Luke 24:1-8, 36-49

                                                            April 4, 2010


                                    THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST


All the four evangelists give an account of the Resurrection. None of the four, however,

attempt to give a history of it simply from a human point of sight. Each Gospel

probably reproduces the special points dwelt on in certain great centers of Christian

teaching, in what we should now term different schools of thought.  (Attempts have

been made by theological scholars to classify these as Jewish, Gentile, Greek, Roman;

but only with indifferent success).  The teaching which Matthew’s Gospel represents,

evidently in the Resurrection preaching dwelt with peculiar insistence on the great

Galilaean appearance of the Risen. Luke confines himself exclusively to the

appearance, in Judaea. John chooses for his Resurrection instruction scenes which

had for their theatre both Galilee and Judaea. John, as his central or most detailed piece

of teaching, dwells on a fishing scene on Gennesaret, the actors being the well-known

inner circle of the apostles. While Luke chooses for his detailed Resurrection narrative

a high-road in a Jerusalem suburb; and for actors, two devoted, but historically

unknown, disciples.  Then there is no question of discrepancies in this portion of the great

history. It is not easy to frame a perfectly satisfactory harmony of all the events related by

the four, after the Lord had risen; for, in fact, we possess no detailed account

or history of what took place in that eventful period in presence of the disciples. We simply

have memoranda of eye-witnesses of certain incidents connected with the Resurrection

selected by the great first teachers as specially adapted to their own preaching and

instruction.  The events of the first Easter Day have been tabulated by Professor Westcott,

in what he terms a provisional arrangement, as follows:


Approximate Time:   


Very Early   

on Sunday ……The Resurrection, followed by the earthquake, the descent of

                        the angel, the opening of the tomb (Matthew 28:2-4).  (Compare

                        the opening of the sixth seal in Revelation 6:12-17)


5 a.m.……….. Mary Magdalene, Mary the [mother] of James and Salome,

                        probably with others, start for the sepulchre in the twilight. Mary

                        Magdalene goes before the others, and returns at once to Peter and

                        John (John 20:1)


5:30 a.m.…….Her companions reach the sepulchre when the sun had risen

                        (Mark 16:2). A vision of an angel. Message to the disciples

                        (Matthew 28:5-7; Mark 16:5).


6 a.m.………..Another party, among whom is Joanna, come a little later, but still

                        in the early morning (Luke 24:10; comp. Mark 16:1). A vision of “two                         

                        young men.” Words of comfort and instruction (Luke 24:5-7).


6:30 a.m.…….The visit of Peter and John (John 20:3-10). A vision of two angels to

                        Mary Magdalene (John 20:11- 13). About the same time the company of                                 

                        women carry their tidings to the apostles (Luke 24:10).


7 a.m.………..The Lord reveals Himself to Mary Magdalene (John 20:14-18;

                        Mark 16:9). Not long after He reveals Himself, as it appears, to

                        the company of women who are returning to the sepulchre. Charge

                        to the brethren to go to Galilee (Matthew 28:9-10).


4-6 p.m.……..The appearance to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus

                        (Luke 24:13; Mark 16:12).


After 4 p.m.An appearance to Peter (Luke 24:34; comp. I Corinthians 15:5).

                        And found the eleven gathered together, and them that were

                        with them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared

                        to Simon” – (Luke 24:33-34) -  Late that evening Cleopas

                        and his friend arrived from Emmaus at Jerusalem. Hastening to the

                        accustomed meeting-place of the disciples of Jesus, to tell their

                        wondrous story of the meeting with the risen Master, they find the

                        eleven together full of joy. Peter had seen and had no doubt conversed                                    

                        with his Master.  What a meeting must that have been! The once eager

                        and devoted apostle had probably not gazed on that form in life since he                                   

                        caught the sorrowful look bent on him in the courtyard, when Jesus,                              

                        bound, passed through and heard His servant denying Him with oaths

                        and curses. (Luke 22:61) - This appearance to Peter is not recorded in

                        the Gospels. It is, however, placed first of all by Paul in his records of

                        the manifestation of the Risen Savior.  (I Corinthians 15:4-8).


