The Resurrection and the Life
Luke 24:5, 6
And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said to them, Why seek you the living among the dead?

No smallest touch of censure can we trace in the words of these angels. On their errand of faithful love these women would not be greeted thus. It was but a strong, awakening appeal, calling them to consider that, while they had come in the right spirit, they had come on a superfluous mission, and were looking in the wrong place for their Lord. Not there in the tomb among the dead, but breathing the air of a life that would never be laid down, was he whom they sought. The words attest -


1. Here attested by the angels. It was, at the same time, indicated by the empty tomb. The latter, of course, would not of itself prove such a fact; but it strongly sustained the word of the heavenly visitants. But beyond this, weightier than this, was:

2. The repeated and unmistakable evidence of the apostles and the women. Ten several times, at least, the risen Saviour was seen by those who knew him best. These were so thoroughly assured of the fact of his rising again, that they not only testified it, but risked and even sacrificed their lives to propagate a faith of which it was the corner-stone. And they not only undoubtedly believed it themselves, but they spoke as men who could be and who were credited by those who heard them. Then we have here:

3. The twofold buttress of a Divine promise and of human incredulity. Jesus "spake, saying,... the third day he should rise again." This was the fulfilment of the promise of One who gave such convincing proof that he could do what he willed. Moreover, it was believed in spite of the strongest incredulity. The apostles ought to have expected it, but they did not; we might almost say that it was the last thing they were looking for. They had given up their Lord and their cause as utterly lost; and when the tidings came, they refused to believe (ver. 11). So far from the Resurrection being the figment of a diseased expectation, it was a fact forced upon minds strongly predisposed to discredit it. The second clause of the angels' sentence was as true as the first: he was not there; he had risen. He had kept his word; he who had commanded the winds and the waves, and who showed himself Master of the elements of nature, now proved that the keys of death were in his royal hand, and proved himself to be the Son of God, the Lord of life. And with his "glorious resurrection" comes the fact of -

II. OUR OWN IMMORTALITY. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the sure sign, proof, forerunner, of our own life beyond the grave. Without that supreme and crowning fact, we could have had no certain hope, no assurance; without that he could not have been to us "the Resurrection and the Life." With that he can be and is. Now we have in him a living Lord, who can carry cut his kindest promises and be to us all that, during his ministry, he undertook to be. Wherefore let us:

1. Seek and find spiritual life in the once-crucified and ever-living Saviour, "He that believeth in him, though he were [spiritually] dead, yet shall he live," live in very deed and truth, i.e. live before God, unto God, and in God - partake of the life which is spiritual and Divine.

2. Be assured, then, of a blessed immortality; for "whoso liveth [in him] and believeth in him shall never die." His outward, bodily dissolution will be a mere incident in his career; so far from its being a termination of it, it will prove to be the starting-point of another and nobler life than the present, one nearer to God and far fuller of power, of usefulness, of blessedness.

3. Realize this truth concerning the departed. We may go to the grave and weep there like the sorrowing sisters of Bethany; we may tend their tomb with the carefulness which is the simple prompting of pure and deep affection; but let us learn to dissociate our thoughts of our departed friends from the grave. They are not there; let us not be seeking the living among the dead. There rest their mortal remains, but they themselves are with God, with the Saviour whose presence and friendship are exceeding gladness, with the holy and the true who have passed into the skies. They are in the light and the love and the joy of home. Let us dwell on this, and comfort ourselves and comfort one another with these thoughts. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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?

WEB: Becoming terrified, they bowed their faces down to the earth. They said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?

Good Friday
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