would tell the people (καὶ εἴπωσιν τῷ λαῷ) that he had risen from the dead (Ἠγέρθη ἀπὸ τῶν νεκρῶν). Finally, this last deception or sin would be worse than the first deceptions (καὶ ἔσται ἡ ἐσχάτη πλάνη χείρων τῆς πρώτης). In other words, these Jewish leaders wanted Pilate to have guards around the tomb of Jesus because they remembered that while he was alive he said that he would arise in 3 days. Mathew has these chief priests and Pharisees predict the resurrection of Jesus.
The resurrection (Mt 22:23-22:23)
“That same day,
Came to Jesus.
They said that
There is no resurrection.
They asked him a question.”
Ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Σαδδουκαῖοι, λέγοντες μὴ εἶναι ἀνάστασιν, καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν
Mark, chapter 12:18, and Luke, chapter 20:27, are almost word for word like this question in Matthew. Only Matthew had this happen on the same day (Ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ) as the discussion about the Roman coin. Some Sadducees came to him (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Σαδδουκαῖοι). These Sadducees were another Jewish aristocratic group that was tied to the Temple. However, they did not believe in the bodily resurrection like the Pharisees did, since they said that there was no resurrection (λέγοντες μὴ εἶναι ἀνάστασιν). They too came to Jesus to question him (καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν).