Imágenes de páginas






Eph. ii. 6. Col. ii. 12; iii. 1. THE English verb, “ to raise up” [like the Greek verb, ényelpw], does not necessarily give the idea of resurrection. The first idea which the word suggests is that of causing to rise; and the word would, in its own self, very well suit itself in to a vast variety of circumstances. For instance, we find classical Greeks using the word when they want to say "rouse up the sleepers”; arouse the mind”; stir up the fight"; "wake up- the flame, the song,” etc.; "raise from a sick bed,”. raise a building,” etc.; and in passive, “awake from sleep”; “ wake,(be awake so as to)" watch.

Resurrection is so essentially a Bible and a Gospel idea and truth, that we should never think of finding it, among the writings of the Greek historians and poets. On the other hand, it (resurrection) is so fundamentally a doctrine of the Gospel, that we are not surprised to find that the hearts of Christians (as those who know that the Lord is risen, and that all their good is with Him and in resurrection) are unconsciously apt to twist every passage which can be so twisted, and make it refer to resurrection. Some of the passages in which this word occurs have, I judge, been thus twisted; for while the word is used, in the New Testament, for resurrection, that is not its primary sense.

We find it translated variously; thus inMat. 2:13. Arise and take the young child.

3: 9. to raise up children unto Abraham.
8:15. she arose (from sickness), and ministered unto them.

25. awoke him, saying, Lord, save us.

Acts v.


a horn

[ocr errors]

Mat. 11:11. there hath not risen a greater than John.

12:11. lay hold on it and lift it out?
24: 7. nation shall rise against nation.

11. many false prophets shall rise.
Luke 1:69. hath raised up an horn of salvation.*


appear to me to have been wrongly pressed into the service of resurrection, are Acts v. 30, and xiii. 23, and Col. iii. 1. "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye

slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” (ver. 31).

The expression raised up, here refers, I believe, to the Lord's appearance

in humiliation, and thus presents what the sin of the Jews was. Jesus was raised up of salvation" (Luke i. 69'); you murdered Him; God raised Him from the dead. A concise but expressive statement of the outline of the facts; and, as a statement, much more natural, as well as much more full, than to suppose that the raising up, instead of referring to God's causing the Lord to appear, means merely His resurrection.

Acts xiii. 23, I read as having the same sense as the preceding verse (viz., 22): “He raised up unto them David to be their king.”. ... (ver. 23) “Of this man's seed hath God, according to His promise, raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus. When John had first preached, before His coming," etc. And, I think, any one reading

I know of no instance, save in the New Testament, of this word being used in reference to the final resurrection of the body. In the Septuagint, it may be found connected with the restoration to this life of one dead (as in 2 Kings iv. 31, and (in a figure) Isaiah xxvi. 19]. It may occur in all about 143 times in the New Testament, of which about 70 occurrences refer to the resurrection of the body.

What a change takes place in every thing that becomes in any way connected with God! What a change, even, in the Greek language, when it was adopted for that in which the New Testament was to be written. The Greek philosophers did not know Resurrection. When Paul spake about Jesus and it, they thought “Jesus” and “Resurrection were two new gods (Acts xvii.).

• Here, evidently, the incarnation is looked at (i. e., in Luke i 69), and not the resurrection.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

carefully the verses 24—30, will see the reasonableness of this. First, a Saviour raised up; then John's preaching and course; then the conduct of the dwellers at Jerusalem referred to; then the Lord's death and burial

(ver. 29); and then (ver. 30) His resurrection –“But be God raised Him from the dead.”

Col. iii. 1, refers neither to the Lord's being raised up "a horn of salvation," nor to His being raised up" from the dead,” but to our being raised up from earth to heaven with Him - “ If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” This we shall look at more in detail presently. But, and let it be remarked, the term raised up suits the Lord as a Saviour, whether displayed in incarnation, in resurrection, or in ascension.

