And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment…
Very remarkable that this super-human being should be described as a "young man." Immortal youth, with buoyant energy and fresh power, belongs to angelic beings, and to the children of the resurrection, who are to be "equal unto the angels." No waste decays their strength, no change robs them of forces which have ceased to increase. Age cannot wither them.
I. THE LIFE OF THE FAITHFUL DEAD IS ETERNAL PROGRESS TOWARDS INFINITE PERFECTION. Their being never reaches its climax; it is ever but entering on its glory. Their goal is the likeness of God in Christ — all His wisdom, His love, His holiness. He is all theirs, and all that He is is to be transfused into their growing greatness. They rise like the song bird, aspiring to the heavens, circling round, and ever higher, up and up through the steadfast blue to the sun! They shall lose the marks of age as they grow in eternity, and they who have stood before the throne the longest shall be likest him who sat in the sepulchre young with immortal strength, radiant with unwithering beauty.
II. THE LIFE OF THE FAITHFUL DEAD RECOVERS AND RETAINS THE BEST CHARACTERISTICS OF YOUTH.
1. Hope. No more disappointments; a boundless future of blessedness.
2. Keenness of relish. The pleasures of heaven always satisfy, but never cloy.
3. Fervour of love. Zeal such as that of the seraphs, that have burned before the throne unconsumed and undecaying for unknown ages.
4. Buoyant energy. All that maturity and old age took away, is given back in nobler form. All the limitation and weakness which they brought, the coldness, monotony, torpor, weariness, will drop away; but we shall keep all the precious gifts they brought — calm wisdom, ripened knowledge, full-summed experience, powers of service acquired in life's long apprenticeship. The perfect man in the heavens will include the graces of childhood, the energies of youth, the steadfastness of manhood, the calmness of old age; as on some tropical trees you may see at once bud, blossom, fruit — the expectancy of spring, the maturing promise of summer, and the fulfilled fruition of autumn — hanging together on the unexhausted bough.
III. THE FAITHFUL DEAD SHALL LIVE IN A BODY THAT CANNOT GROW OLD. No weariness. Needing no repose. No death (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; 2 Corinthians 5:1-4; Revelation 7:13-17).
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.