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things to the apostles, and are discredited. (Luke xxiv.; John xx.) Peter and John having heard Mary Magdalene's report of his having been taken away, and the women of his having risen, run to the sepulchre, and find the body removed, according to their information, and wondering at what was come to pass, return home. The resurrection having been stated to the disciples at Jerusalem, at this period, (Luke xxiv. 22–24.) Cleophas and his companion leave their brethren to go to Emmaus. Mary Magdalene goes again to the sepulchre, tarries there after the apostles, (John xx. 11,) and converses with the two angels who had before appeared to the women. (Mark xvi. 9—11; John xx. 11-18.) Turning herself back, she perceives Jesus, who gradually makes himself known to her ; she consequently hastens to the city, and announces this his first appearance to the disciples, but they believe not. (Matt. xxviii. 9, 10.) The other women having told the disciples of his resurrection, continue in the city whilst Peter and John visit, and Mary Magdalene revisits, the sepulchre; they then go back again, and upon finding it deserted, return towards Jerusalem. On their way,
Jesus meets them, and requests them to direct the disciples to depart into Galilee. This is his second appearance. The guards about this time leave the neighbourhood of the sepulchre, and inform the Jewish rulers of what had occurred within their knowledge. According to Paul, (1 Cor. xv. 5,) the third appearance is to Cephas, and the fourth to the two who, some time prior to this, left their brethren to proceed to Emmaus, who immediately returning to Jerusalem, relate it to the other disciples, and are not credited. The last time of his being seen on the day of his resurrection, being the fifth, was by the apostles as they sat at meat in the absence of Thomas. This concludes the great and glorious transactions of the important day on which Jesus rose from the dead. About the eighth day after his resurrection, He again, the sixth time, appears to the disciples when Thomas was present. His seventh appearance occurs between the eighth and the fortieth day, at the sea of Tiberias, to his disciples; and his eighth, to them upon the mountain in Galilee. Paul relates his having been seen of above five hundred brethren at once, many of whom, at the writing of this
epistle, were living witnesses to this the ninth appearance. His tenth is to James, and his final appearance, being the eleventh, is to the apostles on the ascension. (Matt. xxviii.; Mark xvi.; Lukexxiv.; John xx. and xxi.; Acts i. ; 1 Cor. xv )
Should it be objected to the testimony of the apostles, that it is partial, and the consequence of their prejudices and enthusiasm, we can only refer to what we have before said (p. 137) why their veracity should be above suspicion* But, further, on this very
fact of the resurrection, we see it recorded in their own words, that their credulity could not have been influenced by such motives as the above, for it is stated, at different times, that they discredited the reports which were brought to them, that Christ had risen, nay, even that for this unbelief they were reproved by Christ himself. (Mark xvi. 14; Luke xxiv. 25.) They therefore could only
* An indirect testimony in their favour is even to be found in the historian Josephus, no friend to Christians, who is quoted as saying of James that he was a man much esteemed for his great justice, and that to his death, or martyrdom, may be attributed the misfortunes which overtook Jerusalem.Dict. de la Bible, by Calmet. Art. Jacques.
have believed ultimately, as Thomas did, through persuasion, perhaps, of the senses. (John xx. 27.) Again, has ever any attempt been made to invalidate what Matthew witnesses against the Roman guard and the Jews, though he only wrote his Gospel, A. D. 37 or 38; that is, four or five years after the resurrection, when he relates, (xxviii. 11-15,) that some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him and secure you. So they took the money, and did as
and did as they were taught; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day." Surely the state of Roman discipline, and the deep interest of the unbelieving Jews to disprove what Christ had asserted, make it rash to assert that means, such as are recorded by Matthew, would have been resorted to, to conceal the fact of his resurrection, could it have been done openly and without shame. We are, therefore, justified in concluding that the disciples did not steal the body, but that the soldiers were highly bribed to say so; that consequently “our faith is not vain,” and that Christ having risen and ascended to
heaven, “Is the author and finisher of our 345. faith.” (Heb. xii. 2.) And that thus, as was
foretold of him, he has become our king, our prophet, and high priest. As our king, or anointed,* He has given us laws, to which are annexed rewards and punishments. As prophet, He has instructed us, prophesied and performed miracles; and as high priest, He has sacrificed himself for us, and has entered the true Holy of Holies to make intercession
(Heb. vi. vii. ix.) The ascension of our Saviour in the presence of his apostles, as described in Mark xvi. Luke xxiv. and Acts i., completed the work of the redemption, inasmuch as it was a natural consequence of the resurrection. He was at that moment, as Son of Man, exalted to the highest place in heaven, “the right hand of God.” Being so much better than the angels, “ as he hath by inheritance
Messiah in the Hebrew, and Christ in the Greek, are words which answer to our anointed.