WALKING IN THE OLD PATHS
A Fact of History
They anointed and wrapped His broken, bruised and mutilated body with loving hands. Surely their hearts were rent within. Can we doubt that tears flowed like rivers of water down their cheeks until they could cry no more? The One they loved and followed was dead. The One they thought would establish again the throne of His ancestor, David, lay embalmed in oriental manner, in a cold, dark cave. Perhaps they looked on as the authorities sealed the tomb and posted a Roman guard to keep watch. Their saddened minds had forgotten His promise "But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee" (Matthew 26:32).
There are still unbelievers who try desperately to explain away what happened. They have developed some very stupid and unbelievable theories in a vain attempt to disprove the great fact that death could not hold Him in its icy grip. In triumph He burst the bars of death.
Ed Harlow, in his book "Basic Bible Doctrines" reminds us that the resurrection of Christ is the best documented fact of ancient history. It is not my purpose in this short article to give all of the evidences of proof but consider this: If the Lord did not rise again, then His disciples have perpetrated one of the greatest hoaxes of all time. But that does not make sense at all because they had nothing to gain if it were not true, and very much to lose. But preach the resurrection they did at great personal cost. For preaching the truth of the resurrection they were imprisoned, flogged, stoned, crucified, thrown to lions, and burned to death. No, they peddled no hoax, no imaginative myth, but the glorious reality that Jesus Christ is the Lord of Life and victor over death.
As he contemplated the great fact of the resurrection, Robert Lowry was moved to write the following lovely hymn:
Low in the grave He lay,
Jesus, my Saviour!
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus, my Lord.
Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes;
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives for ever with His saints to reign!
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!
Vainly they watch His bed,
Jesus, my Saviour!
Vainly they seal the dead,
Jesus, my Lord!
Death cannot keep his prey,
Have you ever taken time to contemplate the significance of the resurrection and the great truths we are to learn from it?
Jesus, my Saviour,
He tore the bars away,
Jesus, my Lord.
First, it is the apex of the doctrine of the Deity of Christ. It is the grand proof of His Divine origin. None but One who is God could raise Himself up from the grave. Jesus had told the Jews that He had that power and now it had occurred.
"’Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father’" (John 10:17-18).
Jesus by His resurrection proved beyond doubt that His claims to equality with God were founded on the firm foundation of the rock of eternal Truth. There can be no serious doubt about it. He is the Son of God. We read in Romans 1:4 "...and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."
This is the very keystone of our Faith.
Secondly, the resurrection is the believer’s assurance of the completeness of Christ’s saving work on the cross. If God the Father had not been fully satisfied with the atonement made for my sins, Christ would not have risen from the dead. The tomb would still be sealed. Unlike some other religions we do not worship a dead prophet, but a living Saviour who has triumphed over sin and death.
Paul reminds us in Romans 4:23-25, "Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification."
Are you trusting in the crucified, living, ascended and coming Saviour? Only He can take away the guilt of sin and give peace to the troubled conscience.
A third thing that we can learn from the resurrection of Christ is that we too shall live again. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (I Cor. 15:22)
For the one who is united by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ this is a blessed future to ponder. One day "...the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout and with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds of the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." (I Thess. 5:22). Surely all who have been saved by grace echo the words of John as he brings the Revelation to a close, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"
But what of those who reject Christ? We are reminded of the words of the blessed Son of God Himself, "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice ‘and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:28,29).
If you, dear reader, are one of those who face the resurrection of condemnation, I would urge you to flee from the wrath to come. Flee away to Jesus. He has graciously said, "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37. He died for sinners such as you and me and His resurrection brings blest assurance to all who believe on Him.
Jack Scott loved his Lord! He passed away on January 10, 2001 after a lengthy illness.
He is missed greatly by his family.
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