April 24, 2011
The record pauses for the awful day of that great sabbath, and resumes the
marvelous recital when the greatest event in the history of the world is
assumed and asserted to have taken place. Heathen and foes admit the fact
of the death of Jesus; the evidence is overwhelming, multiform, sufficient
to establish itself to the ordinary reason of mankind. It is a matter of
indubitable history. The proof was given to all the world; but it is otherwise
with the fact of the ajna>stasiv - anastasis – resurrection of Jesus. That
stupendous event was revealed by “Many infallible proofs” wrought (as
Luke says in Acts 1:3) irresistible conviction as to the reality of the Resurrection.
The Church of Christ was originated by a faith in this new and transcendental
mode of existence. A generation of men passed, scores of communities were
called into being throughout Palestine, Phoenicia, Syria, Lybia, Asia Minor,
(Colosse, which we are studying about now – CY – 2011) Achaia, Macedonia,
Cyprus, Crete, and even in Italy and the capital of the Roman empire, all of them
held together by the life-giving conviction of the reality of a world of spiritual
body, into which the redeemed enter. Of this reality the resurrection-life of
Christ was the type, the proof, the first fruit, and the earnest. This most
astounding fact was preached in Galatia and Macedonia, in Corinth and
Rome, in Babylon and Alexandria, before one word of the Gospels had
been put on parchment. When the preaching of the apostles was reduced to
written form, it was not with the idea of recording a fully detailed or easily
harmonizable account of the Easter Day, or of providing rational, or
juridical, or historic evidence of the method or order of the great events,
but rather to provide five independent series of evidences to the revelations
which the apostles and apostolic company received of the nature and
quality of the new life for humanity which had now begun. Several details
of profound interest occur in the synoptic narrative, concerning which John
is silent — such as:
synoptists, he says nothing of the stone that was rolled to the door of
the sepulcher, (Matthew 28:2; Mark 16:3; Luke 24:2) yet he refers to
the fact that (to<n li>qon – ton lithon - the stone) was taken up or away.
embalmment on the following days,
at successive intervals of time, and the different signs and even
appearances by which their timorous hope was quickened into
an adoring homage and world compelling faith. Although he says
nothing of the two groups of women, yet he implies that Mary Magdalene
was not alone at the sepulcher (oujk oi]damen – ouk oidamen – we are
not aware) “We know not where they have laid him.” (v. 2)
Though John does not recite these well-know narratives, he presupposes some of
them. Thus with far greater particularity than Luke (Luke 24:12), he describes
Peter’s visit to the sepulcher, and gives further details of facts which occurred at
more than one interview between our Lord and His apostles, of which Luke and
Mark had given a more shadowy outline (cf. here vs. 19-25 with Luke 24:36;
Mark 16:14). But we are not intending here to produce a history or harmony of
these records, but to follow throughout the impressions produced by the Lord’s
self-manifestation upon the mind of the beloved disciple; not passing over the
difficulties which his peculiar experiences have occasioned, when brought side
by side with the synoptic and Pauline narratives. John first of all (vs. 1-10)
describes how he came to believe personally in the resurrection of Jesus;
then (vs. 11-18) the way in which the first manifestation was made to Mary of
Magdala (vs. 19-23); how ten of the apostles, including himself, received a full
and satisfying assurance of the stupendous fact (vs. 24-29); how once more,
after an interval of eight days, not only Thomas, the most anxious, doubting, and
incredulous of the eleven, but the entire group, came into full persuasion,
not only of Christ’s resurrection, but of His Divine nature and claims, His
Messiahship and Sonship, and of their own personal possession of life
IN HIM AND THROUGH HIM.
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Mary Magdalene – Different explanations have been given of this name;
but the most natural is that
she came from the town of
appears before us for the first time in Luke 8:2-3, among the women
“who ministered unto Him of their substance.” All appear to have
occupied a position of comparative wealth. With all the chief motive
was that of gratitude for their deliverance from “evil spirits and infirmities.”
Of Mary it is said specially that “seven devils went out of her,” and the
number indicates a possession of more than ordinary malignity. She was
present during the closing hours of the agony on the cross (19:25). She
remained by the cross till all was over, and waited till the body was taken
down and placed in the garden sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathaea
(Matthew 27:61; Mark 15:47; Luke 23:55), when she, with Salome
and Mary the mother of James, “bought sweet spices that they might
come and anoint” the body. (Mark 16:1) – The next morning
accordingly, in the earliest dawn (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2), they came
with Mary, the mother of James to the sepulcher. Mary Magdalene had
been to the tomb and had found it empty, and had seen the “vision of
angels” (Matthew 28:5; Mark 16:5). To her first of all Jesus appeared
after His resurrection (vs. 14-15). Mary Magdalene has become the
type of a class of repentant sinners. There is no authority for identifying
her with the “sinner” who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50;
neither is there any authority for the supposition that she is the same as
Mary, the sister of Lazarus. Neither of these theories has the slightest
foundation in fact.