Attention may here, well enough, be called to the dif

ference between the various displays of Resurrectionpenting power. Some have been raised again from the dead to

the same life which they had previously to their death, as Lazarus,d the widow of Nain's son; then there is the first resurrection (at the commencement of, or just preceding the setting up of the millennium), of those that live and reign with Christ a thousand years; and, again, there is the general resurrection, when all who have not been previously raised from the dead will be raised. But all these displays of Resurrection-power connect them

• If this seem to some like digression from my subject, I am sorry for it. A text redeemed from a defective interpretation of it to its true sense is always important to the bible

• We only find three accounts of three persons restored to life by our Lord: one damsel (Mat.ix. 25), the widow of Nain's son (Luke vii

. 14), and Lazarus (John xi.)." Yet His commission to His disciples (Mat. x. 8),“ raise the dead," and His word to John's disciples (xi. 5), “the dead are raised up,” would lead one to suppose that there were other instances not a few.

• It is often said, The season of spring is the season of resurrection in the kingdom of vegetation. This is one of those misstatements by which the power of truth is neutralised among men. A tree, a plant, which has life, clothes itself afresh with leaves when the turn of the spring comes, and becomes thus an expression of God's power, according to a law in creation. Resurrection is quite another thing. God alone can raise the dead; and the display of His power, in such an act as the bringing


selves with the Lord Jesus as the alone one that could say, “I am the Resurrection” (John xi.). It being written that the wages of sin is death, and again, that he that hath the power of death is the devil (Heb. ii.), it is plain that none but God -- who fixed the wages of sin as death, and who is stronger and mightier than he who has, as executioner, the power of death — can reverse the powerf of death; and the power to do so rests in Christ as “the Resurrection.” But, blessed be God! there is another glory which is connected, in the same context, with that title of the Resurrection! even this glory of being “ the Life"_“I am the Resurrection and the Life." By Resurrection-power we are brought up out of the grave according to what we were, essentially and before God, when we went down into it. And they who go down into it, never having been made partakers of the blessing of being quickened together with Christ, will be raised in the same state as they were in when they went down into the grave. In this way, there is an evident connection between the personal glory of the Son of God, because He is Son of man, and all men.

“I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” This (in John xi.) gives the blessed connection between Resurrection and Life in Him for the believer [it was spoken to Martha, a true disciple] and the believer; but it leaves the unbeliever unnoticed. When, on the other hand, He was speaking to the opposing Jews (in chap. v. 19—30), He states it thus - "As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” Observe it: the Father raiseth up the dead

[ocr errors]

back of the soul with Him, to be clothed upon with a body in glorious assimilation to the body of the Lord Jesus Christ; though that body may have been scattered in its dust to the four winds, is quite another thing than vegetation returning with spring-time. il I believe this to be a point of moment with the saints in many a conflict yet to come.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and quickeneth them, and so the Son quickeneth whom He will; and all judgment is committed into His hand. This judgment He seems to exercise variously; as thus, first, He tests men by His word, and where that word's quickening power is made manifest, the creature's ruin is judged and set aside; thus—"Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself” (ver. 24–26). When God will bless any man, He must needs make nothing of what the man is; He makes him over, in the most thorough way possible, to Christ, for an integral part of His glory. A man's rights are met in hell, if a man be a slave of Satan; God's rights and Christ's worthiness can alone account for my being in heaven. In going to his own place, a Judas will awfully find the just sentence of God against his own cherishing of fellowship with Satan! He will find out himself there sure enough, and his own just recognition. For man has lost his own in. heritance through sin: the lake of fire and brimstone was prepared — not for man, but for the devil and his angels (Matt. xxv. 41). On the other hand, glory in the heavens is prepared for the Christ of God. In either place, we must be parties of secondary importance. But how much more so in the heavens than in hell, I need not say. But what I wanted to press was the fact, that redemption, as having been communicated to us, is found, by us, to be not only the expression of God's estimate of the worthiness and power of Christ, but the most thorough judgment of all that we were; so much so, that a soul will never really get separate from itself, able to judge itself, to loathe itself, save by the knowledge of the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. I would that we all knew a little more of this self-loathing.

The prayer of one, now with the Lord, used to be, “Lord; give us patience with ourselyes”; so deeply did he feel the iná. ward evil

11 *

« AnteriorContinuar »