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will we be rendered more submissive by this simple recognition of the sovereignty of Christ, that is implied in the word Rabboni. He is our Master, and has a right to assign to us, as his servants, what he deems best, and in the end we shall see that it was best, and the first step to that sight, is that of sweet, unmurmuring submission to the will of Christ, as our Sovereign Lord.
The same thought may be carried on to the füture, so as to remove our fears. We perhaps dread the coming of unknown sorrows, more than the endurance of those that are known. We can bear those that we now have, but we shrink from what may happen in the future, sickness, disappointment, poverty, reproach, or that dark and fearful valley that lies between us and a vast eternity. These excite our dread. But if you now obey the voice of Jesus in his commands, you shall then hear the voice of Jesus in his comforts. When you pass through the rivers, he will be with you. When you walk through the fire, even though it be a furnace seven times heated, there shall be beside you a form, like unto the form of the Son of God. And when at last you begin to enter the dark valley, he will be with you there, his rod and staff shall comfort you, and his words shall not be those to Mary, "Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father and your Father," but, “Come up hither," and the weary shall be at rest.
We have then, in this scene at the sepulchre, much comfort for every mourner, who weeps with a heart that loves the Saviour. To every such weeper, there is the assurance that whatever be the cause of the sorrow, Jesus is near the soul; and it needs no new truth, no new revelation, to bring comfort, but only to recall what has been already spoken, and long known, the “words of Jesus,” the sure and unfailing promises on which we may and ought to rest with an absolute and unquestioning trust. Thus believing, and looking, and listening, our weeping may endure for a night, but joy shall return in the morning.
THE SECOND APPEARANCE-OBEDIENCE REWARDED.
Order of events : Lessons from the second appearance. I. The mis
sion of woman—Why the women selected to tell the first tidings of the resurrection—They do so still-Augustine—Alfred-HallHalyburton-Doddridge-Wesley-Randolph-The convicted infidel-A mother's power. II. The salutation of Jesus—Blessings met only in the path of obedience. III. Jesus worshipped—Why Mary Magdalene was forbidden what was allowed to the other women-The divinity of Christ. IV. The brotherly appellation The new name-The elder brother. V. The brotherly messages-- Why meet in Galilee-The great appointment-Be ye also ready.
“Let us obey, we then shall know, .
Shall feel our sins forgiven,
And own that love is heaven.”
“And as they went to tell his disciples, behold Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid : go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.”Matt. xxviii. 9, 10.
This was the second appearance of our Lord, and must have been immediately after that to Mary Magdalene. The order of events seems to have been as already indicated, that as soon as Mary saw the grave to be empty, she ran back to the city to inform Peter and John, who immedi.
ately came in great haste to see the sepulcbre. Meanwhile, the women, whom Mary had left, saw the vision of angels, and turned back to the city to announce the resurrection to the disciples. Immediately after their departure, Mary, Peter, and John came to the grave, and after Peter and John had left it, Mary had the first sight of the risen Saviour, and was sent by him to the disciples, who were doubtless in different parts of the city. All this would occupy but a short time, if we only suppose that Peter and John were lodging in a part of the city near the sepulchre. After this interview with Mary, and whilst the women were going, by a longer road, to probably a more distant part of the city than that where Peter and John were lodging, Jesus met them, and afforded them the second appearance after the resurrection. In this appearance, there are several thoughts suggested, worthy of consideration.
1. The mission of woman.
It is a striking fact, that both the visions of angels, both the first annunciations of the resurrection, and both the first appearances of Christ, were made to the women. Why was this? Why not to Peter, John, Joseph, Nicodemus, or some others of the eleven? It cannot be that six facts so important should have happened without design and meaning. Why was it thus ordered ? Probably for the same reason that placed three women
to one man at the cross, and now places three women to one man at the communion table. The female heart has a quicker sympathy and a stronger drawing to religion than the male, and hence is found more generally in a state of greater preparedness for it. It is more confiding and pure than the male, and hence receives the glad tidings with more readiness. The hearts of men come so early and so much in contact with a sinful world, that they become more seared and hardened than those of women, and therefore less disposed to believe and obey the Saviour. It was so with the male and female disciples of Jesus. When the men forsook him and fled, and gave up all hope, and refused to believe the first announcement of the resurrection, the women clung to him, even to the end, were last at the cross, last at the sepulchre, earliest to return, and easiest to believe that Christ had risen indeed. It was doubtless in view of this fact, the greater preparedness of heart possessed by the women, that those six distinctions were granted to them, and that only their eyes were allowed to see the angels.
But as we look a little closer at this fact, we find that it was not so exceptional a fact, as it appeared at first sight. It seems strange that the first tidings of the resurrection from human lips, should have been, not from the lips of the apostles, who were to be the authorized heralds of this fact, but of