8 p.m.……….The appearance to the eleven and others (Luke 24:36; Afterward He

                        appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them                                  

                        with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed

                        not them which had seen Him after He was risen” - Mark 16:14;                           

                        John 20:19).  [I wonder what it will be like on the Judgment Day when

                        we all “stand before the judgment seat of Christ” {II Corinthians 5:

                        10} – Will there be some more upbraiding with a “depart from me for

                        I never knew you” -?? - Luke 13:27 - How sad to see people coming

                        from all over the world into heaven and “you yourselves thrust out”

                        ibid. v. 28 – Sinner, will you not trust Jesus Christ today as your

                        Savior so that you make see the Resurrection of the Just? - CY  - 2010]          


In the above table one point must be specially noticed: two companies or separate

groups of women are mentioned as going to the sepulchre with the same pious object

of assisting in the final embalming of the sacred body.  If this be assumed to be the

fact, there will be nothing improbable in the supposition that both these groups of women,

all doubtless intimate friends belonging to the little company of the Master,

but living probably some distance apart in Jerusalem, came together some time on the

sabbath day, and then arranged to meet early on the first day at the sepulchre. Probably

the spices purchased in some haste just before the sabbath commenced were judged



  • For in Luke 23:56 we read of a company of women, most probably

            including all, i.e. both groups, of holy women, who, after beholding the

            sepulchre, “returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the

            sabbath day.


  • In Mark 16:1 we read, When the sabbath was past, Mary

            Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought [not had

            bought] sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him.” This company

            (alluded to in Mark 16:1) arrives the first at the sepulchre, and sees the vision

            of one angel (Mark 16:5). The other company (alluded to in Luke 24:1) arrives

            not long after at the sepulchre, and sees the vision of two angels (Luke 24:4). 


In considering the accounts of the Resurrection, the following memoranda will be

ound suggestive:


  • The holy women are the principal actors in all the four accounts of the

            circumstances connected with the tomb. But their assertions were not

            believed by the disciples until their statements were confirmed by the

            Lord’s personal appearance.


  • When St. Paul (I Corinthians 15:5-8) sums up the great appearances of our

      Lord, the basis of our faith, he makes no reference to his appearance to Mary   

      Magdalene (John 20:14; Mark 16:9) or to the women (two Maries mentioned    

            Matthew 28:1, 9-10).


  • No evangelist describes the Resurrection, no earthly being having been

            present.  Matthew is the evangelist who, in his narrative, goes furthest

            back. He mentions the shock of the earthquake, the awful presence of the

            angel, the benumbing terror which seized the guards who were watching.

            Most probably these signs accompanied the Resurrection.


  • The risen Lord appeared only to His own.


  • That no future doubt should be thrown on the reality of the appearances of

      the Risen, He showed Himself not only to solitary individuals, but to

      companies, i.e. to two, to the eleven (repeatedly), and to above five hundred    

      brethren at once. And these manifestations took place:


ü      at different hours of the day;


ü      in different localities — in Judaea, in Galilee, in rooms of

                        houses, in the open air.





vs. 1-8 – “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they

came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and

certain others with them.  And they found the stone rolled away from the

sepulchre.  And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men

stood by them in shining garments:  And as they were afraid, and bowed down

their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the

dead?  He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when

He was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands

of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.  And they

remembered his words”.



                                    THE RESURRECTION MORNING


Who are the witnesses to the Resurrection? What is the evidence on which it was believed

by the first disciples? — on which it is received by all Christians still?



      It is (v. 1) the very early morning: “while it was yet dark,” says John; “as the            

      day began to dawn,” says Matthew; “at the rising of the sun,” says Mark.

      Then the women hasten towards the sepulcher.  How many formed the

      company, or, as seems to be implied, the two companies, of women we know

      not. The names of five are given, and the rest are grouped under the phrases, the           

      others that were with them,” and “the others from Galilee.” They quickly           

      pass through the silent streets.  Jerusalem is still asleep; neither memory of what

      had happened, nor fear of what might happen, has disturbed its repose. They

      have only one care (v.1) — the complete embalming of the body which had

      been hastily laid in the rock-hewn sepulcher of Joseph. There is no idea beyond            

      this; there is no hope even against hope that, on this the third day, He would rise           

      again.  With the eagerness characteristic of woman’s nature, they proceed, the

            question never suggesting itself until they near the tomb, “Who shall roll

            away the stone from the mouth of the cave?” It would seem that they did

            not know of the guard which had been commanded to watch or of the

            sealing of the stone, for that had been done on the sabbath morning; but

            some of them had observed the setting of the stone — a block three or four

            feet in height, and two or three in breadth, requiring several men to move

            it. “How shall it be moved? how shall we find an entrance?” is the question

            before them as they press towards the holy place. Now, what are the facts?

