And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there shall you see him: lo, I have told you.
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Augustine of Hippo
It may be asked how Mark could say, “And going out, they fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid,” whereas Matthew says, “They departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples.” The apparent discrepancy between the two accounts is resolved if we understand that the women dared to say nothing either to the angels (that is, to respond to what they had heard from them) or to the guards whom they had seen lying on the ground. For the joy of which Matthew speaks is not opposed to the fear which Mark recounts. We ought to understand that both fear and joy were at once awakened in their minds, even if Matthew had failed to speak of fear. But the question is settled when he says, “They departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy.”
Beda in loc.: Otherwise; It may be understood that they began to come in the evening, but that it was the dawn of the first day of the week when they reached the sepulchre; that is, that they prepared the spices for anointing the Lord's body in the evening, but that they took them to the sepulchre in the morning. This has been so shortly described by Matthew, that it is not quite clear in his account, but the other Evangelists give the order more distinctly. The Lord was buried on the sixth day of the week, and the women returning from the sepulchre prepared spices and ointments as long as it was lawful to work; on the sabbath they rested, according to the commandment, as Luke plainly declares; and when the Sabbath was past and the evening was come, and the season of labour returned, with zealous devotion they proceeded to purchase such spices as they yet lacked, (this is implied in Mark’s words, “when the Sabbath was past,” that they might go and anoint Jesus, for which purpose they c...
Into Galilee. It is not without reason that the angel informs the women that he will go before them into Galilee; for Galilee is interpreted a transmigration, or a passage. O happy women, who merited the glorious ministry of announcing to a sunk and distressed world the triumphant resurrection of our Redeemer. But thrice happy those souls, who in the day of judgment shall deserve to sing in everlasting canticles, the joy you now conceive in your breasts at the happy resurrection of Jesus. (Ven. Bede)
Moreover, the disciples being Galileans, it was natural for them to return to Galilee, after the festival week of the Passover. (Bible de Vence)
Hom. in Ev., xxi, 4: Or otherwise; “Lightning” inspires terror; “snow” is an emblem of equity; and as the Almighty God is terrible to sinners and mild to the righteous, so this Angel is rightly a witness of His resurrection, and is exhibited with a countenance as lightning, and with raiment as snow, that by His presence He might terrify the wicked, and comfort the good; and so it follows, “And for fear of him the keepers did shake.”
The earthquake is the might of the resurrection, when the sting of death being blunted, and its darkness illuminated, there is stirred up a quaking of the powers beneath, as the Lord of the heavenly powers rises again.
“And, behold, there was a great earthquake.” Our Lord, Son at once of God andman, according to His two-fold nature of Godhead and of flesh, gives a sign one while of His greatness, another while of His lowliness. Thus, though now it wasman who was crucified, and man who was buried, yet the things that were done around show the Son of God.
The Angel in white raiment signifies the glory of His triumph.
The guards lay like dead men in a trance of terror, but the Angel speaks comfort not to them, but to the women, saying, “Fear not ye;” as much as tosay, Let them fear with whom unbelief abides; but do ye who seek the crucified Jesus hear that He has risen again, and has accomplished what He promised.
That if my words fail to convince you, the empty tomb may.
Mystically; “He shall go before you into Galilee,” that is, into the wallowing style of the Gentiles, where before was wandering and stumbling, and the foot had no firm and steady resting-place.
Hom. de Resur., iii: After the mockings and scourgings, after the mingled draughts of vinegar and gall, the pains of the cross, and the wounds, and finally after death itself and Hades, there rose again from the grave a renewed flesh, there returned from obstruction a hidden life, health chained up in death broke forth, with fresh beauty from its ruin. Truly Matthew, by naming the first part of the night, to wit, the evening, denotes the whole night in the end of which they come to the sepulchre. But seeing the Sabbath hindered them from doing this before, he designates the whole night by the earliest portion of it in which it became lawful for them to do whatever, during some period of the night, they designed to do. Thus, “On the evening of the sabbath,” is just the same as if he had said, On the night of the sabbath, i.e. the night which follows the day of the sabbath, which is sufficiently proved by the words which follow, “As it began to dawn towards the first day of the week.” Th...
Why “with fear and great joy”? They had seen an amazing event. It was beyond all their expectations. The tomb had been empty where they had just before seen him laid. The angel led them to the tomb that they might become witnesses both of his tomb and his resurrection. It is evident that no one could have stolen his body, when so many soldiers were sitting nearby him. Hence he raised up himself. For this reason they rejoiced and stood in awe. The women received the reward of continuing with him. They were first to see and gladly declare not only what had been said to them but also what they themselves had seen. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily
He calls upon them not only to behold the evidence but to attest it further to others: “Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.” The angel here is preparing the women to take the good news to the other disciples. They are to tell of the evidence that made them believe—the empty tomb. Furthermore, “he is going before you to Galilee.” He says this to relieve them from anxieties and the fear of danger, that their faith not be hindered. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily
And he prepares them to bear good tidings to others, which thing most of all made them believe. And He said well in Galilee, freeing them from troubles and dangers, so that fear should not hinder their faith.
The angel goes on to say, “Go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen; and behold, he goes before you into Galilee; you will see him there.” The angel here sends not merely the women but the church in the two women. He sends the one so that by sending her he may spread the news far and wide. Here the angel is sending the bride to the bridegroom.
These who had not the faith of love were shaken with a panic fear; and they who would not believe the truth of the resurrection “become” themselves “as deadmen.”.
His fleshly presence, that is; for His spiritual presence is absent from no place. “He is risen, as he said.”.
And this glad tiding is given not to you alone for the secret comfort of your own hearts, but ye must extend it to all who love Him; “Go quickly, and tell his disciples.”
It is to be known that Matthew designs to hint to us a mystical meaning, of how great worthiness this most holy night drew from the noble conquest of death, and the Resurrection of Our Lord. With this purpose he says, “On the evening of the Sabbath.” For whereas according to the wonted succession of the hours of the day, evening does not dawn towards day, but on the contrary darkens towards night, these words show that the Lord shed, by the light of His resurrection joy and brilliance over the whole of this night.
The rolling back of the stone signifies the opening of Christ’s sacraments, which were covered by the letter of the Law. For the Law having been written on stones, is here denoted by the stone.