A Dictionary of the Bible by William Smith, L.L.D.
Mary Magdalene stood by Jesus at the cross and was riveted to the tomb
because Jesus had forgiven her from her sins. As stated above,
though the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet is not thought to be Mary
Magdalene, the principle said of her is true with Mary, “Her sins,
which are many, are forgiven; for she loveth much: but to whom little
is forgiven, the same loveth little.” (Luke 7:47).
We can also identify with the Psalmist -
after our sin - Ps. 141:7-8 Ps. 110:3
The judgment is over, the books are closed,
the condemnation is no longer possible because
the believer is “in Christ”!
Metamorphoo - where we get metamorphosis.
The true change will be according to I Cor. 15:52
Peter & John were there - notice v. 9 - but in the
next verse they went home?
v. 11 - “but Mary stood”
vs. 11-12 - “she stooped down & looked into the
sepulchre and seeth two angels in white sitting,
the one at the head, and the other at the feet,
where the body of Jesus had lain”
Members of “His hosts; ye ministers of His, that do
His pleasure” - Ps. 103:21
Remember after the temptation the devil left Him
and “behold, angels came and ministered unto Him”
Remember Matt. 26:53 - Twelve legions of angels
would have come to His aid had not it been God’s will
for Him to tread the winepress alone!
The entire teaching of the Bible from end to end reveals
and bears witness to a world ordinarily unseen by human
eyes, but none the less real.
To some this door to heaven is closed and sealed by
the seven seals of materialism, agnosticism, dogmatism,
scientism, worldliness, indifference and unspirituality.
How men forget that all human life is but a very
temporary, ever-vanishing robe around a permanent
and abiding spirit! Consider the plight of the astronauts
and his outfit two days later, on and on and on.
The whole of secularist
abut the garden, with trowel and spectacles and would
never have seen an angel or the risen Christ!
Thank God, all eyes are not that dim. Some there saw
and believed and they have revolutionized the world.
“Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he
that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that
He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”
v. 14 - “she ....saw Jesus standing, and knew not that
it was Jesus”
Mark 16:12 - “He appeared in another form unto two
of them, as they walked, and went into the
country” - in a different shape!
v. 15 - “Woman, why weepest thou?” - the first words
Jesus uttered after He arose from the dead
were intended to console human weeping over
the most irremediable of human weaknesses
This, the beginning of the fulfillment of the Divine
promise to “wipe away tears from all faces”
Isaiah 25:6-9 v. 20 - “then were the disciples
glad when they saw the Lord”
vs. 16 - “Mary”
v. 17 - “my brethren” - new name dearer than
slaves, servants, disciples, ministers,
“joint heirs with God & with Christ”
Love is rewarded with visions, revelations & employment.
The assurance that His Father is our Father, His God,
Something major here that I can’t explain -
I think I understand somewhat.
“I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to
my God, and your God” - Connect with Rev. 21
v. 19 - The body of Christ after the resurrection was
profoundly different from what we usally
gather from the five senses, of which secular
Apparently, the spiritual body becomes possessed
of additional senses, of which we have no conception
or experience, clothed with properties of matter and
dimensions of space and active forces all of which
are supernatural to us now as we are confined in a
v. 20 - However, notice “He shewed unto them His
hands and His side.
The Bible implies that some conception of marks and
vestiges of the earthly life will survive death and pass
into the eternal world.
Christ came forth from the eternal companionship of
the Father through the incarnation, and is taking
humanity up to the Father’s eternal substance!
They heard, they saw, they handled the Word of Life.
I John 1:1
“then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord”
v. 21 - “Peace” - vs. 19,26
The Great Commission - Matt. 28:18-20
v. 22 - Now He equips them for service.
They are to go among men as Christ’s representatives -
II Cor. 5:19-20
The only qualification was to go in the power of the
* Sympathy with the mind of Christ
* Compassion for the world
* Renunciation of selfish ends in life
“Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none
of His” -
v. 22 - The special action of Christ, the gift of
spiritual insight, the God consciousness,
the experience of two worlds.
Whoever enters into the sphere of that Divine
breath becomes "alive unto God".
It lies beyond the expertise of science and
cannot find any place in a sensational philosophy,
and is not a universal experience.
"Except a man be born again, he cannot see
John 3:3, 7b
Nowhere else in the New Testament is this word
used to describe the breathing on them of the
It is used by the LXX (Septuagint) in Genesis 2:7 to describe
the essential distinction between the living soul
of Adam and the living soul of all other animals.
Man's life was no evolution of the life in other
creatures, neither did it come from properties
in the the dust of the ground.
A direct decision of Almighty God conferred upon
humanity - the life of the flesh.
I Cor. 15:45
Here Christ confers on those He now sends forth
to complete the mission of His grace, the Divine
life which would make them new creatures, and
bestow on them power to generate the same spirit
“the firstborn from the dead” - Colossians 1:18
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