LUKE xxiv. 5. “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
THE love with which the Saviour inspired the hearts of
His disciples, especially the hearts of the meek women
that followed Him, was not quenched by the many waters
of His passion and His death. Let us journey to behold
the place were they laid Him. Let us consider, first, the
evidences, and, second, the purposes of the second life of
Jesus—the life after the crucifixion.
I. As to the evidences of Christ’s resurrection, there
are both external and internal lines of proof which guard
this great and sublime doctrine of the Christian faith.
Jesus Christ actually died. A million and a half of
awe-stricken witnesses saw Him die.
The second fact in the series of proofs is that Christ
was buried. Interment is not often granted to crucified
criminals. But providence overruled the sordidness of
the cautious Scribes and Priests, in order to multiply the
witnesses to the resurrection.
The next fact, is that the sepulchre somehow or other
was emptied on the third day. How came the sepulchre
to be emptied? There are only two theories. The rulers
said the body was stolen out of it. The disciples said
the body had risen from it. It is manifest that the enemies
would not steal the body of Christ, and how improbable
it is that His disciples should have done it. How could
it have been done by twelve men against sixty, when
Jerusalem was filled with an excited crowd, when the
moon shone clearly in a cloudless oriental sky? No; it
cannot be believed, and we are driven back therefore to
the theory that He actually rose. The internal evidence
is equally convincing. Consider the existence and the
spread of persecution for the testimony as to the resurrec-
tion of Christ.
II. Consider the practical purposes which the resurrec-
tion is intended to work out in ourselves.
1. It is a manifestation, a vindication of ancient prophecy
and of the personal character of the Messiah as well.
2. It is a seal of the acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus,
and by consequence of infinite moment to confirm the
hopes of the world.
3. It is an earnest of our own rising, a pledge of im-
mortality for the race for which the Second Adam died.
4. Look at the resurrection as an encouragement. There
is a great error, brethren, in Christendom just now, and
that is that we believe in a dead Christ: He is not dead,
He is living—living to listen to your prayers, living to
forgive your sins.
W. Morley Punshon, D.D.