But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
service. Here in our text the angel is no mere figure; he has something to do; he waits upon the rising Lord, rolls back the stone from the door, and sits upon it. Summarizing the work of the angels, it is said, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
I. THE RIGHEST DIGNITY IN THE OTHER WORLD. Angels are beings that belong to the other world; and if we can get to know about them, we get to know something of the occupations, interests, and sentiments of the other world. And this is the thing which the angels more especially teach us - in that other world their highest and noblest idea is "serving one another in love." There is one characteristic of the eternal state. It is even so characteristic as to seem to be the only characteristic worth mentioning - it is ministry. Heaven is heaven because every member can say, "I am among you as he that serveth." They learn this of Christ.
II. THE HIGHEST DIGNITY IN THIS WORLD. The angels illustrate it, and the Lord Jesus taught it. "Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your servant." Instances may be taken from the several ages, pre-Christian and Christian; and it may be shown that we never have an angel exhibiting himself or getting for himself; they are always doing two things - obeying and serving. Then show what an impression of the grandeur of angels we have. But what is our notion of them? Do we think of them as having extraordinary privileges? That is not their dignity. This is it - they have risen into the full joy of ministering. The circle is complete: God, Christ, the Spirit, beings of the other world, redeemed men and women in this world, are one in this - all are ministering. - R.T.
And the angel answered and said unto the women.
I. Because in seeking Him, they have an evidence that He has sought them, and found them, and touched their hearts.
II. They that seek Christ should rejoice; for in seeking they shall certainly find.
III. In finding Christ, they find everything suited to banish their fears. Christ has magnified the law. Sin taken away that troubles the conscience; death disarmed of his sting; the grave of its terrors; the dominion of Satan destroyed.
IV. Nothing shall finally separate them who have sought and found Christ (Romans 8:38, 39).
(H. Foster.)us as much as to the women at the sepulchre, etc. Light streams forth upon us in this passage from three distinct sources.
I. From THE PERSONS ADDRESSED.
1. They were women, who from their sex were naturally timid, and had in themselves nothing to enable them to face a supernatural appearance, or any of the terrors of such a scene as we have here. The doctrine of inherent weakness.
2. From the emphatic word "YE," the most important instruction is to be derived. "Ye" are Jesus' friends; no cause for fear have "ye." Full of teaching to those, who, weak, frightened, sorrowful. are seeking Jesus. Also to His true disciples, however weak, etc. They stand in the power of their relationship to Christ, and need desire no more.
II. FROM THE WORK IN WHICH THEY WERE ENGAGED. There was —
1. Loving personal search. They are blessed indeed who are thus seeking after Christ; like these women, they want to get to Himself.
2. Loving service.
3. Entire devotion to one rejected by the world.
(P. B. Power, M. A.)I. The gloomy approach. Characterized by visible grief, secret hope, timid faith.
II. The wonderful experience. The anticipated difficulty removed. The unexpected vision. The overpowering fear. The consoling exhortation.
III. The joyous return. Mingled emotions leading to rapid movement. The blessed meeting by the way. The salutation and commision.
(E. W. Wilson.)1. Women, though weak, are capable of religious offices. No understanding so weak, but it may believe; no body so weak, but it may do something in some calling.
2. These women were early in their religious work, they began betimes.
3. As they were early and forward, so were they earnest and sedulous.
4. Upon what their devotion was carried; upon things which could not entirely be done; yet God accepted their devotion. Where the root and substance of the work is piety, God pretermits many times errors in circumstance.
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