corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

Luke 24

 

 

Verse 26

DISCOURSE: 1589

THE NECESSITY OF CHRIST’S SUFFERINGS AND EXALTATION

Luke 24:26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

AN ignorance of the Scriptures is far more injurious to us than we are apt to imagine; for it lies at the root of all our errors both in faith and practice. The infidels of old denied the doctrine of the resurrection, “not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God.” The Jewish rulers crucified their Messiah, because they were ignorant of the character in which, according to the Scriptures, he was to appear; and thus they unwittingly fulfilled the very Scriptures which they professed to reverence. The Disciples of our Lord himself were confounded at the death of their Master, and averse to credit the reports of his resurrection, because “they knew not the Scriptures that he must rise again.” Our blessed Lord, after his resurrection, joined two of them in their way to Emmaus; and when he found how ignorant and incredulous they were, he reproved them; and, to convince them that “the Messiah ought to have suffered the very things which he had suffered, and in that way to enter into his glory,” he expounded to them the principal prophecies relating to those events.

His appeal to them on that occasion leads us to consider,

I. The necessity of Christ’s sufferings unto death—

There was no necessity for Christ to undertake the redemption of man; but, supposing him to have under-taken it, then there was a necessity for his sufferings unto death;

1. To fulfil the Scriptures—

[The death of Christ had been exhibited in types from the very beginning: all the sacrifices offered by Adam, Abel, Noah, and the Jews themselves, marked out a suffering Messiah. The same also was declared in many express prophecies. Not to mention the intimation of it given in the first prophecy [Note: Genesis 3:15.], nothing could be more plain than the declarations of Isaiah on this subject [Note: Isaiah 52:14; Isaiah 53:3-5.]: it seems perfectly astonishing to us, that people professing to regard his writings as prophecies of the Messiah, should ever make the crucifixion of Christ a stumbling-block, or account the doctrine of his cross foolishness. How decisive too is the testimony of Daniel [Note: Daniel 9:26.]; as is that also of Zechariah [Note: Zechariah 13:7.]! But besides these general testimonies, there are particular intimations respecting all the most minute circumstances of his death; the collective view of which forms a body of evidence that is altogether irresistible.

But how could these be fulfilled if Jesus should not suffer? they must all be rendered null and void, and the veracity of the inspired writers, yea, of Him also who inspired them, must be for ever impeached.]

2. To answer the ends of his mission—

[For what did Jesus come into the world? Was it not to bear the sins of men in his own body, and, by rendering satisfaction to God, to make the exercise of mercy compatible with the rights of truth and justice? But how were these ends to be attained? The obedience of Jesus, however perfect, could not answer these ends. The law denounced death against the transgressor: and death must be inflicted on him, or on his surety. If therefore Jesus was to be a surety for man, he must undergo death; he must bear that which man should have borne: nothing but this could satisfy the demands of the law: and if man were saved without the death of his Surety, the whole authority of the law must be cancelled, and the Law-giver himself be dishonoured in the sight of all his creatures. We grant, for argument’s sake, that the mercy of God would be magnified in such a way of pardoning transgression: but then what regard would he shew for the rights of justice? What would become of his truth and faithfulness? How could “mercy and truth meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss each other?” The perfections of God would be set at variance, and some would triumph at the expense of others: but this would be directly contrary to the ends of Christ’s mission: and therefore our Divine Surety must suffer death, in order to answer the ends for which he became incarnate.]

With the death of Christ is connected—

II. The necessity of his exaltation to glory—

The two cannot be separated: there was a necessity that the latter should take place,

1. To complete his work—

[The work of the high-priest was not finished, when he had shed the blood of his sacrifice: he must carry that blood within the vail, and sprinkle it upon, and before, the mercy-seat: and he must then burn incense before the mercy-seat: nor, till this was accomplished, could he come out to bless the people. Thus must our great High-Priest not only offer himself a Sacrifice, but “enter into heaven with his own blood [Note: Hebrews 9:12; Hebrews 9:24.],” and, together with that, present also the incense of his own intercession. If he should not do this, he would leave his work unfinished, and consequently of no avail. But how should he do this, if he should not “enter into his glory?” Nor is it his priestly office only that would be made void; his prophetic and kingly offices also would be incomplete: he teaches men by his Spirit; but “the Holy Ghost would not have been given, if Jesus had not been glorified [Note: John 7:39.]:” it was necessary that he should go into heaven, that he might send the Spirit down from thence [Note: John 16:7.]. Nor could he exercise his kingly government unless he were enthroned on high, and invested with power to subdue all things unto himself [Note: Philippians 2:9-11. “God exalted Him, that every knee should bow,” &c.]. Hence, then, his exaltation was as necessary to the completion of his work, as his humiliation was to its commencement.]

2. To give to his people a solid ground of hope—

[If our surety, who had been carried to prison for our debt, were kept immured in it, we should have reason to fear that he was unable to fulfil his engagements: but if we saw him liberated, we should conclude that he had fully discharged our debt. Thus if our blessed Lord had never been exalted to heaven to enjoy “his glory,” which he possessed previous to his incarnation, we should feel many misgiving thoughts respecting the acceptance of his sacrifice, and the efficacy of his mediation. But when he is restored to that glory which for our sakes he had laid aside, we cannot entertain a doubt respecting his sufficiency for our full and complete salvation. Though by dying on the cross he appeared unable to save himself, yet, by his ascending to heaven afterwards, we are assured of his power to save us: because he raised up himself, we know he can raise up us; and, “because he liveth, we trust assuredly that we shall live also.” Nor are we left to conclude this from uncertain reasonings; for St. Peter expressly tells us, that “God raised him up, and gave him glory that our faith and hope might be in God.”]

