I didn’t want to be critical, but it seemed like Matthew spent too much time on the Romans. If you read the last pages of Matthew’s gospel, you find the Romans at the end of chapter 27, then again at the start of chapter 28, and then again in the middle of chapter 28! Come on, Matthew! The gospel is supposed to be about Jesus!
But then it hit me. For Matthew’s earliest readers, Roman guards and crosses represented their greatest fears. Maybe that’s why Matthew wanted the early church to read, “The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men” (Matthew 28:4). The guards—the armed, trained Roman guards—practically wet themselves when they saw “him.” Who’s the him? Not the resurrected Jesus. Not the entire army of heavenly angels. No, just one angel. One. The superpower of the first century quaked with fear from the sight of a single angel.
Okay, I’ll take my critique back. Matthew was trying to teach Christians from every generation that we have nothing to fear. Our God is so strong and mighty that we never need to be afraid.
So what do you fear the most these days? Whatever your answer, remember this: Your fears are nothing next to God. Scratch that. They are nothing next to the angels of God. Scratch that. They are nothing next to one of the angels of God!
Do not fear. The God of glorious angels is here.