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2. Then she runneth and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whoin Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They bave taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
3. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4. So they ran both together : and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
5. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying ; yet went he not in.
6. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7. And the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
8. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
Namely, the resurrection of Christ from that time forward.
9. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
The most knowing men in the world were not ashamed to confess their former ignorance. When once they were convinced of the resurrection of Jesus, they knew what they had to do, and acted suitably to their belief. What follows is a melancholy truth, but must be spoken. We believe it, but generally without effect.
10. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
11. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping : and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12. 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.
I suppose this to be a second apparition of the angels, and different from that mentioned in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
13. And they said unto her, Woman, why weepest thou ? She said unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
14. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou ? whoin seekest thou ?
Weeping, and seeking, are never in vain. To all such, Jesus manifests himself ; in his comforts, as he pleaseth ; and certainly in the power of his salvation.
15. She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne himn hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16. Jesus saith unto her, Mary.
At the same time he opened her eyes. He can call as powerfully to your souls and mine.
16. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni ; which is to say, Master,
Now believing, now turning to him, and approaching him, with a full knowledge that it was he himself. To this turn we must all come, with the word Master in mouths.
17. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and
say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and
Mary was overjoyed to see Jesus risen again, and seems to have found all she wanted in his bodily presence. Though she showed a great deal of love and respect to him, in the main it was but earthly; and therefore he accordingly gives a check to it, and at the same time raises her thoughts to his ascension, and the fruits of it. She was not to touch him, or lay hold of him with her affections, as he was not yet gone to heaven, to send down the Spirit. Till then he could not be her Saviour. In heaven he is carrying on our salvation; and we need not be a whit behind those who con versed with him in his lifetime, and saw him after his resurrection, in our participation of his spiritual blessings.
Mary Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, was honoured with the first sight of Jesus after his resurrection, and was made a messenger of his ascension to the brethren. What a blessedness is here stamped upon a true repentance! If you are one of the worst of sinners, do as she did, repent, believe, and love, and you may be as sure of favour and acceptance.
" I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” Yes, this is for the comfort of Christ's friends, the words assure us of this, that the Lord is Christ's Father and our Father, his God, and our God; our God and Father, in and through him: and thus Christ speaks in the human nature on behalf of the human nature. Dwell upon the words, and speak them to your hearts, till they burn within you.
18. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he bad spoken these things unto her.
Chap. xx. ver. 19—25.
CHRIST APPEARS TO HIS DISCIPLES.
19. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, caine Jesus and stood in the inidst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Behold, here, a little flock assembled together in the fear of God, and shutting the doors upon them for fear of the Jews. But Christ had his eye upon them, was at hand with comfort, and would not be shut out.
66 Jesus saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” This one word was a sufficient antidote both against all their fears from the world, and the upbraidings of their own consciences, for having so lately deserted him. That peace is ours, and to us; he speaks it, whenever we know how to value it.
20. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
Faith in us answers to this bodily sight, and fastens its attention on the wounds of Christ, both for conviction, and healing. When once we know that we ourselves made those wounds, we cannot stop there; we shall be glad to have the benefit of them.
“ Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” No joy like this ; and it is our own fault, if we do not see him in his help. Those who are full cannot cast a look towards him.
21. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I
yoll. Filled with a sense of his and my peace ; without which they would be very unfit preachers of it to others.
22. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost :
This breathing is the new birth of his children, and as real as the breathing which attends the natural birth, though unseen. It conveyed more power, and greater gifts to the apostles, but conveys life and nourishment to all.
23. Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.
By opening the doctrine of the kingdom, and declaring, by divine illumination, upon what conditions remission of sins is to be had. What is knowledge but this ? And if it had not come down to us in their writings, how should we have lamented the loss !
24. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
Whatever was the reason of his absence, Christ turned it into a benefit to him, and to us. His doubting once would put an end to it for ever in him, and is our as
25. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
If the apostles had been full in the expectation of a resurrection, and forward to believe it, what outcries should we have heard against their credulity! Let us make our own advantage of their ignorance of the scripture, and slowness of belief in this matter.
Chap. xx. ver. 26–31.
THE CONFESSION OF THOMAS.
26. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them : then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Peace, again peace; peace the third time ; peace to them,
and to all. Knowing the blessing contained in that word, in faith and its fruits, makes us Christians.
27. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold
my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
How would Thomas be astonished, to hear his very words repeated by Christ! Set him always before you ; for lo! there is not a word in your tongues but he knoweth it altogether.
“ And be not faithless, but believing." Let us ask our