            In the dawn, half-clear and half-dark, as the east begins to lighten, Mary of

            Magdala, the foremost of the company, sees the cave standing wide open

            the stone having been rolled aside. Horror-struck, she turns to her

            companions, and, yielding to the moment’s impulse, she speeds back to the

            city to communicate her fears to Peter and John (John 20:1, 2). In the

            mean time, her companions venture forward. Timidly they enter the tomb,

            or the vestibule of the tomb, to search for the body. Lo, there (Matthew

            28:2, 3), on the stone which had been pushed into a corner, sits one “whose    

            countenance is like lightning, and his raiment white as snow,” and

            prostrate on the ground are the Roman sentries. The women start., but the

            assuring word, “Fear not ye,” is spoken, and the invitation (Matthew 28:6)

            is given to “come and see the place where the Lord lay.” Yes,

            guardians, and only guardians, are these — one where the head, another

            where the feet, of Jesus had been — token of the complete, protecting care

            of His Father. (These are ministering spirits – a sort of honor guard for the

            Savior) - And these guardians ask (vs. 5-7), “Why do you seek the

            living among the dead?” and repeat the testimony, “He is not here: He is

            risen,” bidding them remember His own words, and bear the news of the

            Resurrection to the sorrowing company. It is with fear and great joy that

            they depart, running to bring the disciples word. They encounter

            scepticism. Their hot, eager sentences (v. 11) seem to the apostles “as

            idle tales, and they believe them not.” Peter and John, however, have

            already obeyed the importunate pleading of Mary. And there, to be sure, as

            they reach the sepulcher, is the open door. John, who is first, looks in

            without entering; Peter, coming up, enters at once. “John,” observes

            Matthew Henry, “could outrun Peter, but Peter could out-dare John.

            Undoubtedly the tomb is empty. Examining it, they discover (v.12) the

            linen clothes laid by themselves; and the napkin which had surrounded the

            head laid by itself. There had been no haste. Not thus would any have acted

            who had borne away the sacred form. Peter, after minute examination of

            the surroundings, “departed, wondering in himself at that which was come

            to pass.” John, with the quick intuition of love, not only wondered, but

            believed — felt sure that these grave-clothes were the sign of a victory.

            Such is the account of that ever-memorable morning. The arrangement of

            its events may not be absolutely accurate; in the ignorance of all that

            occurred, it is impossible to supply every link in the chain of narrative. The

            evangelists are so filled with the one reality, “He is risen,” that they are not

            careful as to the minutiae of the circumstances. ON THE RESURRECTION,


            AND DOCTRINE IS REARED!   By the effect of the Resurrection the

            apostles were transformed. The foolish and slow-hearted fishermen of the past  

            became the princes of a new and heavenly kingdom. “With great power they

            gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was

            upon them all.”  (Acts 4:33)




            AS A MIGHTY SPIRITUAL FORCE. Consider what the apostle calls

            the power of the Resurrection.” (Philippians 3:10) - What is the central truth

            of the forty days between the Resurrection and Ascension?  Study the brief       

            account of these forty days, and you see at once a change in the manner and     

            conditions of the revelation of Christ.  He shows Himself only to chosen            

            witnesses. Mark says that He appeared to the disciples “in another form.”

            (Mark 16:12) - The eyes of the disciples are declared to be so held (v.16- this

            chapter) that they do not know Him. It is the same Jesus, but much is altered.          

            “He came and He went as He pleased; material substances such as the

            fastened doors were no impediment to his coming; when he was present his           

            disciples did not, as a matter of course, know Him.” These forty days were

            what the sunrise is to the day; they were the beginning of the relation in which

            He stands to His Church now. All His self-revelations are pictures of the way

            and truth of His presence as we are called to realize it. Men had seen Him

            without knowing Him; now they know Him without seeing Him.  – (John

            20:29) - We behold Him, as Newman has finely said, “passing from His

            hiding-place of sight without knowledge to that of knowledge without sight.”        

            As a transition-time, giving us intimations of the glory in which He is abiding

            and of the grace in which He is dealing with us, regard the period that was        

            ushered in by the early morning of the first day of the week. It was a great day.

            Four appearances are noted:


ü      The first (John 20.), to Mary of Magdala, followed  or preceded,

      perhaps, by an appearance to the other women (Matthew 23.);


ü      The second (vs. 13-35), to the two brethren journeying to Emmaus;


ü      The third, to Simon Peter (ver. 35); and


ü      The fourth (John 20:19-23), to the disciples assembled at night

      when the doors were shut for fear of the Jews. Each of these

      appearances is significant.


