12 January 1766

Lecture 22

The next particular in the creed is the Resurrection – ‘the third day he rose again’. When his enemies saw his body sealed up in the sepulchre they thought they should hear no more of him, but he fulfilled the Scriptures and rose again. Speak of:
1. The time
  The third day. It was not his design to lay three whole days in the earth; if so he must have risen not the third day but the fourth. But his death happening on a Friday, he was put into the tomb that evening, rested there the whole Jewish Sabbath, and rose early on the first day of the week – which on this account has ever since bore the name of the Lord's day, and may with great propriety be called Sunday, as Jesus the Son of Righteousness arose on that day on a benighted world with healing in his wings. This day answers to the first day in the old creation when God said Let there be light and there was light. [1]
2. [The Fact]
  That Christ rose from the dead is the great fact upon which the hopes of his people are built. It is therefore confirmed to us by all the evidence which the nature of the thing is capable of. He presented himself alive and was known to his people by many indubitable proofs. They could not be deceived themselves, for they knew him well, and he eat[ate] and drank with them. They cannot be suppose[d] capable of inventing such a story if not true – because it was directly against all worldly interest, and exposed them to every kind of suffering even to death. Besides they proved the doctrine by the miraculous powers which they received and the wonderful works which they wrought in his name.

But believers have the best proof that Christ is risen, for they by grace are made partakers of the power of his resurrection. Philippians 3:10. [2] That is:
  2.1 This gives them confidence before God as to their acceptance. Christ has died, yea rather is risen again – affords them an answer to the law, to conscience and to Satan. Romans 4:25. [3]
  2.2 Through power received by faith in a risen Saviour, as they have been made conformable to his death, dying to sin and to the world – so they are raised to righteousness and enabled to live unto God. The life which they now live is not of themselves but by faith in the Son of God. When they look unto Jesus the representative of his people as rising from the grave on their behalf, they are enlightened, strengthened and comforted. They find his promise, because I live you shall live also, [4] sweetly and wonderfully fulfilled in their souls. This bears up their heads under all the trials and temptations of this mortal state. Romans 6:9–11. [5]
  2.3 This reconciles them to death, and takes away the sting from that last enemy. They consider the resurrection of Jesus as a pledge and assurance of their own and are not afraid to follow him to the grave because they know that he who raised up Jesus from the dead shall also quicken their mortal bodies by his Spirit which dwelleth in them
Now by these things you may know whether you understand yourselves when you say, ‘The third day he rose again.’
1. What is your hope with respect to your present and final acceptance before God? 
  Is it founded on what Jesus did and suffered in the flesh, and in the glorious testimony God gave to his abidance in raising him from the dead?  This is the only plea which the Scripture affords or which will be accepted in the great day. If you depend on your own obedience, or good purposes, your prayers or repentance, you know nothing of this. Most certainly where this is known there will be these things, but these are the things which accompany salvation, not which procure it. Even faith itself so far as it is our work is excluded by the believer; he counts all things but loss and dung if brought in competition with the excellency of this knowledge – and says God forbid that I should glory or hope or trust in any thing but the cross of Christ Jesus my Lord. [6]
2. What is your life?
  If you live after the flesh you must die. If you are risen with Christ you seek the things which are above, where Jesus is – you have renounced conformity with the world, you can no longer take pleasure in the company of vain persons, you make light of none of the commandments of God, you are not content with outward services, but are hungering and thirsting to feel in your souls an increase of heavenly affections, love, joy, spirituality and peace. If otherwise, if the love of sin is in your hearts, if your affections cleave to the dust – if this world is your all, in vain you call Christ Lord, you know not him and he knows not you. If you die thus you are lost, and when you appear before him he will frown and say, Depart. [7]
3. What are your views of death?
  I know some sincere believers are much distressed here. They say, Alas, I am subject to bondage still; I fear I cannot be right because I am not yet delivered from this fear. But what is your fear?
  3.1 Perhaps you are afraid not so much of dying as of the attendants of death, the sicknesses and pains and darkness of that hour. This may be because your faith is weak. You want to have your strength in hand before the trial comes. This is not the Lord's way. He bids you depend on him. Pray for more faith; you shall find at the hour of need that he is faithful who has promised. [8] Or
  3.2 You doubt of your interest in Christ. You are not afraid but it will go well with them that fear the Lord, but you think, O, if I should be mistaken. The means of remedy in both these cases is the same: meditate more of Jesus who died before you and rose again. This is your daily lesson, to be looking to him as he represented in one view or another. Thus by his blessing on his ordinances your faith shall grow as the corn, and your difficulties be less and less every day.
  But if your fear of death, arises from a want of love to the things that lie beyond it – and you would rather if you might continue always here, and have your portion in the present world, then you are not partakers of his resurrection. No wonder the thoughts of death are terrible to you. The Lord make them more so, that you may seek after this glorious remedy; though you know it not, he can teach you. Pray to him to open your hearts and your eyes, and to give such a view of himself that with Simeon of old you may say, Now Lord let thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation. [9]

1. Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
2. Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
3. Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
4. John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
5 Romans 6:9–11 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
6. Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
7. Luke 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
8. Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
9. Luke 2:29,30 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

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