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The Resurrection of Christ.

The Resurrection of Christ.

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"The Lord is risen indeed," Luke xxiv, 34=.

"The Lord is risen indeed," Luke xxiv, 34=.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 27, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE RESURRECTIO OF CHRIST. REV. THOMAS A. MORRIS"I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen," Revelation i, 18. This account of our Lord Jesus Christ is given by him- self, who is the purest, the most interesting and extraordi- nary character that ever appeared in our world — in com- parison of whom the age of Methuselah, the meekness of Moses, strength of Sampson, patience of Job, wisdom of Solomon, love of John, and eloquence of Apollos, all dwindle into insignificance. The narrative of his life is a history of wonders. He was conceived by the over- shadowing of the power of the Highest; his birth was announced by a mission of angels; the star of heaven directed the wise men of the east to Bethlehem, an obscure village, to worship in a manger the infant Redeemer of the world; by his juvenile intelligence, he confounded the elders and doctors of the law ; by a series of miracles the most merciful, and yet the most magnificent, he reversed and restored at will the laws of nature ; and by his suffer- ings in the closing scene of his earthly pilgrimage, to which he voluntarily surrendered himself, he shook the globe, and darkened the world. To crown the whole, it appeared suitable, that he should demonstrate the divinity of his character and mission, by rising from the dead. The SER. XVI.] THE RESURRECTIO OF CHRIST. 159 resurrection of Christ is a matter of fact in his history, with which the whole system of Christianity must stand or fall; and, which, considering its importance, is too much neglected by the heralds of the cross ; but which, we are happy to believe, and, therefore, cheerfully state, admits of proofs the most certain, and arguments the most incon-
trovertible ; consequently, all the indulgence we ask is an impartial hearing, while we call up some of the main features of the subject. A resurrection is a restoration from a state of death to a state of life — a return from the grave of the same body that went into it; hence, to be certain of Christ's resurrection, we must first be certain of his death. And did he die? Ask the Jews that prosecuted him, the governor who passed sentence upon him, and the soldiers that executed him, the crowd of spectators who witnessed his dying agony, heard him say, "It is finished," and saw his head recline upon his shoulder ! Ask all nature, the rending vail, the darkened sun, the shivering rocks, the opening tombs, the rising saints, and the trembling earth ! Ask the soldiers that were sent to hasten the death of the sufferers, and broke the bones of the first and of the second that were crucified with him, but when they came to Jesus broke not his bones, because he was dead already ; " but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came thereout blood and water," for the washing of the nations, clearly indicating that life was extinct ! Ask Joseph who begged the body for interment, wrapped it in clean linen and laid it in his own new tomb ! Ask the mournful pro- cession of weeping disciples that followed and saw him laid in the sepulchre! They all proclaim him dead, and no one doubts the fact. We notice next the means used to prevent his resur- rection. Immediately after the interment, a delegation of Christ's enemies waited on the governor, "Saying, Sir, 160 THE RESURRECTIO OF CHRIST. fsER. XVI. we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command there- fore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and
say unto the people, He is risen from the dead : so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch : go your way, make it as sure as ye can." Whereupon, a military detachment from among the regular troops stationed at Jerusalem, under the newly founded empire of Rome, was ordered to the sepulchre, whose employers showed them the deposit which they were called out to defend ; rolled a huge stone, used as a lid or shutter, to the mouth of the sepulchre ; affixed the governor's seal, to show that all was done by public authority ; gave the necessary orders, and retired. Let it be here remarked, that all these precautions to prevent the resurrection of Christ, are only additional evidences that the fact really transpired, rendering it more obvious than it otherwise could have been. What a solemn crisis was this in the history of the Christian Church. The Shep- herd of Israel was smitten, and all his flock scattered ; the enemies of the cross seemed to have a momentary triumph ; Zion was prostrated, and bleeding at a thousand veins ; the Savior was about to demonstrate that he was the Son of God, or be detected as an impostor ; the truth or falsity of revealed religion was then to be fully and fairly tested. All was anxiety on either side. The wheels of time seemed to linger, but the hardy soldiers were firm at their posts, by night and day. The approach of day on the third morn was announced by the faint glimmer which the morning star shed upon the soldier's spear. The interest of the occasion was increasing. Presently, the eastern horizon was slightly streaked with the dawn of day. The soldiers took courage, and perhaps said, "The victory is ours." Already, in their imagination, they had returned to their SER. XVI.] THE RESURRECTIO OF CHRIST. 161 employers to be greeted with welcome, and applauded with shouts of triumph, and rewarded with the wages of iniquity. But suddenly they were roused from this reverie by an aw- ful earthquake that convulsed the tombs, and by the appear-

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