The civil and religious authorities have asked to seal off Jesus’ tomb because He has promised to rise from the dead. The fact that the authorities recognized this but not the disciples gives some indication as to how much of a shock the events must have been.
The women take on a major role as they return to anoint Jesus’ body. Upon arrival, an angel appears telling the women that Jesus is no longer in the tomb, and that the women must tell the disciples that He will meet them at the appointed place in Galilee.
In Galilee, the disciples meet Jesus on a mountain, and worship Him, but some doubt (the word here also means to hesitate). Jesus comes out to meet them and gives them the Great Commission, telling His disciples to make disciples of all nations, to baptize them in the Trinitarian formula of Father Son and Holy Spirit, and to observe all that He has commanded.
The Gospel of Matthew was probably not conceived as a manual for converts, and the organization of the book suggests that a main theme was the progression of Jesus’ teachings and how increasing tensions affected His ministry. This does not preclude reading Matthew as such a manual.
The closing theme is Gerard Satamian’s Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com