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The Living One.

The Living One.

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BY James DeKoven

" Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but
is risen." — St. Luke xxiv., part of verses 5 and 6.
BY James DeKoven

" Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but
is risen." — St. Luke xxiv., part of verses 5 and 6.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE LIVIG OE.BY James DeKoven" Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, butis risen." — St. Luke xxiv., part of verses 5 and 6.Over against the sepulchre on Good Friday evening,as the sun went down, the holy women were sitting. Theyhad seen the Sacred Form all cold and still, laid in thestony bed. They had returned and prepared spices andointments to embalm their Lord, and had rested the Sab-bath day according to the commandment. The great stonehad been rolled to the door of the sepulchre ; the Romanguard all day and night had watched the spot. In thesolemn stillness, a mighty earthquake had shaken the holycity, and startled with affright chief priests and scribes,Pontius Pilate and Herod. Strange thoughts must havefilled the hearts of those who waited for redemption inIsrael. It was at midnight that God had brought the chil-dren of Israel out of the land of Egypt, the house of.bondage. It was at midnight that Samson had arisen andcarried away the posts and the bars of the city of Gaza.It was at midnight that Gideon came upon the hosts of theDigitized byGoogleTHE LIVIG OE. 189enemy with the trumpets and the lamps from the vesselsbroken. It was at midnight that the two closed gates of Babylon had opened before God's chosen deliverer. Whatnow if one, of whom these were but the types, shouldbreak in pieces the gates of brass, and cut asunder the barsof iron? But the day began to dawn; the first faintstreaks of light were seen far over the Mount of Olives.There was the first murmur of awakening life, a stir amidthe hush of nature and of man, as the holy women, bear-
ing the heavy weight of myrrh and spices, went forth upontheir errand. They did not dare to speak ; their very tearswere dried. Their footsteps echoed in the stony way, asthey passed by temple and palace and lowly hut, outthrough the Western Gate. Yes, there was Calvary. Itwas there the crosses stood ; the very earth was dentedwith the tread of the thousand feet of them that hadwatched that awful sight ; upon the ground, that all inan-imate had wondered with a dumb amazement, there wasstill the stain of blood. A little farther, and lo ! the gar-den gate, the rocky cavern, and the silent tomb; somestately palm, some gnarled olive-tree with deep-greenleaves ; perchance the freshness of the grass and the faintodor of early spring flowers. What mattered it to themwhen He was dead ?But, as they drew nearer, a strange perplexity. Thestone, sealed with the Roman seal and guarded by the Ro-man guard, was rolled away. Within lay the darknessand the shadow ; and He, as yet they thought, was lyingthere. I see them pause before the open door. Theystrain their eyes ; they gaze at one another, and scarc% cansee for tears, or speak for an ever-deepening awe. Theytread the sacred spot with noiseless footsteps; and lo!14Digitized byGoogle190 SERMOS.their Master is not there! They see the linen clothesfolded and wrapped together, and the napkin in a place byitself with a divine order. They pass once more into theopen day, and as the first bright rays of dancing sunlightlight up city and hill and the peaceful garden, two shiningangels greet them, white in their robes of righteousness,radiant with the joy of the everlasting morning, with thestartling but blessed words: "Why seek ye the livingamong the dead ? He is not here, but is risen."
Eighteen centuries, my brethren, have not availed tomake the mind fully grasp all that was meant by thosewondrous words. They fell upon the affrighted ear of thewomen, and knocked at the door of their hearts, andcould not enter because of exceeding joy. It was not tillthe day had passed, nor even then, till Mary Magdalen, andSt. John, and St. Peter, who had denied Him, and thosetwo disciples to whom He was known in the breaking of bread, had told the story of His resurrection — till theythemselves had heard Him say, " Peace be with you," andhad fallen at His feet and worshiped Him — nay, till St.Thomas had broken forth into the confession of the faith," My Lord and my God " — that they fully knew what thewords implied.Do we understand them ? The flowers blossom on thealtar, the alleluias sound from white-robed choirs, theawful sacrifices are offered amid the adoring faithful. Wesay it is Easter-tide ; Christ is risen. However joyful ourlives, there is to-day a deeper joy. In its spring-tide andits freshness, there is a better spring-tide. As perchancewe look back over a long pathway shaded with cypresstrees, on mournful marbles and quiet graves, the sunlightplays, and amid the chanting joy of the holy season andDigitized byGoogleTHE LIVIG OE. 191the worship, the solemn but comforting strain falls on theear : " O death, where is thy sting ? O grave, where isthy victory ? "The fullness of Easter joy is to be found in understand-ing the meaning of the text. " Why seek ye the livingamong the dead % " There is a kind of reproof in theangel's words — as when our Saviour said on that same day,u O fools and slow of heart to believe, ought not Christ to

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