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Easter Joy

Easter Joy

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Published by glennpease
UPPER CANADA TRACT SOCIETY


This is the day which the Lord hath made ; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
PSALM cxviii. 24.
UPPER CANADA TRACT SOCIETY


This is the day which the Lord hath made ; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
PSALM cxviii. 24.

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Published by: glennpease on May 17, 2013
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EASTER JOYUPPER CAADA TRACT SOCIETYThis is the day which the Lord hath made ; we will rejoice and be glad in it.PSALM cxviii. 24.THE joy of Easter first of all is the joy of a great reactionJL a reaction from anxiety and sorrow. So it was at the timeof Christ s Resurrection. The Apostles had been crushed by thesufferings and death of Jesus Christ. They could not have imaginedbeforehand that one so popular, so powerful, so gifted, so good,would die like a malefactor amid the execrations of the populace,and be buried away out of sight. They had trusted that it had beenHe who should have redeemed Israel. Their disappointment, theirdespondency, their anguish were exactly proportioned to their earlierhopes, and, as is always the case in the life of feeling, one deep feeling answered to another. When He was in His grave all seemed over,and when He appeared first to one and then to another on the day of His Resurrection they could not keep their feelings of welcome anddelight, traversed though these were by a sense of wondering awe,within anything like bounds. * Then were the disciples glad whenthey saw the Lord.And this joy of the first disciples is repeated every year in theheart of the Christian Church. Those who have felt the sorrowfeel also the joy. Those who have entered into Christ s sufferings,and into their own sins as the cause of His sufferings, can risewith glad hearts, I do not say to the heights of apostolicexultation, but certainly to the level of a tranquil delight whichoffers now to our risen Saviour a sincere greeting on His dayof Resurrection. Year by year we Christians accompany our Lord,as it were, over again, to the garden of the agony, to the hall of  judgment, to the way of sorrows, to the hill of the crucifixion.Year by year we stand by in spirit while Joseph of Arimathasa andicodemus lay Him in His grave ; and the tension of sincere feeling,54OUTLIES O VARIOUS PASSAGESof sympathetic sorrow, of penitent and contrite hearts which thisimplies, is followed by a corresponding reaction on Easter morning.Yes, across the interval of eighteen centuries we rejoice over again,
 
in our poor way, with the company of the first disciples. We say toourselves, over again and again, without comprehending all itsmeaning, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared untoSimon. We lay ourselves open to the strong impulse of reactionarydelight which has followed upon the desolation and the misery, andwe cry, This is the day which the Lord hath made ; we will rejoiceand be glad in it.II. And the joy of Easter, secondly, is the joy of a great certainty.The Resurrection of our Saviour is the fact which makes an intelligent Christian certain of the truth of his creed. And in this way itsatisfies a great mental want, and it occasions keen enjoyment bygiving this particular satisfaction ; for the human mind has its joysno less than the human heart. The human mind craves for truth noless truly than does the human heart for an object of affection, orthan the human body for its accustomed nourishment.III. And, thirdly, the joy of Easter is inspired by the hope whichEaster warrants and quickens. Hope and joy are twin sisters. Hopebest enters the human soul when she is leaning on the arm of joy.As the Apostle says, * We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.What is this hope which Easter most distinctly puts before us ?How does it spring from our Saviour s Resurrection ?The hope which Easter sets before us is the completeness of our lifeafter death. When the Apostles saw the risen Being before them as theirLord, when they noted His pierced hands, His feet, His side, His wellremembered form and features, when they conversed with Him, ate withHim, listened to Him, followed Him just as of old, then they knew thatthe very frame of Jesus, killed upon the Cross by a protracted agony,committed to the grave as a bleeding and mangled corpse had reallyrisen from death had opened a new era of hope for the humanrace. And for us in a distant age, this fact that Christ rose fromdeath is not less full of precious hope and joy than for our firstfathers in the faith. In our day there has been, I may say, anothersort of resurrection a resurrection of doubt, and the gloomy uncertainties about the future, which were dissipated by Christ, againthreaten to overshadow sections of Christendom with little less thana Pagan darkness. But, while negative speculation is ever active, thebroad facts of human life remain what they always have been andwhat they always will be. Year by year, month by month, deathclaims its victims from every household. Science and thought, itmay be very reluctantly, bow their heads at the presence of death.They confess his power : they can suggest nothing to relieve the55
 
EASTER DAYgloom which surrounds his empire. Only beside the empty tomb of the rising Jesus can this generation, or those who will succeed us,recover any true hope for the larger destinies of man, for Christ isrisen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that sleep,for, since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead, for, as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be madealive. 1 It is this invigorating, this joyous hope which Easterbestows on us. Unbelief once traced over the gate of a cemeterythe words * They have been. Faith always writes over the gateof a churchyard, * I am the Resurrection and the Life/ To unbelief the dead are the memories of beings who have ceased to be. Tofaith the dead are living, working, it may be praying friends whomnothing but the dulness of sense hides from sight. They are not yetwhat they will be, but they are there. H. P. LIDDO.Easter Joys.This if the day which the Lord hath made ; we will rejoice and be glad in it.PSALM cxviii. 24.THIS is strictly an Easter verse. * The Stone which the buildersrefused,"* Jesus Christ, cast away by the nation which waselected for this very purpose to build up truth in the world * theStone which the builders refused despised, crushed, and buriedMs become the head of the corner ; vindicated, raised, exalted thisday is become the head of the corner. This is the Lord s doing ;it is marvellous in our eyes. * This is the day the day of theRaising of the Stone * This is the day which the Lord hath made ;we will rejoice and be glad in it.And Easter Day is the parent of all days. For the Sunday is themother of the week, and all the Sundays spring from this Sunday ;and it would be well for us if we trace back all the days of the week to our Sundays, and all our Sundays to the Resurrection.The Sabbath Day, at the beginning, was the first material creationof God a beautiful world had been created out of chaos ; and Godsanctified the Resurrection by a rest, and the day of the completionof the visible creation of our universe became * the day which theLord had made. The morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy.After four thousand years of fall and death a better and a purer

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