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The Testimony of the Grave-clothes.

The Testimony of the Grave-clothes.

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Matins, Easter-Day, 1874.
The Gospel for Easter-Day. — S. John xx. 1-9.

Matins, Easter-Day, 1874.
The Gospel for Easter-Day. — S. John xx. 1-9.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 07, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE TESTIMOY OF THE GRAVE-CLOTHES. BY H. . GRIM LEY, M.A., Matins, Easter-Day, 1874. The Gospel for Easter-Day. — S. John xx. 1-9. My friends, our Lord after His Resurrection, whenever He appears to His disciples, impresses them as He had never impressed them before. His manifestations have more or less of mystery about them. Death and the grave seem to have wrought a mysterious change in Him. Whenever He becomes visible to them, the disciples are well assured that they look upon the same dear Lord whom they knew before the sad days just ended. The voice which greets them with sweet benediction — that is the voice they have often listened to with rapt attention. The eyes which now gaze so gently upon them are the same which oft before have glanced upon them with love, or pity, or reproof. The hands which they touch, and in which they see the print of the nails which fastened them to the cross — those are the hands whose loving grasp they oft have felt. In truth, that they are looking upon the body of their Lord they have not the slightest doubt ; they feel assured that they behold the body which was nailed to the cross, and was afterwards laid in the garden-tomb.' And yet there is something about our risen Lord — some- thing indeed scarcely discernible to the bodily senses, but evident to the heart — ^which causes the disciples to be im- 20 The Testimony of the Graveclothes. pressed with a deep feeling of awe. They see with the bodily eye the same Lord and Master they knew before ; but to the eye of the soul he is diflferent The Christ they knew before was Christ the Man of Sorrows ; the Christ they behold now
is Christ the Glorified Saviour. It was their high privilege before to walk with the Son of Man ; but they walked with Him then in His days of suffering — suffering which ended in agony and death. ow they see the Son of Man in His days of triumph over death and the grave. Before they beheld the Sacred Humanity of their Lord in its humiliation ; now they behold the same Humanity glorified. True, His Divine glory had not been at every moment veiled from them. Throughout all His sojourn upon earth that glory was ever with Him. They beheld it, and lo ! it was full of grace and truth ; but their hearts, it would seem, were not illumined sufficiently for them to acknowledge it — as S. John afterwards did — as the glory of the only-begotten of the Father, of the Word made flesh. When with the disciples before His crucifbdon, Jesus, though God and Man, was only recognised by them as to His humanity. They saw Him too as a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief. They were witnesses of His humiliation. For He was here on earth not only in a state of glorification, but also in a state of humiliation. He who came amongst men in the likeness of man, and "humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even unto the death of the cross,'' — His humiliation, my friends, was not limited to that mighty act of humiliation — the martyrdom on the cross j but was endured by Him all through His earthly life. His life was a continuous martyrdom right through from commencement to close — a continuous humiliation. For He took upon Himself our human nature, and fought with all the evils to which that nature had been enslaved— fought and conquered them all. He entered into the realm of Humanity in order to banish from it all the evils which had overrun it, — ^in order The Testimony of the Graveclothes. 21 to bow down the self-love under whose mfluence men wander to death and ruin — ^to bow down that self-love under the yoke of the Divine love, which as it takes possession of the human soul leads it on to heavenly glory. And thus He
was the Saviour of the world, the Redeemer of mankind — Saviour and Redeemer, not simply in His death, but in both life and death. All through His earthly career He was accomplishing man's redemption— all through He was work- ing out our salvation. In life as well as in death. He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities. All through His earthly life did it please His Heavenly Father to grieve Him, to lay on Him the iniquity of us all. His mart3rrdom on the cross was the glorious consummation of a martyrdom life-long; and when the cry escaped from lips soon to become pallid with death — the cry " It is finished,"  — the combat with the powers of darkness was ended. The solemn prayer uttered to the Father shortly before the agony in the garden — the prayer " Father, glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee " — ^was answered. And so after the Resurrection of the Holy Jesus, the disciples behold Him not as they have seen Him before. He comes amongst them Man of Sorrows no longer, but their glorified Lord. The glory which before has from time to time flashed upon their half-illumined souls, shines out continuously. Whenever the risen Lord appears in their midst, they recognise the abiding glory which hitherto though it has not been wholly hidden from them, has not been wholly revealed to them. The fulness of time hitherto had not come ; full light had not been shed upon their souls ; the Saviour's humiliation had not yet been completed. And now the risen Lord, whose humiliation is past, whose glory is no longer veiled by sorrow and suffering, manifests Himself to those whose hearts have been well-nigh rent with woe. The glorified body of the Lord, though the same which was taken down from the cross, nevertheless seems 22 The Testimony of the Graveclothes. as though in a mysterious way transfigured with the divine glory which sorrow and suffering have now no power to

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