In both the crucifixion and resurrection, Matthew has a greater eschatological emphasis: the earthquakes, the splitting of rocks, the opening of tombs. These signs are meant to point to our redemption and salvation. Boring (504-5) writes:
The resurrection is an eschatological event, the ultimately decisive event for human history, not merely something spectacular that happened to Jesus. Thus resurrection faith is not merely believing that a dead body came back to life, or that the tomb was empty on Easter morning. Those who believed that Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead did not have resurrection faith (14:1; 16:14). The soldiers and chief priests who knew the fact that Jesus had “come back to life” did not have Christian faith in the resurrection (28:11-15).
What is needed for resurrection faith? It is perhaps the shattering of the status quo. Women, who can’t be witnesses, are called by God to be witnesses of the resurrection. All of the disciples who had run away and Peter who had denied Jesus, are called “my brothers” by the risen Jesus (28:10). The women also become agents of reconciliation! Not only is the believers’ attitude about death radically changed – there is life beyond death, just as Jesus said; but also their attitude about people whom society considered “least,” such as women and children, was transformed.
How long would the disciples have to rely solely on the women’s word and witness? However long it would take to walk from Jerusalem to Galilee. That is where Jesus promises they would see him (and they do in 28:17).