« PreviousContinue »
rose from the dead very early in the morning of the day following. This agrees with our usual mode of reckoning the third day, in which the first and the last are in. cluded. Our LORD lay long enough to prove the reality of his death, and revived soon enough to preserve his body from corruption; which, as it was pierced with. thorns, torn with scourges, transfixed with nails, and pierced with a spear, would have been, according to the course of nature, very soon in a state of putrefaction.
JESUS APPEARS TO TWO OF HIS DISCIPLES IN THEIR WAY TO EMMAUS.
From Luke, Chap. xxiv.-John, xx.
AND behold two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
And they talked together of all these things which had happened. Aa
And it came to pass, that while they communed together, and reasoned, JESUS himself drew near, and went with them.
But their eyes were holden, that they should not know him.
And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk and are sad?
And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering, said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
And he said unto them, What things? And they said
unto him, concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God, and all the people.
And how the chief priests, and our rulers, delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
But we trusted that it had been he, which should have redeemed Israel; and besides all this, to-day is the third day since these things were done.
Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre.
And when they found not his body, they came, say. ing, That they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
And certain of them which were with us, went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said, but him they saw not.
Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
Ought not CHRIST to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
And beginning at Moses, and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himself.
And they drew nigh unto the village whither they went; and he made as though he would have gone further, · But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us, for it is towards evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
And it came to pass, as he sat, at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and break, and gave to them.
And their eyes were opened, and they knew him ; and he vanished out of their sight.
And they said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures ?
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The two disciples mentioned in this section, had either left Jerusalem before any of the women, to whom our LORD appeared, made their report, or else had heard it imperfectly related, and only been informed, that they had seen a vision of angels, who told them that JESUS was risen from the dead. As they walked along, they debated on the subject, lamenting the death of their beloved Master; and endeavouring, by their own reason, to reconcile his sufferings with what the Prophets had foretold concerning the MESSIAH. JESUS knowing their affection for him, and their sincere desire to be acquainted with the truth, graciously vouchsafed to satisfy their doubts, but did not discover himself to them at first; and as his appearance was quite unexpected, and they were too intent on the subject of their conversation to examine his person, they did not know him. Our LORD's motive for keeping himself unknown was, that he might, before he gave them a sensible proof of his resurrection, convince them, that the Prophets had foretold all the wonderful circumstances concerning which their minds were at present so perplexed. Besides the reasons above-mentioned for their not knowing him, there might also be a supernatural cause; it is intimated by the Evangelist, that our LORD threw a mist before their corporeal eyes, that he might remove from their internal sight that strong delusion, which held them from perceiving the true import of those types and prophecies by which his sufferings, death, and resurrec
tion, were foreshown: he disguised himself, but laid open the Scriptures, which, till then, they had not rightly understood.
It is needless to repeat all the predictions contained in the Prophets and Psalms. Enough has been already said concerning them to convey an idea of the great plan of Providence and grace, in the deliverance of mankind from the power of death and sin, by the MesSIAH, which was gradually opened in a succession of prophecies through the several ages of the world; each of which, in proportion as the accomplishment of the wonderful and gracious purpose of Gop advanced, grew more explicit and particular, till they came at last 10 point out the very times and person of the expected DELIVERER *,
What the Prophets had written concerning the sufe ferings of the Messiah, was very clear and express, and exactly and circumstantially accomplished in CHRIST; yet the Jews had so blinded themselves by the expecta. tion of a temporal kingdom, that they did not understand
a them; and even the Apostles were unwilling to give up the pleasing and flattering hopes of seeing their Master seated on the throne of Israel, dispensing honours to his friends, and laws to the whole world; therefore his death must have been a very great disappointment to them. Our Lord first reproved his disciples for being so unwilling to believe any thing contrary to their own prejudices, though revealed by the Spirit of God; and then explained to them, that the redemption pro, mised to Abraham and the other Patriarchs, was not a redemption of the children of Israel only from their
* See Bishop Sherlock's Discourse on Prophecy; see also West on the Resurrection. From these two authorities I have borrowed a great part of the sections relating to the Resurrection.
wordly enemies and oppressors, but the redemption of all mankind from the power and penalty of sin, to be effected by the Messiah's fulfilling all righteousness; on which condition, eternal happiness was originally offered to the human race in Adam; but being for. feited by him, the covenant was renewed in CHRIST, on condition of his offering up his life a sacrifice for sin, by paying the penalty of death which Adam first incur. red, and all mankind had continued to deserve : paying it, not as a debtor, for he was without sin, but as a surety, - who willingly and freely took upon himself to make good the failings of others. Of this plan the death of CHRIST was a necessary part, and so was his resarrection from the dead; by which having vanquished that enerny, who brought death and sin into the world, he was to be put in possession of that throne which was to endure for ever; and he was, like David, appointed of God to reign, not over the Jewish nation only, but over all those of every nation of the world, who should, like the Jews, enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments.
Having, by an exposition of Moses and the Prophets, which made their hearts burn within them, stripped off those veils and colours which the Scribes and Pharisees had laid over them, and convinced the disciples that, according to the design of God, it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and die, our LORD proceeded to prove his resurrection, by making himself known to them; he,
; therefore, accepted their pressing invitation to pass the evening with them, and seating himself at the head of the table as the master of the family, instead of an invited guest, he made use of his customary form of breaking bread and blessing it (which we may judge was peculiar to him), and at the same time removed the