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was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.”
In the gospel for Good Friday, taken from the 19th chapter of St. John; you have had a particular account of our Saviour's trial before Pontius Pilate the Roman Governor ;—of His condemnation-of His crucifixion ;-and lastly, of His having said, “It is finished” and giving up His spirit into the hands of God Almighty.
Questions. Where is the gospel for Good Friday taken from? The 19th chapter of St. John. It gives a particular account of His trial: before whom was He tried ? Before Pontius Pilate. Who was Pontius Pilate? The Roman Governor. What does the history go on to relate ? Our Saviour's condemnation. What next? His crucifixion. And what are the last words he spake? It is finished.
Teacher. That is, the forfeit for our sins, due to the justice of God, was then paid, and mercy obtained for us upon our repentance. In the gospel for yesterday, (Easter even,) you may read, that Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for our Saviour's body, and after wrapping it in a clean linen cloth, he placed it in his own new tomb, hewn in the side of a rock, (which sort of tombs are seen in that country to the present day) and having rolled a great stone to the place of entrance, he departed.
Questions. What was paid when our Saviour said, " It is finished” and gave up the ghost ? The forfeit for our sins, due to the justice of God. And what was obtained for us upon repentance ? Mercy. Who went to Pilate and asked for our Saviour's body? Joseph of Arimathea. Where did he place it? In his own new tomb. Was that made like our graves ? No. How was it different? It was hewn in the side of a rock. Are such tombs to be seen in that country at the present day? Yes. What did he roll against the entrance ? A large stone.
Teacher. To this stone Pilate permitted the chief priests and scribes to affix their seals; and also to place a guard of Roman soldiers, to prevent any of our Saviour's disciples from stealing the body. In this manner passed the day after Good Friday, which we call in our church service, Easter Even. Very early on the following morning, Mary Magdalene went to the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away. In St. Matthew we are told, that the guard of Roman soldiers had seen an angel descend from heaven, roll back the stone, and seat himself upon it.
Questions, To whom did Pilate give permission to fix their seals to this stone? The chief priests and elders. And who did they place to watch the sepulchre ? A guard of Roman soldiers. Why did they use this caution ? To prevent any of the disciples from stealing the body of our Saviour. Who came early in the morning of the Sabbath day? Mary Magdalene. Was the stone rolled away? Yes. What had the Roman soldiers seen ? An angel descend from heaven.
Teacher. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment as white as snow. The soldiers in terror returned to the city. Mary Magdalene upon seeing that the body of our Lord was no longer in the sepulchre, ran to tell Simon Peter, and St. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. They went into the sepulchre, which she durst not do. From the order in which the linen clothes and the napkin were placed, we learn, that the resurrection of uor Lord was not done in haste, or in fear of detection ; but, with the dignity of the God, He thereby proved Himself to be. His disciples saw and believed-blessed are they who have not seen, and yet believe.
The First Sunday after Easter.
ST. JOHN xx. 19.
“ The same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut, where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.”
Teacher. “ The same day at evening," means the same day on which our blessed Lord arose from the dead. In the verses you repeated last Sunday, a description was given of Mary Magdalene coming to the sepulchre, and upon perceiving the stone to have been taken away; she immediately ran to tell St. Peter and St. John. They came back with her; examined the sepulchre, and then returned to their own homes ; but still she lingered near the place where her Lord had been laid ; and as she wept, and looked into the sepulchre, she saw two angels in white, sitting one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
Questions. What is meant by the same day at evening? The day on which our blessed Saviour rose from the dead. In the verses you learned last Sunday, who is described as coming to the sepulchre, and seeing the stone to have been taken away? Mary Magdalene. What did she then do? She immediately ran to tell St. Peter and St. John. Did they return with her ? Yes. And what did they do ? They examined the sepulchre and returned to their own homes. And did she return home? No; she lingered near the place where her Lord had been laid. Did not that shew great affection for Him? Yes. As she wept, and stooped down to look into the sepulchre, what did she see? Two angels in white, sitting one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had laid.
Teacher. They asked her why she wept; and upon her replying, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him," Jesus Himself stood by her, and called her by her