            The commandment which sent Mary to the disciples is the inspiration of all

            Christian hearts. “Go, tell my brethren.” (Matthew 28:10) and is the basis
            of the faith of the church and the basis of the faith of humanity.  “If a man

            die shall he live again?” – (Job 14:14) – “If in this life only we have hope

            in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” – (I Corinthians 15:19) - “If   

            Christ is not risen, our hope is vain; we are yet in our sins.” – (ibid. v. 17)

            We are to tell the message of the risen Lord in the light with which the           

            countenance is irradiated; tell it in the glad obedience by which the life is            

            sanctified; tell it through all that you do and are; tell — let your teaching cease            

            only with your breathing — that Christ has risen, that the imprisoning stone has          

            been rolled away, and the kingdom of heaven is open to all believers, its gates   

            being closed neither by day nor by night, for there is no night there.  And

            Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in  

            heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing

            them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

            Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded

            you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

            Amen.  (Matthew 28:18-20)




                                    CHRIST APPEARS TO THE ELEVEN


vs. 36-43 – “And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them,

and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.  But they were terrified and affrighted,

and supposed that they had seen a spirit.  And He said unto them, Why are ye

troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?  Behold my hands and my

feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones,

as ye see me have.  And when He had thus spoken, He shewed them His hands

and His feet.  And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said

unto them, Have ye here any meat?  And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish,

and of an honeycomb.  And He took it, and did eat before them.”



  • THE CHURCH. It is found in miniature in the upper room — “The

            eleven, and them that were with them.”


ü      Its Separation. It is isolated from the outer world. A new bond,

      a new manner, of union is already realized. It is not of the world, as

      Christ Himself was not. There is a door shut between the little flock

      and the Jews. A supreme attraction to Him whom the world sees not, an           

      affiance of soul of which the world knows not, unites the company, and,

      in thus uniting, separates it. It has a secret with which the world does not           



ü       Its Unity.


Ø      That stands in Christ, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have

      chosen you” (John 15:16). The Church is not a mere voluntary            

      association; it is a spiritual organism rooted and grounded in the            

      Man Christ Jesus — in what He is and has done, in His Divine-

      human Person, and the offices which He executes as Redeemer.


Ø      It is realized through continuance in the apostles’ doctrine and

                                    fellowship. “The eleven, and those with them.” Christ had

                                    looked through the ages down to the end of the time, and thus

                                    had spoken: “I pray for those who shall believe on me through                                           

                                    the word of the men whom thou didst give me.” (John 17:20) –

                                    Here the eleven form the center of the company. There is

                                    a definite word on which the Church is built. It has not a mere                                       

                                    collection of “memoranda;” it is not an institution of “hazy                                         

                                    outlines.” It has a distinct testimony — that of the apostles and                                                

                                    prophets. And there is a social life, a fellowship, by which it                                          

                                    makes increase to self-edifying in love” (Ephesians 4:16) –

                                     the fellowship which continues that which is witnessed to in the                                     

                                    assembly of the eleven and those with them. Remember, it is                                         

                                    fellowship, all holding themselves to be fellows in Christ,                                                          

                                    exchanging their experiences, imparting the gift which each has                                      

                                    received, that it may tend to quicken the faith and love of all “As                                              

                                    they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst” (v. 36).



  • CHRIST. He had promised, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will

            come to you.” (John 14:18) - Behold the fulfillment and the way of the            

            fulfillment of this promise. Behold Him present in His Church.


ü      The Sovereignty of the Presence. On a sudden He stands in the midst.

                        They are not expecting Him. He comes through barred doors. It is the

                        day of His power. Christ prescribes means; He ordains channels of

                        grace; and, where there is the obedience of faith in the use of the means,                                   

                        there is blessing. “Where two or three are gathered together, there

                        am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) - But in all that speaks

                        of spiritual life, there is the witness for a spiritual sovereignty, for

                        reserves of power in the hands of the Lord Himself. The new birth is a                          

                        secret and a surprise (John 3:7-8).


ü      It is the personal Jesus who is present to bless — Jesus Himself. (v.

                        36.) Above and beyond the mere teaching and fellowship, there is the                          

                        Lord.  Christianity is Christ. The full blessing, that which wholly fills

                        the soul, is Himself in felt relation with each self. “Of Him are ye in                             

                        Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us Wisdom, Righteousness,                         

                        Sanctification, Redemption” - (I Corinthians 1:30).


ü      The announcement of the presence is peace. (v. 36.) One of the last

                        words before He suffered was “peace.” It was the legacy of the dying

                        Savior. The salutation of the risen Savior is, “Peace to you!”the

                        customary salutation transformed and glorified. His immanence in the

                        Church is evidenced by the breathing of peace over human souls.

                        “Peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ;” – (Romas 5:1) –

                        “The peace of God which passeth all understanding.”(Philippians



ü      The complete benediction of the presence.


Ø      Fears and doubts are scattered. The disciples are terrified and

      affrighted (v. 37). They are afraid at His tokens. Skepticisms

      reassert themselves. A Church, a Christian, wanting in spiritual

      enthusiasm, with a low spiritual temperature, is subject to the

      fogs of doubt. Its action is crippled by a subtle skepticism. When         

      He is realized as truly in the midst, the fogs are dispelled. There

      is a counteracting why (v. 38). In the psalms (Psalm 4) the soul,            

      dark-and doubtful, asks, “Why hast thou forgotten me?” –

      (v. 9) - Its questioning is dispelled through another why: “Why

      art thou cast down, O my soul?” – (v. 11) - The blessed Jesus-        

      question to poor confused humanity is, “Why art thou troubled?        

      and why do thoughts arise in thy heart?” – (v. 38) - As the Sun      

      of Righteousness shines into the soul, the melancholy, perplexing           

      thoughts scatter, the clouds whose banks lie so low on the heart’s         

      horizon flee away.


Ø      The evidence of the sacrifice establishes the faith. (vs. 39-40.)

      He shows the pierced hands and feet — the wounds whence

      comes the healing, the death whence has come the life. And,

      even in the glory into which He has entered, the print of the nails

      is seen. The gaze of the redeemed who share that glory is ever  

      towards the Lamb that was slain.  “Worthy is the Lamb!”

                                    “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take                                            

                                    the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain,

                                    and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every                                                    

                                    kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;  And hast made                                           

                                    us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the                                            

                                    earth.  And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels                                               

                                    round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the                                         

                                    number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and                                               

                                    thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is                                            

                                    the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and                                                

                                    wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.

                                    And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and                                           

                                    under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in                                          

                                    them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and                                     

                                    power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the                                           

                                    Lamb for ever and ever.  And the four beasts said, Amen.

                                    And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped

                                    Him that liveth for ever and ever.   (Revelation 5:9-14)


Ø      The full revelation is the Divine humanity. (vs. 41-43.) While

      they believe, and yet can scarcely believe, for the joy seems too            

      great and too wonderful, He eats the fish and honeycomb before          

      them. It is no ghost who is in that room; it is very man of very    

      man. And this is the abiding consciousness and strength of the   

      Church. It presents the true humanity. It is true humanitarianism.            

      The Christ is He “who liveth and was dead, and is alive for

      evermore.” – (Revelation 1:18) - And IN HIM HUMANITY IS


      the truth of the social life of the Church. The Church is not a mere         

      institute for instruction and worship; it is a social state built

                                    up in the ever-abiding humanity of Jesus Christ. Thus, in the

                                    upper room at Jerusalem, on the first Easter night, there is an                                        

                                    apocalypse of the great mystery, CHRIST AND THE CHURCH!



                                    CHRIST INSTRUCTS HIS APOSTLES


vs. 44-49 – “And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto

you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written

in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.  Then

opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,  And

said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise

from the dead the third day:  And that repentance and remission of sins should be

preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are

witnesses of these things.   And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon

you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from

on high.”


The words contained in these verses are a summary of the instruction given by the risen

Lord during the forty days in which He showed Himself alive after His Passion. They

are not to be regarded as the outline of only one discourse, following the appearance

to the eleven recorded in the previous verses; they are rather the heads of the teaching

which was imparted in the great period between the Resurrection and the Ascension.

“We must suppose the evangelist to be hurrying to a close in this portion of his

history, and to be giving us a brief sketch of the words and actions of our Lord which

are summed up in the expression in the first chapter of the Book of Acts, “Jesus had

given commandment unto the apostles.” (Acts 1:2) – Note the points in this instruction.



      afterwards said, “The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”

      (Ephesians 6:17) -  The Lord gives the treasury from which the Church is to

      draw — the Law, the prophets, the psalms, the Scriptures; but these writings,

      with the key to their inner meaning, to their saving force — “all things in

            them concerning me.” The great word spelt through all the books is “Christ.”

            And not only so; these Scriptures are to be expounded and enforced in the

            light and through the skill of the opened understanding. This is the secret

            of the effect; it is this that makes them the sword. Only when they are thus

            the weapon of the Spirit, illuminating the mind of the teacher, as well as

            acting on the conscience of the hearer, are they quick and powerful. (Hebrews

            4:12) – The opening of the understanding is spoken of as a definite action at a   

            definite time. Then opened He their understanding.’’ What a new light is

            then shed on the sacred page! What a blessed Eureka!” is then realized! The            

            foolish and slow in heart go forth with the sword of the Spirit, “conquering

            and to conquer.”  (Revelation 6:2)



      message is: the Christ whom God has sent, and the world needs — the

      historical Christ, incarnate, suffering, crucified, risen; and this Christ presented

      as the fulfillment of all Scripture, the consummation of Divine thought and          

      purpose, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” – (Revelation

      13:8) -  the Prophet, Priest, and King, by whom man is redeemed, in whom

            the nature and want, the hope and desire, of all nations are interpreted. (Haggai

            2:7) – The Church is called to teach that “thus it behoved Christ to suffer,

            and to rise from the dead the third day.” Wide is the environment of truth,

            (God is abundant in truth – Exodus 34:6) and the Church must sweep this     

            environment in its vision; but this is the center of all the circle.



            GOD WHICH IT IS TO DECLARE. (v. 47.) The beginning of the

            gospel preached by Christ was the word “repent” (Matthew 4:17).

            Now He solemnly and emphatically urges that repentance is to be the great

            fact in New Testament preaching. The end to be ever before the Church is

            to open the eyes, and turn men from darkness to light, and from the

            power of Satan to God.” (Acts 26:18) - And with this repentance is to be      

            associated the blessing of the kingdom, “remission of sins;” i.e. the sending of           

            the guilt and power of sin away from between the soul and God, and thus

            making the inner vision clear, inspiring with the consciousness of the spirit of

            adoption and the spirit of brotherhood, confirming in the liberty wherewith

            Christ makes free. In the name of Christ, all nations are to be summoned to

            repent, and receive this remission; the voice lifted up with strength, “Neither

            is there salvation in any other:  for there is none other Name given under          

            heaven among men whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)




ü      Its range. “Among all nations.” The universality and catholicity of the

                        Christian word, of the Christian Church, are asserted, with regal

                        authority, at the conference on the mountain in Galilee know as

                        The Great Commission – “And Jesus came and spake unto them,                           

                        saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye                                    

                        therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name

                        of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching

                        them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded

                        you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

                        Amen.”  (Matthew 28:18-20).


ü      Its course. “Beginning at Jerusalem.” There, where the Lord of glory

                        was crucified, the first call to repentance is to be sounded, the first offer

                        of the Christ for the remission of sins is to be made. So it was (Acts 2.).                              

                        But, from Jerusalem, the course of the witness is ever outward — “to                           

                        Judaea, Samaria, the uttermost parts of the earth.” We are first to

                        find our own; but the love which begins, is never to stop, at home.


ü      Its power. (v. 49.) Not in the witnessing man or woman; not in the

                        things witnessed to; not in word, ordinance, ministry; no, the power is                          

                        from on high. Christ reasserts what He taught in the last discourse

                        before He suffered. The great consolation then was the promise of the                          

                        Father — that in which His Fatherly love and will are expressed, His

                        great promise to His Son — the Holy Ghost. It is the Holy Ghost who                                

                        testifies of Him. He is not the accompaniment of the Church; the Church                                

                        is His accompaniment. “He shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear                                 

                        witness (John 15:26-27).  Now, in the forty days’ instruction, He

                         repeats this word. He reminds us that the power of witnessing is a

                        descent from on high, the anointing of the man by the Holy Spirit. Two                          

                        things are said — the one, the declaration that the promise is imminent,

                        “I am sending it;” and the other, the injunction to wait in the city, to                           

                        attempt nothing, until the promise is made good, and they are endued

                        with the power. Let the Church, let every Christian, remember the                                            

                        injunction; let eternal thanksgiving arise because the promise of the

                        Father has been sent, and the Holy Spirit now dwells with the Church.




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