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« Ps. 22. 1.
1 Ps. 69. 21.
• Matt. 27. 50.
Luke 23. 46. John 19. 30.
voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which 40 There were also women looking on asar «off; is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast among whom was Mary Magdalene and Mary the thou forsaken me?:
mother of James the less, and of Joses, and Sa35 And some of them that stood by, when they lome; heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.
41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed 36 And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, him, and ministered unto him ;) and many other and put it on a reed, and "gave him to drink, say- women which came up with him unto Jerusalem. ing, Let alone ; let us see whether Elias will come 42 And now when the even was come, because to take him down.
it was the Preparation, that is, the day before the 37 And •Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave sabbath, up the ghost.
43 Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsel38 And the vail of the temple was rent in twain, lor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, from the top to the bottom.
and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body 39 And when the centurion, which stood over of Jesus. against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up 41 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead : the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him God.
whether he had been any while dead. < Ps. 42. 9. 71.11. Lam. 1. 12.
3 Luke 8. 2, 3. y Luke 2. 25, 38. was under in his sufferings, were like that fire from heaven man was the Son of God. But what reason had he to say so? which had been sent sometimes, in extraordinary cases, lo I answer, 1. He had reason to say that he suffered unjustly, and consume the sacrifices, (as Lev. 9. 24. 2 Chr. 7.1. 1 Kings had a great deal of wrong done him. Note, He suffered for 18.38;) and it was always a token of God's acceptance. The saying that he was the Son of God; and it was true he did say fire that should have fallen upon the sinner, if God had not been so, so that if he suffered unjustly, as it was plain by all the pacified, fell upon the Sacrifice, as a token that he was so ; circumstances of his sufferings that he did, then what he said, therefore it now fell upon Christ, and extorted from him this was true, and he was indeed the Son of God. 2. He had realoud and bitter cry. When Paul was to be offered as a sacrifice son to say that he was a Favourite of heaven, and one for whom for the service of saints, he could joy and rejoice, (Phil. 2. 17;) the Almighiy Power was particularly engaged, seeing how but it is another thing to be offered as a sacrifice for the sin Heaven did him honour at his death, and frowned upon his of sinners. Now, at the sixth hour, and so to the ninth, the sun persecutors. “Surely," thinks he, “this must be some Divino was darkened by an extraordinary eclipse ; and if it he true, as Person, highly beloved of God.” This he expresses by such some astronomers compute, that in the evening of this day on words as denote his eternal generation as God, and his special which Christ died there was an eclipse of the moon, that was designation to the office of Mediator, though he meant not so. natural and expected, in which seven digits of the moon were Our Lord Jesus, even in the depth of his sufferings and humilidarkened, and it continued from five o'clock till seven, it is re- ation, was the Son of God, and was declared to be so with markable, and yet further significant of the darkness of the power. time that then was. When the sun shall be darkened, the moon VII. There were some of his friends, the good women espealso shall not give her light.
cially, that attended him; (v. 40, 41,) There were women lookIII. Christ's prayer was bantered by them that stood by, ing on afar off : the men durst not be seen at all, the mob was (v. 35, 36;) because he cried Eli, Eli, or (as Mark has it, ac- so very outrageous; Currenti cede furori-Give way to the cording to the Syriac dialect) Elni, Eloi, they said, He calls raging torrent, they thought was good counsel now. The wofor Elias, though they knew very well what he said, and what men durst not come near, but stood at a distance, overwhelmed it signified, My God, my God. Thus did they represent him with grief. Some of these women are here named. Mary as praying to saints, either because he had abandoned God, or Magdalene was one; she had been his patient, and owed all God had abandoned him; and hereby they would make him her comfort to his power and goodness, which rescued her out more and more odious to the people. One of them filled a of the possession of seven devils, in gratitude for which she sponge with vinegar, and reached it up to him upon a reed; thought she could never do enough for him. Mary also was Let him cool his mouth with that, it is drink good enough for there, the mother of James the little, Jacobus parvus, so the word him," v. 36. This was intended for a further affront and abuse is ;, probably, he was so called, because he was, like Zaccheus, to him ; and whoever it was that checked him who did it, did little of stature. This Mary was the wife of Cleophas or but add to the reproach ; " Let him alone ; he has called for Alpheus, sister to the virgin Mary. These women had followed Elias: let us see whether Elias will come to take him down; and Christ from Galilee, the they were not required to attend if not we may conclude that he also hath abandoned him." the feast, as the males were ; but it is probable that they came,
IV. Christ did again cry with a loud voice, and so gave up in expectation that his temporal kingdom would now shortly be the ghost, v. 37. He was now commending his soul into his set up, and big with hopes of preferment for themselves, and Father's hands; and though God is not moved with any bodily their relations under him. It is plain that the mother of Zebeexercise, yet this loud voice signified the great strength and dee's children was so, (Matt. 20. 21 ;) and now to see him ardency of affection wherewith he did it ; to teach us in every upon a cross, whom they thought to have seen upon a throne, thing wherein we have to do with God, to put forth our utmost could not but be a great disappointment to them. Note, Those vigour, and to perform all the duties of religion, particularly that follow Christ, in expectation of great things in this world that of self-resignation, with our whole heart and our whole by him, and by the profession of his religion, may probably live soul; and then, though speech fails, that we cannot cry with a to see themselves sadly disappointed. loud voice, as Christ did, yet if God be the Strength of the V. 42–47. We are here attending the funeral of our Lord heart, that will not fail. Christ was really and truly dead, for Jesus, a solemn, mournful funeral. O that we may by grace be he gave up the ghost; his human soul departed to the world of planted in the likeness of it! Observe, spirits, and left his body a breathless clod of clay.
I. How the body of Christ was begged. It was, as the dead V. Just at that instant that Christ died upon mount Calvary, bodies of malefactors are, at the disposal of the government, the vail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the Those that hurried him to the cross, designed he should make bottom, v. 38. This spake a great deal, 1. Of terror to the his grave with the wicked: but God designed he should mako unbelieving Jews ; for it was a presage of the utter destruction it with the rich, (Is. 53. 9,) and so he did. We are here told, of their church and nation, which followed not long after; it was 1. When the body of Christ was begged, in order to its being like the cutting asunder of the staff of beauty, for this vail was buried, and why such haste was made with the funeral; The exceeding splendid and glorious, (Ex. 26. 31,) and that was even was come, and it was the preparation, that is, the day before done at the same time when they gave for his price thirty pieces the sabbath, v. 42. The Jews were more strict in the observaof silver, Zech. 11. 10, 12, to break the covenant which he had tion of the sabbath than of any other feast; and therefore though made with that people. Now it was time to cry, Ichabod, The this day was itself a feast-day, yet they observed it more religlory is departed from Israel. Some think that that story which giously as the eve of the sabbath; when they prepared their Josephus relates, of the temple door opening of its own accord, houses and tables for the splendid and joyful solemnizing of the with that voice, Let us deport hence, some years before the de- sabbath day. Note, The day before iho sabbath should be a struction of Jerusalem, is the same with this ; but that is not day of preparation for the sabbath, not of our houses and tables, probable; however, this had the same signification, according but of our hearts, which, as much as possible, should be freed to that, (Hos. 5. 14,) I will tear, and go away. 2. It speaks a from the cares and business of the world, and fixed, and put in deal of comfort to all believing Christians, for it signified the frame for the service and enjoyment of God. Such work is to consecrating and laying open to us of a new and living way be done, and such advantages are to be gained on the sabbath into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.
day, that it is requisite we should get ready for it a day before; VI. The centurion who commanded that detachment which nay, the whole week should be divided between the improvehad the oversight of the execution, was convinced, and confessed ment of the foregoing sabbath and the preparation for the folthat this Jesus was the Son of God, v. 39. One thing that lowing sabbath. satisfied him, was, that he so cried out and gave up the ghost : 2. Who it was that begged the body, and took carc, for the that one who was ready to give up the ghost should be able to decent interment of it; it was Joseph of Arimathea, who is cry out so, was very surprising. Of all the sad spectacles of here called an honourable counsellor, (v. 43,) a person of chathis kind he never observed ihe like; and that one who had racter and distinction, and in an office of public trust; somo strength to cry so loud, should yet immediately give up the think in the state, and ihat he was one of Pilate's privy council; ghost, this also made him wonder; and he said, to the honour his post rather seems to have been in the church, he was one of of Christ, and the shamo of those that abused him, Truly this the great sanhedrim of the Jews, or one of the high priest's
45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave A Nene, abah Marsa the mother of James and Sa
when , the body to Joseph.
46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, lome, had bought sweet spices, that they might and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a come and anoint him. sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled 2 And very early in the morning, the first day of a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of the sun. of Joses beheld where he was laid.
3. And they said among themselves, Who shall CHAPTER XVI.
roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulIn this chapter, we have a short account of the resurrection and ascension of the chre? Lord Jesus; and the joys and triumphs which it furnishes all believers with, 4 (And when they looked, they saw that the stone the foregoing chapters. Here is, 1. Christ's resurrection notified by an angel to was rolled away,) for it was very great. the women that came to the sepulchre to anoint him, v. 1-8. II. His ap
5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a pearance to Mary Magdalene, and the account she gave of it to the disciples, 1.11. 11. His appearance to the two disciples going to Emmaus, and the young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a report they made of it to their brethren, v. 12, 13. IV. Hisappearance orice long white garment; and they were affrighted. and fall instructions and credentials in order thereunto, y. 14-18. V. His ascension into heaven, the apostles' close applicativu to their work, and God's seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified : he is
6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted : Ye owning of them in it, y. 19, 20. z c. 16. 3, 4.
a Matt.23. 1, &c. Luke 2. I, &c. John 20.1, &c. b Luke 23. 56. council. He was ivoxñuw BovAcúrns-counsellor that con- land of Canaan, yet had a burying-place, but Christ had not so ducted himself in his place as did become him. Those are truly i much as that. This sepulchre was hewn out of a rock, for honourable, and those only, in places of power and trust, who: Christ died to make the grave a refuge and shelter to the saints, make conscience of their duty, and whose deportment is agree- ' and being hewn out of a rock, it is a strong refuge. O thai able to their preferment. But here is a more shining charac-i thou wouldest hide me in the grare! Christ himself is a hidingter put upon him; he was one that waited for the kingdom of place to his people, that is, as the shadow of a great rock. God, the kingdom of grace on earth, and of glory in heaven, 4. He rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre, for so the the kingdom of the Messiah. Note, Those who wait for the manner of the Jews was to bury. When Daniel was put into kingdom of God, and hope for an interest in the privileges of it, the lions' den, a stone was laid to the mouth of it to keep him must show it by their forwardness to own Christ's cause and in, as here to the door of Christ's sepulchre, but neither of them interest, even then when it seems to be crushed and run down. could keep off the angels' visits to the prisoners. Observe, Even among the honourable counsellors there were 5. Some of the good women attended the funeral, and beheld some, there was one at least, that waited for the kingdom of where he was laid, that they might come after the sabbath to God, whose faith will condemn the unbelief of all the rest. anoint the dead body, because they had not time to do it now. This man God raised up for this necessary service, when none When Moses, the mediator and lawgiver of the Jewish church, of Christ's disciples could or durst undertake it, having neither was buried, care was taken that no man should know of his purse, nor interest, nor courage for it. Joseph went in boldly sepulchre, (Deut. 34. 6,) because the respects of the people in Pilate ; though he knew how much it would affront the chief towards his person were to die with him ; but when our great priests, who had loaded him with so much reproach, to see any Mediator and Lawgiver was buried, special notice was taken honour done him, yet he put on courage; perhaps at first he of his sepulchre, because he was to rise again : and the care was a little afraid, but to lunoas-taking heart on it, he deter- taken of his body, speaks the care which he himself will take mined to show this respect to the remains of the Lord Jesus, concerning his body the church, even then when it seems to be let the worst come to the worst.
a dead body, and as a valley full of dry bones, it shall be pre3. What a surprise it was to Pilate, to hear that he was dead, served in order to a resurrection; as shall also the dead bodies (Pilate, perhaps, expecting that he would have saved himself, of the saints, with whose dust there is a covenant in force and come down from the cross,) especially that he was alrealy which shall not be forgotten. Our meditations on Christ's dead, that one who seemed to have more than ordinary vigour, burial should lead us to think of our own, and should help to should so soon yield to death. Every circumstance of Christ's make the grave familiar to us, and so to make that bed easy, dying was marvellous ; for from first to last his name was called which we must shortly make in the darkness. Frequent thoughts Wonderful. Pilate doubted (so some understand it) whether of it would not only take off the dread and terror of it, but quicken he were yet dead or no, fearing lest he should be imposed upon, us, since the graves are always ready for us, to get ready for and the body should be taken down alive, and recovered, whereas the graves, Job 17. 1. the sentence was, as with us, to hang till the body be dead. He therefore called the centurion, his own officer, and asked him
NOTES TO CHAPTER XVI. whether he had been any while dead, (v. 44,) whether it was so V.1-8. Never was there such a subbath since the sabbath was long since they perceived any sign of life in him, any breath or first instituted as this was, which the first words of this chapter motion, that they might conclude he was dead past recall. The tell us was now pust; during all this sabbath our Lord Jesus centurion could assure him of this, for he had particularly lay in the grave. It was to him a sabbath of rest, but a silent observed how he gave up the ghost, v. 39. There was a spe- sabbath ; it was to his disciples a melancholy sabbath, spent in cial providence in it, that Pilate should be so strict in ex- tears and fears. Never were the sabbath services in the temamining this, that there might be no pretence to say, that he ple such an abomination to God, though they had been often so, was buried alive, and so to take away the truth of his resur- as they were now, when the chief priests, who presided in them, rection ; and so fully was this determined, that that objection had their hands full of blood, the blood of Christ. Well, this was never started. Thus the truth of Christ gains confirma- sabbath is over, and the first day of the week is the first day of tion, sometimes, even from its enemies.
a new world. We have here, II. How the body of Christ was buried. Pilate gave Joseph I. The affectionate visit which the good women that had atleave to take down the body, and do what he pleased with it. tended Christ, now made to his sepulchremnot a superstitious It was a wonder the chief priests were not too quick for him, one, but a pious one. They set out from their lodgings very and had not first begged the body of Pilate, to expose it and early in the morning, at break of day, or sooner; but either they drag it about the streets, but that remainder of their wrath had a long walk, or they met with some hinderance, so that it did God restrain, and gave that invaluable prizeto Joseph, who was sunrising by the time they got to the sepulchre. They knew how to value it; and the hearts of the priests were so had bought sweet spices too, and came not only to beder the influenced, that they did not oppose it. Sit divus, modo non dead body with their tears, (for nothing could more renew their sit vivus-We care not for his being adored, provided he be not grief than this,) but to perfume it with their spices, v. 1. Nico revived.
demus had bought a very large quantity of dry spices, myrrh and 1. Joseph bought fine linen to wrap the body in, though in alors, which served to dry the wounds, and dry up the blood, such a case old linen that had been worn might have been John 19, 39. But these good women did not think that enough; thought sufficient. In paying respects to Christ it becomes us they bought spices, perhaps of another kind, some perfumed to be generous, and to serve him with the best that can be got, oils, to anoint him. 'Note, The respect which others have not with that which can be got at the best hand.
showed to Christ's name, should not hinder us from showing 2. He took down the body, mangled and lacerated as it was, our respect to it. and wrapped it in the linen as a treasure of great worth. Our II. The care they were in about the rolling away of the Lord Jesus hath commanded himself to be delivered to us sa- stone, and the superseding of that care, (v. 3, 4,) They said cramentally in the ordinance of the Lord's supper, which we among themselves, as they were coming along, and now drew should receive in such a manner as may best express our love near the sepulchre, Who shall roll us away the stone from the to him, who loved us and died for us.
door of the sepulchre? For it was very great, more than they 3. He laid it in resepulchre of his own, in a private place. with their united strength could move. They should have We sometimes find it spoken of in the story of the kings of thought of this before they came out, and then discretion would Judah, as a slur upon the memory of the wicked kings, that have bid them not go, unless they had those to go with them they were not buried in the sepulchres of the kings; our Lord who could do it. And there was another difficulty much greater Jesus, though he did no evil, but much good, and to him was than this, to be got over, which they knew nothing of, to wit, given the throne of his father David, yet was buried in the a guard of soldiers set to keep the sepulchre ; who, had they graves of the common people, for it was not in this world, but come before they were frightened away, would have frightened in the other, that his rest was glorious. This sepulchre belonged them away. But their gracious love to Christ carried ihem to to Joseph; Abraham, when he had no other possession in the the sepulchro; and see how by the time they came thither, both
risen ;' he is not here: behold the place where they neither said they any thing to any man; for they laid him.
were afraid. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter 9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, ye see him, as he said unto you.
dout of whom he had cast seven devils. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the 10 And she went and told them that had been sepulchre ; for they trembled and were amazed : with him, as they mourned and wept.
those difficulties were removed, both the stone which they knew it notified to them. [2.] Christ is not extreme to mark what of, and the guard which they knew not of. They saw that the they do amiss, whose hearts are upright with him. The disstone was rolled away, which was the first thing that amazed ciples had very unkindly deserted him, and yet he testified his them. Note, They who are carried by a holy zeal, to seek concern for them. (3.) Seasonable comforts shall be sent to Christ diligently, will find the difficulties that lie in their way them that are lamenting after the Lord Jesus, and he will find a strangely to vanish, and themselves helped over them beyond time to manifest himself to them. their expectation.
.(2.) They must be sure to tell Peter. This is particularly III. The assurance that was given them by an angel, that taken notice of by this evangelist, who is supposed to have the Lord Jesus was risen from the dead, and had taken leave of written by Peter's direction. If it were told the disciples, it his sepulchre, and had left him there to tell those so who came would be told Peter, for, as a token of his repentance for disthither to inquire after him.
owning his Master, he still associated with his disciples; yet he 1. They entered into the sepulchre, at least, a little way in, is particularly named, Tell Peter, for, [1.] It will be good news and saw thai the body of Jesus was not there where they left it to him, more welcome to him than to any of them; for he is in the other night. He, who by his death undertook to pay our sorrow for sin, and no tidings can be more welcome to true penidebt, in his resurrection took out our acquittance, for it was his tents than to hear of the resurrection of Christ, because he rose discharge out of prison, and it was a fair and legal discharge, again for their justification. (2.) He will be afraid, lest the by which it appeared that his satisfaction was accepted for all joy of this good news do not belong to him. Had the angel the purposes for which it was intended, and the matter in dis- said only, Go, tell his disciples, poor Peter would have been pute was determined by an incontestable evidence that he was ready to sigh, and
“But I'doubt I cannot look upon mythe Son of God.
self as one of them, for I disowned him, and deserve to be dis2. They saw a young man silting on the right side of the owned by him ;" to obviate that, “Go to Peter by name, and sepulchre. The angel appeared in the likeness of a man, of a tell him, he shall be as welcome as any of the rest to see him young man; for angels, though created in the beginning, grow in Galilee." Note, A sight of Christ will be very welcome to not old, but are always in the same perfection of beauty and a true penitent, and a true penitent shall be very welcome to a strength; and so shali glorified saints be, when they are as the sight of Christ, for there is joy in heaven concerning him. angels. This angel was sitting on the right hand as they went (3.) They must appoint them all, and Peter, by name, to into the sepulchre, clothed with a long white garment, a garment give him the meeting in Galilee, as he said unto you, Matt. down to the feet, such as great men were arrayed with. The 26. 32. In their journey down into Galilee they would have sight of him might justly have encouraged them, but they were time to recollect themselves, and call to mind what he had often affrighted. Thus many times that which should be matter of said to them there, that he should suffer and die, and the third comfort to us, through our own mistakes and misapprehensions day be raised again; whereas while they were at Jerusalem, proves a terror to us.
among strangers and enemies, they could not recover them3. He silences their fears by assuring them that here was selves from the fright they had been in, nor compose themselves cause enough for triumph, but none for trembling; (v. 6,) He to the due entertainment of better tidings. Note, [1.] All the saith to them, Be not atfrighted. Note, As angels rejoice in meetings between Christ and his disciples are of his own apthe conversion of sinners, so they do also in the consolation of pointing. [2.] Christ never forgets his appointment, but will saints. Be not affrighted, for, (1.) “Ye are faithful lovers be sure to meet his people with the promised blessing in every of Jesus Christ, and therefore, instead of being confounded, place where he records his name. (3.) In all meetings between ought to be comforted. Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was Christ and his disciples, he is the most forward. He goes-becrucified." Note, The inquiries of believing souls afier Christ, fore you. have a particular regard to him as crucified, (1 Cor. 2.2,) that IV. The account which the women did bring of this to the they may know him, and the fellowship of his sufferings. His disciples; (v. 8,) They went out quickly, and ran from the sebeing lifted up from the earth, is that which draws all men unto pulchre, to make all the haste they could to the disciples, tremhim. Christ's cross is the ensign to which the Gentiles seek.bling and umazed. See how much we are enemies to ourselves Observe, He speaks of Jesus as one that was crucified; "The and our own comfort, in not considering and mixing faith with thing is past, that scene is over, ye must not dwell so much what Christ hath said to us; Christ had often told them, that upon the sad circumstances of his crucifixion as to be unapt to the third day he would rise again, had they given that its due believe the joyful news of his resurrection. He was crucified notice and credit, they would have come to the sepulchre, exin weakness, yet that doth not hinder but that he may be raised pecting to have found him risen, and would have received the in power, and therefore ye that seek him, be not afraid of news of it with a joyful assurance, and not with all this terror mieeing of him." He was crucified, but he is glorified; and the and amazement. But, being ordered to tell the disciples, beshame of his sufferings is so far from lessening the glory of his cause they were to tell it to all the world, they would not tell it exaltation, that that glory perfectly wipes away all the reproach to any one else, they showed not any thing of it to any man of his sufferings. And therefore after his entrance upon his that they met by the way, for they were afraid, afraid it was too glory, he never drew any vail over his sufferings, nor was shy good news to be true. Note, Our disquieting fears often hinder of having his cross spoken of. The angel here that proclaims us from doing that service to Christ and to the souls of men, his resurrection, calls him Jesus that was crucified. He him- which, if faith and the joy of faith were strong, we might do. self owns, (Rev. 1, 18,) I am he that liveth, and was dead; and V. 9-13. We have here a very short account of two of he appears in the midst of the praises of the heavenly host as a Christ's appearances, and the little credit which the report of Lamb that had been slain, Rev. 5. 6. (2.).“ It will therefore them gained with the disciples, be good news to you, to hear that, instead of anointing him I. He appeared to Mary Magdalene, to her first in the gardead, you may rejoice in him living. He is risen, he is not here, den, which we have a particular narrative of, John 20. 14. It not dead, but alive again ; we cannot as yet show you him, here was she out of whom he had cast seven devils ; much was forafter you will see him, but you may here see the place where given her, and much was given her, and done for her, and she they laid him, and you see he is gone hence, not stolen either love much; and this honour Christ did her, that she was the by his enemies or by his friends, but risen."
first that saw him after his resurrection. The closer we cleave 4. He orders them to give speedy notice of this to his dis- to Christ, the sooner we may expect to see him. and the more ciples. Thus they were made the apostles of the apostles, to see of him. which was a recompense of their affection and fidelity to him, Now, 1. She brings notice of what she had seen to the disin attending him on the cross, to the grave, and in the grave. ciples; not only to the eleven, but to the rest that followed him, They first came, and were first served; no other of the disciples as they mourned and wept, v. 10. Now was the time of which darsi come near his sepulchre, or inquire after him; so little Chrisi had told them, that they should mourn and lament, danger was there of their coming by night to steal him away, John 16. 20. And it was an evidence of their great love to that none came near him but a few women, who were not able Christ, and the deep sense they had of their loss of him. But so much as to roll away the stone.
weeping had endured a night or two, comfort re(1.) They must tell the disciples, that he is risen. It is a turned, as Christ had promised them; I will see you again, and dismal time with them, their dear Master is dead, all their your heart shall rejoice. Better news cannot be brought to hopes and joys are buried in his grave; they look upon their disciples in tears, than to tell them of Christ's resurrection. cause as sunk, and themselves ready to fall an easy prey into And we should study to be comforters to disciples that are the hands of their enemies, so that there remains no more spirit mourners, by communicating to them our experiences, and in the m, they are perfectly at their wits' end, every one is con- what we have seen of Christ. triving how to shift for himself. “O, go quickly to them,” saith 2. They could not give credit to the report she brought the angel," tell them that their Master is risen ; this will put some them. They heard that he was alive, and had been seen of life and spirit into them, and keep them from sinking into de- her. The story was plausible
enough, and yet they believed nol. spair. Note, [1.] Christ is not ashamed to own his poor dis- They would not say that she made the story herself, or deciples, no, not now that he is in his exalted state ; his preferment signed to deceive them; but they fear that she is imposed upon doth not make him shy of them, for he took early care to have I and that it was but a fancy that she saw him. Had they believed 11 And they, when they had heard that he was 15 And he said unto them, Go bye into all the alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.
12 Alter that he appeared in another form unto? 16 He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be two of them, as they walked, and went into the saved ; but he that believeth not, shall be damned. country.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe : 13 And they went and told it unto the residue; In 'my name shall they cast out devils; they shall neither believed they them.
speak with new tongues ; 14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they 18 They shall take up "serpents; and if they sat *at meat, and upbraided them with their unbe- drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they lief and hardness of heart, because they believed shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall renot them which had seen him after he was risen.
I Luke 10. 17. Acus 5. 16. 8.7. 16. 18. 19. 12. i John 3. 18, 36. Acus
Luke 24. 25.
d Luke 24. 13. e Luke 24. 36. I Cor. 15. 5. • or, together.
& John 12. 48. 2 Thes. 2. 12.
n Luke 10. 19. Acta 23. 5.
O Acts 5.
the frequent predictions of it from his own mouth, they would amusement or entertainment, but as a solemn message from not have been now so incredulous of the report of it.
God to men, and an appointed means of making men happy. II. He appeared to two of the disciples, as they went into the " Tell as many as you can, and bid them tell others, it is a country, v. 12. This refers, no doubi, to that which is largely message of universal concern, and therefore ought to have a related, (Luke 24. 13,) of what passed between Christ and the universal welcome, because it gives a universal welcome." two disciples going to Emmaus. He is here said to have 2. What is the summary of the Gospel they are to preach; appeared to them in another form, in another dress than what (v. 16,) "Set before the world life and death, good and evil. he usually wore, in the form of a traveller, as, in the garden, in Tell the children of men that they are all in a state of misery such a dress, that Mary Magdalene took him for the gardener; and danger, condemned by their Prince, and conquered and ena but that he had really his own countenance, appears by this, slaved by their enemies." This is supposed in their being that their eyes were holden, that they should not know him; and saved, which they would not need to be if they were not losi. when that restraint on their eyes was taken off, immediately Now go and tell them,” (1.) “That if they believe the Gospel, they knew him, Luke 24, 16, 31. Now,
and give up themselves to be Christ's disciples; if they renounce 1. These two witnesses gave in their testimony to this proof the devil, the world, and the flesh, and be devoted to Christ as of Christ's resurrection; They went, and told it to the residue, their Prophet, Priest, and King, and to God in Christ as their v. 13. Being satisfied themselves, they were desirous to give God in covenant, and evidence by their constant adherence to their brethren the satisfaction they had, that they might be com- this covenant their sincerity herein, they shall be saved from the forted as they were.
guilt and power of sin, it shall not rule them, it shall not ruin 2. This did not gain credit with all: Neither believed they them. He that is a true Christian, shall be saved through them. They suspected that their eyes also deceived them. Christ." Baptism was appointed to be the inaugurating rile, Now there was a wise providence in it, that the proofs of by which those that embraced Christ owned him; but it is Christ's resurrection were given in thus gradually, and ad-here put rather for the thing signified than for the sign, for mitted thus cautiously, that so the assurance with which the Simon Magus believed, and was baptized, yet was not sared, apostles preached this doctrine afterward, when they ventured Acts 8. 13. Believing with the heart, and confessing with the their all upon it, might be the more satisfying. We have the mouth the Lord Jesus, (Rom. 10. 9,) seem to be much the same more reason to believe those who did themselves believe so with this here. Or thus, We must assent to Gospel truths, and slowly : had they swallowed it presently, they might have been consent to Gospel terms. (2.) “ If they believe not, if they rethought credulous, and their testimony the less to be regarded ; ceive not the record God gives concerning his Son, they cannot but their disbelieving at first, shows that they did not believe it expect any other way of salvation, but must inevitably perish; afterward but upon a full conviction.
they shall be damned, by the sentence of a despised Gospel, added V. 14-18. Here is,
to that of a broken law.” And even this is Gospel, it is good I. The conviction which Christ gave his apostles of the truth news, that nothing else but unbelief shall damn men, which is a of his resurrection ; (v. 14,) He appeared to them himself when sin against the remedy. Dr. Whitby here observes, that they they were all together, as they sal at meat, which gave him an who hence infer, “That the infant seed of believers are not opportunity to ent and drink with them, for their full satisfac- capable of baptism, because they cannot believe, must hence tion; see Acts 10. 41. And still, when he appeared to them, also infer that they cannot be saved; faith being here more he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, for expressly required to salvation than to baptism. And that in even at the general meeting in Galilee, some doubted, as we the latter clause baptism is omitted, because it is not simply find, Matt. 28. 17. Note, The evidences of the truth of the the want of baptism, but the contemptuous neglect of it, which Gospel are so full, that those who receive it not, may justly be makes men guilty of damnation, otherwise infants might be upbraided with their unbelief; and it is owing not to any weak- damned for the mistakes or profaneness of their parents." ness or deficiency in the proofs, but to the hardness of the heart, 3. What power they should be endowed with, for the conits senselessness and stupidity. Though they had not till now firmation of the doctrine they were to preach : (v. 17,) These seen him themselves, they are justly blamed because they be- signs shall follow them that believe. Not that all who believe, hieved not them who had seen him after he was risen; and per- shall be able to produce these signs, but some, even as many as haps it was owing in part to the pride of their hearts, that they were employed in propagating the faith, and bringing others to dil not; for they thought, “ If indeed he were risen, to whom it; for signs are intended for them that believe not ; see 1 Cor. should he delighi lo do the honour of showing himself but to us?" 14. 22. It added much to the glory and evidence of the Gospel, And if he pass them by, and show himsef to others first, they that the preachers not only wrought miracles themselves, but cannot believe it is he. Thus many disbelieve the doctrine of conferred upon others a power to work miracles, which power Christ, because they think it below them to give credit to such followed some of them that believed, wherever they went to as he has chosen to be the witnesses and publishers of it. Ob preach. They shall do wonders in Christ's name; the same serve, it will not suffice for an excuse of our infidelity in the name into which they were baptized, in the virtue of power great day, to say, “We did not see him after he was risen,” derived from him, and fetched in by prayer. Some particular for we ought to have believed the testimony of those who did signs are mentioned ; (1.) They shall cast out devils ; this power see him.
