THE WOME AT THE SEPULCHER.

BY REV. FREDERICK WHITFIELD, M.A.,
Mark xvi ; 1 — 8.
And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the
mother
of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come
and
anoint him. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week,
they
came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun ; and they said among
themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepul-
cher? (And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away),
for it was very great. And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young
man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment ; and they
were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted ; ye seek
Jesus
of azareth, which was crucified; he is risen; he is not here; behold the
place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter
that he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him, as he said
unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulcher ; for
they trembled, and were amazed ; neither said they anything to any
man ;
for they were afraid.
The circumstances in which Christ is placed ever draws
to light the true disciple. The death of Christ brings
Joseph of Arimathea on the stage of Divine revelation.
But for that, who would ever have heard of him ? It was
the same great event that drew to light another secret
disciple, icodemus. But for that, who would have known
that his Christianity had so grown since the night on which
he went to meet the Saviour ? It was the circumstances
in which that Saviour was placed that brought them out
of obscurity and tested their character. And it was simply
THE WOME AT THE SEPULCHEE. 119
because of their connection with Jesus that the Holy Spirit
gives them a place and a name in the book of God.
It was so then, it is so now. If there was a true disciple
anywhere, the circumstances in which the Saviour was
placed drew him to light. In this respect He was indeed
the light of the world, making manifest everything and
every one around Him. It is the same now, for Christ is
still here in His members. If there be any reality in our
religion, the circumstances in which His people are placed
will bring it to light. "We shall be found gathering round
His members to minister to them for the sake of Jesus. If
we do not, then there is no reality in our religion. And
it is just as we thus gather round Christ, that we are re-
corded by the Spirit. We get a living name before the
throne.
These are the opening features of this narrative. The
women are seen round the person of the Lord Jesus. His
circumstances have drawn them to light, and given them
an imperishable record in the book of God.
Header, if you want a name in heaven, you must be in
connection with Jesus. He must draw you to light. You
will have no record on high but one of shame, if you are
not livingly associated with Jesus.
And how very different are the characters seen around
Him here ! " Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of
James, and Salome." The differences morally are great.
The difference of degrees of social rank may be great. The
world may think much of these things ; and man, on ac-
count of these things, may be severed from his fellow-man.
But not around Jesus. There all are equal. The Spirit
of God takes no note of such distinctions. They are seen
around Jesus, and that is enough. There is the aristocracy
120 COUSELS FROM THE WORDS OF TRUTH.
of heaven. There is the blood- royal. The Spirit of God,
the great Artist of heaven, draws the picture of these
women seen around the person of the Lord Jesus, and
hangs it up in the gallery of grace, that we may behold
and learn.
What urged them onward at this early hour of the day
with their spices ? Love, only love. " The love of Christ
constraineth us." This so filled their hearts that there
was no room for another thought. The difficulties were
never taken into account. The huge stone at the door of
the sepulcher, and how it was to be "rolled away," never
entered their minds. Love, only love, urged them on-
ward. Love had, no doubt, kept them awake all the pre-
vious night, watching for the dawn, and the moments, we
may be sure, were long and tedious. What will not the
love of Christ do ?
But now the difficulties of the way have to be faced. A
formidable one presents itself. " Who shall roll us away
the stone from the door of the sepulcher ?" There was
good ground, too, for this difficulty. They were weak
women, and the stone was " great." It was no trifling
obstacle. It would have turned any one else back. It
would have cooled any other motive than the " love of
Christ." Ah ! duties are ours ; issues are God's. Let us
go onward, and leave the " great stone," to God. The love
of Christ burns within us. We are going to see the
Saviour. Perish every other thought ! Leave difficulties
with God. " Roll thy way upon the Lord ; trust also in
Him : and He shall bring it to pass."
So they did. The difficulty, the "great stone,"' de-
terred them not. The love of Christ was stronger. And
God, always true to His promise, was true to their love.
THE WOME AT THE SEPULCHER. 121
" And when they looked, they saw that the stone was
rolled away; for it was very great."
Christian, go onward. Let the love of Christ be thy
motive. And if difficulties arise, as they surely will, even
the " very great stone," yet pause not to ask " Who will
roll us away the stone ?" Leave that to God, and go on-
ward. Thy motto is, and must always be, " Onward."
ot only do they find the stone rolled away, but receive
the glad tidings of a living Saviour. The tomb is empty.
The herald of heaven is sitting in triumph amid the
trophies of death. What a reward for persevering love !
Yes, if we go onward under the constraining influence of
the love of Christ, two things will always be the result, we
shall find difficulties overcome, and that our " labor has
not been in vain in the Lord." Love shall have a plain
path, though every step of it must be trod by faith. Love
shall have a bright reward, for a living Saviour is before it
to fill every niche of the heart with gladness and joy.
Still we are in the body. Sin and infirmity intermingle
with everything here. They are " affrighted." That
which should have filled them with the highest joy, fills
them with fear. The empty grave, the pledge of every
blessing to the believer, and the triumph of heaven over
death, is too much for the heart. Ah ! how much God's
truth has to contend with before it can find a home in our
affections. God comes to our souls with the hand full of
blessings, and we shrink and tremble, and hesitate and
doubt. We fear to take them.
Still, with all this infirmity and sin, the love of Christ
was there, and that shall always be corrected if under a
cloud, and shall never go unrewarded. " And he saith unto
them, Be not affrighted ; ye seek Jesus of azareth, which
122 COUSELS FROM THE WORDS OF TRUTH.
was crucified ; He is risen ; He is not here ; behold the
place where they laid Him." This is ever the word of
Jesus to the loving yet fearful heart, " Fear not." It was
always on His lips to strengthen the drooping and to
encourage the weak. And why was this said to these
women? We are told the reason : " Ye seek Jesus." To
those who seek, "all things shall be added unto them."
The word of encouragement to every real, earnest seeker of
Jesus still is, " Fear not."
" But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter that He
goeth before you into Galilee ; there shall ye see Him, as He
said unto you." Yes, seeker of Jesus, " He goeth before
you." " Fear not ; it is I; be not afraid." At every bend
and turn of your pilgrimage-path you may hear His voice,
" Fear not ; ye seek Jesus ; He goeth before you." Through
the flood or across the plain ; through the dark valley, or
over the mountain-height ; in the dark path of sorrow, or
in the sunshine of prosperity, " fear not," seeker of Jesus,
for " He goeth before you." " All things shall work to-
gether for thy good." Thou knowest the voice of the Good
Shepherd, who " goeth before thee." Thou shalt see Him,
even as "He has said unto thee." Thou shalt see Him,
and be like Him. Only press on. " Seek Jesus ;" and in
every path thou wilt see His footprint. ot one good thing
of all that the Lord thy God hath promised shall be lacking.
" But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter that He
goeth before you." Mark how Peter is specially mentioned
here. Man would have said, yea, Christian man, " He
basely denied Thee three times. He cursed and swore,
and told lies. He acted the coward's part; leave him to
himself." Ah, God is not like man. This was the very
reason why he ought to be remembered. The man whom
THE WOME AT THE SEPULCHER. 123
the world despises, whom the Church would cast out ; the
Son of God would send a loving message to. Because he
would be unthought of by man, the Lord would think of
him. Therefore the mention specially of Peter, and lest his
heart should be swallowed up of sorrow. Oh, the wondrous
grace of God, the love of Jesus ! How unlike men, even
the best of men ! Yes ; "go and tell " that Jesus is risen !
Tell it to the poor downcast one, the wanderer, the far-off
one, that Jesus is risen. Tell the glad news that " cap-
tivity is captive led," that death is conquered, and the
grave rifled of its prey, for Jesus is risen ! Tell it to every
poor perplexed pilgrim, toiling his upward way to Zion,
Jesus is risen. Tell it ; and let every ear listen to the glad
sound of victory over death and the grave. Tell it ; and
bid every heart leap up with joy. He is risen, and we have
risen with Him. He is risen, and has left all our sins in
the grave where He lay. "He is risen ;" let us rise with
Him, in newness of .life. " He goeth before " us ; let us
keep our eye on the Conqueror, and follow in His path.
" Let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
looking unto Jesus." It may be with fears; it maybe
with trembling; it may be in "amazement," with all the
infirmities of a sinful body cleaving to us ; still let us seek.
Still let us follow, with our eye fixed on Him ; and soon
the Conqueror's crown shall be placed on the brow of the
faithful servant, and everlasting joy shall be on his head.
What poor weeping ones were saying
Eighteen hundred years ago,
"We, the same weak faith betraying,
Say in our sad hours of woe.
Looking at some trouble lying
In the dark and dread unknown,
We too often ask with sighing,
" Who shall roll away the stone?"
124 COUSELS FROM THE WORDS OF TRUTH,
Thus with eare our spirits crushing,
When they might from care be free,
And in joyous song outgushing,
Rise in rapture, Lord, to Thee.
For, before the way was ended,
Oft we've had with joy to own,
Angels have from heaven descended,
And have rolled away the stone.
Many a storm-cloud sweeping o'er us
ever pours on us its rain :
Many a grief we see before us
ever comes to cause us pain.
Ofttimes in the feared " to-morrow'*
Sunshine comes, the cloud has flown ;
Ask not, then, in foolish sorrow,
" Who shall roll away the stone ?"
Burden not thy soul with sadness ;
Make a wiser, better choice ;
Drink the wine of life with gladness,
God doth bid thee, " Man, rejoice.''
In to-day's bright sunlight basking,
Leave to-morrow's cares alone ;
Spoil not present joys by asking,
" Who shall roll away the stone ?"
1. 68 FREE BOOKS
http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books
2. ALL WRITIGS
http://www.scribd.com/glennpease/documents?page=1000

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful