Matthew 28:1-5

Mat 28:1 (KJB)
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

The seventh day sabbath was now coming to an end and it was getting toward dawn on Sunday morning. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the wife of Cleopas, had decided to go to the sepulchre and complete the anointing of the body of Jesus. (Mark 16:1 KJV) And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. The time frame was just before dawn and the sun may have turned the sky from black to purple. Little did they know it, that they were about to experience the greatest day in the recorded history of man. Each of the gospel writers wrote about a different aspect of the resurrection as the day unfolded. There was soon going to be much activity and Jerusalem would once again be buzzing with rumors and stories. It is not recorded as to whether the Pharisees or Sadducees had visited the tomb to confirm what they would eventually hear. The reason that the church meets on Sunday is to commemorate the Lordís resurrection.

Mat 28:2 (KJB)
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

At the same time the women had started toward the tomb in the dark, a great earthquake occurred. The women were not at the tomb yet but no doubt had felt the large tremor. The angel of the Lord had descended from Heaven and came and rolled back the stone. He did this not so Jesus could get out but so His disciples could look in and see that He kept His promise that He would rise on the third day. The ones who saw this event were those who were keeping watch at the tomb. They saw the angel sitting upon the large stone which he rolled back. This was also when the women had arrived at the tomb. The angel was sent to these women not to the watch that Pilate gave.

Mat 28:3 (KJB)
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

His appearance of being snowy white and shining as bright as lightning does is characteristic of a heavenly being. Remember how John saw Jesus when he was beginning the book of Revelation. (Rev 1:14 KJV) His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; The white represents pureness. The countenance here deals more with what his face looked like. He must have been an awesome looking angel, probably much different than the angel figurines in stores which have the cute religious faces on them which are nothing but an artistís belief in what they look like and in what would sell.

Mat 28:4 (KJB)
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

The guards began to tremble in such fear that they began to shake and tremble. These soldiers probably saw much battle and were hardened but when they set their eyes upon something like that angel, they became as dead men, that is, their fear was so strong they seemed to be paralyzed while they were looking at him. John in Revelation did the same thing when he saw Jesus. (Rev 1:17 KJV) And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: They probably had been stunned to the point of being unable to move but eventually they did muster the strength to leave and they did.

Mat 28:5 (KJB)
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

Isnít it quite interesting that these big rough men had become paralyzed with fear at the site of the angel. (Luke 24:5 KJV) And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? The women were afraid but did not act like the men. The angel said to them ďfear not.Ē It is in the Imperative mood making it a command not to fear. The angel then continued saying that he knew they were seeking Jesus which was crucified. The women were seeking Jesus and there was no reason to fear but the men were not seeking and anything outside the realm of earth would cause them paralyzing fear.