was more common among Christians than any other, and lasted II. The commission which he gave them to set up his king- lenger, as appears by the testimonies of Justin Martyr, Origen, dom among men by the preaching of his Gospel, the glad tidings Irenæus, Tertullian, Minutius Felix, and others, cited by Groof reconciliation to God ihrough a Mediator. Now observe, tius on this place. (2.) They shall speak with new tongues,
1. To whom they were to preach the Gospel. Hitherto they which they had never learned, or been acquainted with; and had been sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and this was both a miracle, (a miracle upon the mind,) for the conwere forbidden to go into the way of the Gentiles, or into any firming of the truth of the Gospel, and a means of spreading the city of the Samaritans; but now their commission is enlarged, Gospel among those nations that had not heard it. It saved the and they are authorized to go into all the world, into all paris of preachers a vast labour in learning the languages; and, no the world, the habitable world, and to preach the Gospel of Christ doubt, they who by miracle were made masters of languages, to every creature, to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews; to were complete masters of them and of all their native elegancies, every human creature that is capable of receiving it. “ Inform which were proper both to instruct and affect, which would very them concerning Christ, the history of his life, and death, and much recommend them and their preaching. (3.) They shall resurrection; instruct them in the meaning and intention of lake up serpents. This was fulfilled in Paul, who was not hurt thesr, and of the advantages which the children of men have, or by the viper that fastened on his hand, which was acknowledged may have, hereby; and invite them, without exception, to come a great miracle by the barbarous people, Acts 28. 5, 6. They and share in thein. This
is Gospel, let this be preached in all shall be kept unhurt by that generation of vipers among whom places, to all persons." These eleven men could not them- they live, and by the malice of the old setpeni. (4.) If they be selves preach it to all the world, much less to every creature in compelled by their persecutors to drink any deadly poisonous it; but they and the other disciples, seventy in number, with thing, it shal not hurt them : of which very thing some instances those who should afterward be added to them, must disperse are found in ecclesiastical history. (5.) They shall not only themselves several ways, and, wherever they went, carry the be preserved from hurt themselves, but they shall be enabled to Gospel along with them. They must send others to those do good to others; They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall places whither they could not go themselves, and, in short, make recover, as multitudes had done by their Master's healing touch. it the business of their lives to send those glad tidings up and Many of the elders of the church had this power, as appears by down the world with all possible fidelity and care, not as an Jam. 5. 14, where, as an instituted sign of this miraculous
19 So then, Pafter the Lord had spoken unto them, 20 And they went forth, and preached every he was received up into heaven, and sat on the where, the Lord working with them, and confirmright hand of God.
ing the word with signs following. Amen. p Acts 1.2, 3. Luke 24.51. q Ps. 110. 1. 1 Pet. 3. 22. Rev. 3. 21.
Acts 5. 12. 14. 3. Heb. 2. 4. healing, they are said to anoint the sick with oil in the name of him; they went forth, and preached every where, far and near. the Lord. With what assurance of success might they go Though the doctrine they preached was spiritual and heavenly, about the executing of their commission, when they had such and directly contrary to the spirit and genius of the world, credentials as these to produce !
though it met with abundance of opposition, and was utterly V. 19, 20. Here is, i, Christ welcomed into the upper world; destitute of all secular supports and advantages, yet the preach(v. 19,) 'After the Lord had spoken what he had to say to his ers of it were neither afraid nor ashamed; they were so indusdisciples, he went up into heaven, in a cloud; which we have a trious in spreading the Gospel, that within a few years the sound particular account of, (Acts 1. 9,) and he had not only an ad- of it went forth into the ends of the earth, Rom. 10.18. (2.) We mission, but an abundant entrance, into his kingdom there; he have here God working effectually with them, to make their lawas received up, received in state, with loud acciamations of the bours successful, by confirming the word with signs following, heavenly hosts, and he sat on the right hand of God; sitting partly by the miracles that were wrought upon the bodies of is a posture of rest, for now he had finished his work, and a people, which were divine seals to the Christian doctrine, and posture of rule, for now he took possession of his kingdom; he partly by the influence it had upon the minds of people, through sat at the right hand of God, which denotes the sovereign dig- ihe operation of the Spirit of God, see Heb. 2. 4.
These were nity he is advanced to, and the universal agency he is intrusted properly signs following the word--the reformation of the world, with. Whatever God does concerning us, gives to us, or accepts the destruction of idolatry, the conversion of sinners, the comfort from us, it is by his Son. Now he is glorified with the glory he of saints; and these signs still follow it, and that they may do so had before the world.
more and more, for the honour of Christ and the good of manChrist welcomed in this lower world; his being believed on kind, the eva elist prays, and teaches us to say Amen. Fain the world, and received up into glory, are put together, 1 Tim. ther in heaven, thus let thy name be hallowed, and let thy king3. 16. (1.) We have here the apostles working diligently for dom come,