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to barbarism Nature has been almost one cry for the appearance of a man who would be God's man. It has been like the cry of the North in 1862, when hero after hero had failed, expressed by the poet Stedman-“Wanted—a man.” In a larger way the world had been crying, “Give us a man.' Pilate, without knowing it, introduced him to the world when he said, “Behold the man.” There is none like him among the children of men. Looking at him on the cross, seeing him pour out his life for those who hate him, men's hearts bear witness that at last they have found—The Man. This is no small thing; for humanity to see its ideal realized. The crucifixion was the crowning of the King of Men.
Again, the cross reveals the inevitable consequence of sin. One asks, as he looks upon the crucifixion: who did that? Who nailed that man upon the cross? Who rejected the life of wonderful love? The reply comes: priests, governors and soldiers. Who are those who fled as they approached the cross?
These are disciples, who were Jesus' friends, who had sworn allegiance. What a revelation of the human heart!
These men are not bandits, highway robbers. They are the leading men of their day, the best, most respectable men: yet sin has so warped and distorted their souls, that they are taking one, who was filled with divine love and good-will, and they are crucifying him. And the cross is a picture of what happens every day. Caiaphas and Pilate and Judas and Peter walk the streets of the modern city and sit on pontifical chairs and judgment seats. The cross reveals what sin is, and its goal. It crucifies the Son of God.
And the cross reveals Salvation. There is nothing more important than to know how to save men whose hearts have grown hard in sin. Other religions, and
all philosophies, fail at this point. What can be done with the wreck of a man; one whose habits are seemingly fixed-and for evil? The cross holds the secret of salvation. If one can be brought to kneel at the foot of the cross, and humbly to acknowledge that his own sins have crucified his manhood and look up and enter into fellowship with Christ's sufferings, he shall live. Nothing on earth can save, except to receive the loving sacrificing life of God, as revealed in Christ on the cross.
Nothing will cast out evil except the admission of God's love, revealed on Calvary.
If the cross is all this, there is but one thing to do: to bow before the crucified Saviour, to walk in his light; to make him the centre of our thought and pur
poses and life.
The next day was the Sabbath. The next day, the day after the crucifixion, the day after Jesus was taken from the cross and his pallid, bruised body laid away in the new sepulchre of Joseph. The day after the conflict, and the fear, and the tensity, and the agony. Jesus was dead, and the day after had come.
Oh, the bitterness of the day after! When there is nothing more to do and no hoping even against hope, for the fierce, losing contest is ended. The pain of the blow is over, and the ache of the blow remains.
It is ever the day after that is the hardest to bear. Then everything seems to mock our sorrow, and the world seems so heartless. Life has come to an end for us, and yet the sun still shines and the busy world goes on.
There comes a kind of bewilderment. One is alive in a world to which he does not belong. It is hard to realize what is to be done to find one's place again. How can one take up duties that have lost their meaning? How can one meet one's fellow men who cannot understand? How can one join the company of the merry-hearted when joy and heart's ease seem to have gone forever? Whatever calamity may come to us with its keen, cutting agony—and there are so many possible, and each with its own painthere is always a day after, when the realizing of our loss presses heavy upon us, and the hopelessness of the look forward robs us of strength and motive. And that day we drink the cup of life's bitterness.
The day after the ambition of a life-time has been disappointed. He had worked and planned for that place, that honor. The crisis came—the one chance to win or to lose--and he lost. The next day he must, face the world and smile, as if a dead weight were not lying at his heart. He is dazed and uncertain, and sometimes he is a broken man.
The day after the financial crash has come. He has been fighting and struggling to secure temporary stays, always hoping that the tide will turn. But now the blow has fallen: he is a bankrupt, and the next day he must begin anew. He does not know how to live as poor men live.
He knows not where to turn or what to do. The heavy sorrow of the failure bows him down.
A real disappointment in the heart's affection. Soul was knit to soul, and the vista of a happy life opened. But now it is all over. And the next day has come. And there is no good in the day and no joy, and the heart aches with its dull sorrow.
The day after the battle. The fight is over and the cause is lost. And what shall the leader do? Oh, the tragedies of history in the day after the battle!
And the day after, that comes to every home: when the friends are gone, and the house is swept and garnished, and so empty. The pain of the blow is keen as our quivering flesh can bear, but the ache that is after the blow-who can tell its dull and silent sorrow?
So the evangelists have no record of the day after the crucifixion. There is nothing to tell. Jesus is dead. John has taken the stricken mother to his home. The sword has pierced through her heart and she can only realize: Jesus is dead. The eleven gather in that upper room, where so recently Jesus had eaten the memorable supper, and as they look at the place where he stood there comes upon them the awful hopeless sense of orphanhood: Jesus is dead. The women from Galilee are waiting till the Sabbath is past. There is still a last duty, to carry the spices to the sepulchre for the
care of his body. But hope is gone: Only love remains: that hopeless love that lingers still in sorrow: Jesus is dead. And the Galilean throng that hailed him on the slopes of Olivet is scattered and disappointed. The palm leaves that they strewed upon the way have dried and withered in that sad, fatal week. They knew he was a prophet, and they hoped he was a king; but Jesus is dead. “We thought it had been he that should have redeemed Israel, but they crucified him yesterday. It is all over, and the next day has
It is the gray day of desolation. The Master had said with gracious fervor that had won their hearts, Because I live, ye shall live also.' But the dire event had grimly muttered, “Because he died, ye shall die also.” So passed that untold day: the saddest on which the sun has ever shone: the day of dull despair: saddest because hope had been so bright: Jesus was dead.
We sympathize with those loving, stricken hearts in Jerusalem in the gloom of that sad Sabbath. But we know so well the sequel. There came another day. They could not see it. Their sorrow was so natural. But how needless it was, if they could but have known. Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. Jesus had told them, and we wonder that they had forgotten. But he has told us also; and how often we have forgotten.
We sympathize with those disciples, but we would tell them: “This dull Sabbath is but a day, and there is coming a resurrection morning. You thought it had been he that should have redeemed Israel? And