2 Timothy 1:10
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death…
The message of Easter, the gospel of the Resurrection, is the revelation of the Divine continuity of life, which shows us what life is already, with its mysterious connections and conflict; it shows us how we may conceive of life hereafter in its final consummation; it shows us how we may even now gain for the fulfilment of our appointed work the support of a Divine fellowship. The revelation of the risen Christ is the revelation of life present. Believers are undoubtedly to blame for allowing it to be supposed for a single instant that their faith deals only, or deals mainly, with the future. The clear voice of apostolic teaching is, "We have passed out of death into life." We have passed, and not we shall pass hereafter. "This is eternal life" in actual fruition, and not this will bring life as a later reward. "Our citizenship is in heaven." "We have come to Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem." And, indeed, a gospel to be real must be present. No one can look upon the phenomena of life without feeling its oppressing riddles. We need some light upon them. Earthly life is, and it must be, fragmentary, sorrow-laden, sinful. Who has not asked at some still moment, "How is my brief span of years crowded with little cares and little duties, relating to that past out of which it came, and to that future into which it will soon pass"? In the risen Christ we see the coherence, the unity of all action, and the real significance of simple work done in silence and obscurity. The manhood which Christ raised to heaven was enriched by the heritage of long ages, and matured in the fulfilment of the humblest offices of duty. .4. brief ministry only revealed what had been slowly shaped in unnoticed and forgotten ways. Looking to Him, living in Him here and now, we know that each human life is one in all its parts, and is essentially Divine; we know that it is one by the subtle influences which pass on from year to year, and from day to day; one by the continuous action of the will which shapes the fabrics of our character. We know that it is Divine; Divine in its present, if unseen, influence, Divine in the assurance of its future consummation. We know also that the unity of each single life is an image of the larger unity in which each single life is included. In the risen Christ we see the outcome of suffering; we cannot admit that in His life, closed to the eyes of men in betrayal, desertion, torture, there was one useless pang, one shadow of failure. All ministered to the same end. In the issue, even as we see it now, human judgments have been reversed. In the risen Christ we see the overthrow of sin. The end of sin is death, and Christ made death itself the way to life. The resurrection of Christ is thus a revelation of life present, disclosing the unity and the grandeur of the cause to which, with great services or small, we all minister, drawing joy, the joy of the Lord, out of our transitory sadnesses and disappointments, and pains, bringing the assurance that our last enemy shall be destroyed. It is also a revelation of life future. It is indeed a revelation of the future, because it is a revelation of the present. Future and present are essentially combined in the eternal. Under this second aspect the Resurrection conveys a two-fold lesson: it reveals the permanence of the present in the future; it reveals also in the future, as far as we can gain the thought, a form of life, fuller, better, more complete than this of our separated personalities. In Him, the representative of humanity, we see that the perfection of earthly life is undiminished by death; we see that what seems to be dissolution is only transfiguration; we see that all that belongs to the essence of manhood can exist under new conditions; we see that whatever be the unknown glories and the unimaginable endowments of the after life, nothing is cast off which rightly claims our affection and our reverence in this. This, however, is not all. Beyond this revelation of the ennobled permanence of the present in the life of the Resurrection, further depths of thought are open to us. Here on earth our lives are fragmentary and isolated; we are all separated one from another, and we are weakened by the separation. Our material frames are not, as we are tempted to think, the instruments of our union, but the barriers by which we are divided. The most active fellowship is at last irrevocably interrupted; the most intimate sympathy leaves regions of feeling ununited; but in the risen Christ we seem to have held out to us the image of a diviner life, in which each single believer shall be incorporated and yet not absorbed; the unity which is now foreshadowed in the unity of will with will is hereafter, as it seems, to be realised in a unity which shall embrace the whole being; each one will consciously share in the fulness of a life to which he has given himself, and will serve that by which he is maintained. To he in Christ is now the description of our vital energy; it will then be the sum of our existence; the body of Christ will then be no longer a figure, but a reality beyond all figures. And so it is given us to feel, even in the midst of our conflicts and estrangements, that the saddest differences of our mortal state are lost, as we are reminded by the most moving epitaph in our abbey: "Lost in the hope of the resurrection."
(B. F. Westcott, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: