Matthew 28:5

5 But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

Matthew 28:5 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 28:5

And the angel answered and said unto the women
Who being come up, were also affrighted at the sight of the angel. The Arabic version leaves out the first part, "and the angel answered": which is a Jewish way of speaking, when nothing goes before, to which it is a reply; and renders the other part thus, "and said to the two women": but from the other evangelists it appears, that there were more women than two; see ( Mark 16:1 ) ( Luke 24:10 ) ,

fear not ye;
some put an emphasis upon the word "ye", as if used in opposition to the keepers, who had reason to be afraid, but not these good women. It was very common with gracious persons to be filled with fear at the sight of an angel, as Zacharias, and the shepherds; but without reason; they are their friends, their fellow servants, and ministering spirits to them. The Persic version adds, "but come near before, for ye are his familiars": the reason alleged, by the angel, why they had no reason to fear, is,

for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified:
the knowledge which angels have of saints is very considerable, and which arises from their frequent embassies to them, care and guardianship of them, the good offices they perform, and their several ministrations to them; and the knowledge which the angel had of these good women, might not be from immediate revelation, but from the observations he had made of them: they had followed Jesus from Galilee, they had attended him all the while he was on the cross, and were now come to his grave to anoint him; and from their words and gestures, the angel might know that they were the disciples of Christ, and now sought him; and therefore had no reason to fear, as those who were his adversaries: and indeed, such as seek a crucified Christ, and life and salvation by him, have no reason to be afraid of any thing; not of sin, and its damning power, since Christ saves, his blood cleanses, and his righteousness justifies from all sin; nor of the law, its menaces, curses, and condemnation, for Christ has redeemed them from it; nor of Satan, and his principalities and powers, who are spoiled by Christ, and out of whose hands he has ransomed his people; nor of the world, since Christ has overcome it, and delivered his people from it; nor of death, whose sting is taken away, and that abolished as a penal evil; nor of hell, and wrath to come, from which he has saved them; and much less of good angels, who are kindly disposed to them: and such are they that seek a crucified Christ, whom Christ has first sought, and looked up, and found in redemption and the effectual calling; who are made sensible of their lost and dangerous state by nature, to whom Christ has been manifested; and who see both their need of him, and his worth and value: these seek to him in the first place, and with all their hearts, for cleansing, pardon, righteousness, rest, food, salvation, and eternal life: they seek for him where he is, and is revealed, in the Scriptures, in the Gospel, in the ordinances, and at the Father's right hand.

Matthew 28:5 In-Context

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
5 But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.