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world, but it was by the instrumentality of the Son. So, likewise, the Father raised Christ from the dead, but it was by the same instrumentality of the Son. It is, therefore, no incongruity to say, that the Father raised Christ, and also to say, that Christ raised himself, for both may, and, indeed, must necessarily be true. And in this very way does Christ speak of it. 'I lay down my life,' said he, 'of myself.' 'I have power to lay it down, And I Have PowEr To Take It Again; this commandment received 1 of my Father.' 'Destroy this temple,' said he to the Jews, speaking of his body, ' and in three days, I Will Raise It Up.' Thus it will appear sufficiently evident, that as the same Scriptures which attribute creation, in one place, to God the Father, in another attribute it to God the Son, and in another to the Holy Spirit, so, in like manner, is every other Divine work apportioned amongst the same blessed Trinity; and the Resurrection of the humanity of Christ is, therefore, properly spoken of as the work both of the Father and the Son; the first, being the remote, the second the proximate cause, but both, as in all other acts, concurring together.
The fact of the resurrection of our blessed Redeemer, and the time, being thus considered, my brethren, we have only to reflect upon the consequences, which are briefly, but powerfully expressed by the Apostle in the text, where he saith, that 'Christ Jesus was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. This will be best understood, by recollecting the two great offices which our blessed Lord condescended to discharge for our sakes, as the second Adam, the great head of the human race. First, then, 'he bore our sins in his own body on the tree.' This removed the just vengeance of the violated law, but did not suffice to open for us the kingdom of heaven.
Secondly, therefore, it was necessary that Christ, as our head, should receive from God the reward of his perfect obedience in the resurrection from the tomb, by which his body became changed, and his human nature was fitted to ascend up to the right hand of the majesty on high, there to prepare a place for his people, to intercede for them continually, and to obtain for them such supplies of grace, as might enable them to be justified in and through his merits, and thus be themselves rendered, in due time, heirs of the inheritance of glory.
In this aspect of the question, the resurrection of Christ affords to the believer the most precious hope and consolar tion ; for, in the language of the Apostle, ' If we are buried in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.' The same change which his sacred body underwent, is destined for ours; for ' he shall change our vile bodies, that they may be like his glorious body.' 'As we have borne the image of the earthy, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly;' since all the righteousness, the celestial rewards, the authority and dominion of our gracious Lord are intended to be shared with his people'. They shall be kings and priests unto God and his Father, they shall judge angels, they shall partake of the fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore. Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be to him who thus conquered death and hell, and opened to us the way to immortality and life!
But what evidence have we, my brethren, that we possess any interest in the death and resurrection of the Redeemer? What proof can we exhibit to others, or even to ourselves, that we are heirs of this great salvation? Have we been born again of water and the Spirit? Have we been renewed in our hopes, our desires, and our affections? Have we become acquainted with the deceitfulness and corruption of our hearts by nature? Do we know what it is to repent of sin, to pray with humble faith, to come weary and heavy laden to the Saviour, that we may have rest unto our souls, and to have peace and joy in believing on the blessed Son of God, who was delivered unto death for our sins, and rose again for our justification? O my beloved brethren, it is not a dry system of doctrines in our heads, but a personal experience of their power upon our hearts, that must secure for us the glorious prize of our Christian calling. May God enable us all so to ask, that we may receive, so to seek, that we may find, so to knock, that the door of mercy may be opened to us; that when the cares and sorrows of this life shall be ended we may rejoice with our Saviour and our Lord, in joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Psalm Lxviii. 18.
Thou Hast Ascende D On Htgh, Thou Hast Led Capttvtty Capttve: THO» Hast Recetved Gtfts Fob Men; Yea, For The Rebelltous Also, That The Lord God Mtght Dwell Among Them.
We have selected this portion of prophetic Scripture, my brethren, as an appropriate introduction to that article of the Creed wherein we profess to believe the ascension of our Lord into heaven, and his session at the right hand of God the'Father Almighty; and we shall proceed without any formal preface, to consider, first, the types and prophecies which pointed to these wonderful events, secondly, the record of their fulfilment, and thirdly, the motives and consequences intimated in the language of the text.
1. The ascension of Christ into heaven was typified by the High Priest, under the Mosaic dispensation, when he entered once a year into the most holy place within the Jewish tabernacle. This tabernacle represented our world, and the ' holy of holies' within the veil represented the highest heavens, because there was the ark with the mercy seat, and it was honored with the visible ' Shechinah,' or glory of God. None was allowed to enter into that sacred chamber but the High Priest alone, and even he dared not enter more than' once a year, after a solemn atonement offering. fiow all this was typical of Christ; for as the High Priest, sprinkled with the blood of the sacrifice for sin, passed through the rest of the tabernacle, and entered into the holy of holies, so was Christ to offer his blessed atonement for the sins of the world, and, after passing through this earthly tabernacle, to enter into the highest heavens, the seat of the glorious majesty of God. This is the explanation furnished by St. Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews, where, after mentioning the law as respected the Jewish high priest, he proceeds to say that ' Christ, being a High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this •building, neither by the blood of goats or calves, but by his own blood, entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.' 'But Jesus,' he adds a little after, 'hath not entered into the holy place made with hands, the pattern of the true, but into heaven itself, that he may appear now in the presence of God for us.' Thus we see a plain type of the ascension, applied with the utmost closeness, by the great Apostle himself, and, therefore, free from any possibility of error.
We are next to examine the type which represents the exaltation of Christ to the right hand of the Father; and this we find in the history of Joseph, who was a type of the Redeemer in many respects, but in this especially. For we read, that when he was taken out of the dungeon, he was exalted to the supreme power of Egypt. 'Thou shalt be over my house,' said king Pharoah to him, 'and according to thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh took off the ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in the vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck, and he made him to ride in the second chariot that he had, and they cried before him, Bow