To obtain a just view of our Lord’s address, it will be proper to notice,

III. The peculiar force of his appeal—

There is a very striking energy in the text, as connected with the preceding and following verses: it intimated,

1. That they ought to have been better acquainted with the Scriptures—

[The Jews had the sacred oracles read and expounded to them every Sabbath-day; and therefore they were inexcusable in not being well acquainted with their contents, especially with those great truths which related to their Messiah. And the Apostles, above all, were blame-worthy, because they had enjoyed the ministry of our Lord himself. How blameable then are we, if we are ignorant of that which relates to Christ; we, who have all the light of the New Testament as well as of the Old; we, who can compare the prophecies with the history of their accomplishment; we, to whom the Bible is accessible at all times; and who have its contents statedly and plainly opened to us! We are apt to think our ignorance of the Scriptures excusable, because we are not scholars, or because we must attend to our worldly callings: but the Disciples were poor fishermen, and therefore as excusable as any persons upon those grounds; yet our Lord justly and severely reproved their ignorance: and most assuredly he will reprove us also in the day of judgment, for not using better the means of instruction which he has afforded us, unless we search the Scriptures, and labour diligently to acquaint ourselves with the things belonging to our peace.]

2. That the Scriptures, whether men be acquainted with them or not, shall surely be fulfilled—

[The Scriptures had foretold the sufferings, and the consequent glory, of the Messiah; and therefore it ought not to have been a matter of surprise that the events had corresponded with the predictions. Thus every thing relating to men’s acceptance or rejection of the Messiah, is foretold; and, whatever they may think to the contrary, every jot and tittle of it shall be accomplished. The eternal sufferings of the impenitent and unbelieving, may appear as improbable as the sufferings of the Messiah: and the eternal happiness of the contrite and believing, may seem as unlikely as the exaltation of Jesus, who was crucified. But, in matters that are revealed, we must not reckon upon probabilities or improbabilities: whatever is foretold, is as certain as the power and veracity of God can make it. They who look to our once crucified, but now exalted, Saviour, and make him the sole ground of their hope and confidence, are as sure of being in heaven as if they were already there, provided they continue to exercise faith on him, and shew forth their faith by their works. They, on the contrary, who neglect the Saviour, or make any thing of their own the ground of their confidence, are as sure of everlasting misery as if they were already enduring it in hell, unless they repent, and embrace the Saviour with their whole hearts. That which “ought” to be, according to the Scriptures, shall be: neither the fears of the timid, nor the presumption of the bold, shall at all change the decrees of heaven: yea rather, the agents, whether men or devils, who most labour to counteract the will of God, shall be taken in their own craftiness, and be the active, though unsuspecting, instruments of accomplishing his designs.]

Infer—

1. How awful must have been the state of man that such things should be necessary for his recovery!

[Inexpressibly dreadful must have been that guilt which required the sufferings of God’s only dear Son to expiate it; and most deplorable that helplessness which could not be remedied but by his consequent exaltation to glory. We may judge of the state of man by that to which the fallen angels are reduced. There would have been no difference between them and us to all eternity, if Jesus had not undertaken for us. And such indeed is the state of those who are not interested in the Saviour: for, as far as respects their happiness, it is the same thing not to have a Saviour, and not to be interested in the Saviour that there is; only indeed their guilt is awfully increased by their contempt of him. Think then of this, ye who neglect the Saviour: as far as respects any hope of mercy, ye are in the condition of the fallen angels, while ye continue to neglect him: but, as to your final doom, you must perish under the aggravated guilt of rejecting and contemning your incarnate God. O that you may consider this, and “flee for refuge to the hope set before you!”]

2. How blessed is the state of those who are interested in the Saviour!

[Guilty and helpless as you are in yourselves, you have no need to despond when you reflect on what has been done for your salvation. Supposing that you would be restored to the favour of God, what can you think of that “ought” to be done, either for God’s honour or for your security, which has not already been done for you? Would you have a Surety? There is one. Would you have him to be God? He is so. Would you have him suffer all that you ought to suffer? He has done so. Would you have him invested with glory that he may perfect in you the work which he has begun? He is so. Inquire of God himself what ought to be done: search the Scriptures from one end to the other: see what the prophets spake: see what our Lord himself spake: and then try if you can find one thing omitted which has not been already accomplished, or is not accomplishing at this moment. Rejoice, then, Believer, rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, rejoice. You may be at present suffering like our Lord, and may be ready to doubt whether you shall ever behold the face of your God in peace: but “the word of the Lord is tried,” and “the Promises are sure to all the Seed.” Soon you shall be with your exalted Lord, and, having suffered with him awhile, shall eternally be glorified together.]


Verse 32

DISCOURSE: 1590

BLESSEDNESS OF COMMUNION WITH CHRIST

Luke 24:32. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?

THE divine authority of the Christian religion was chiefly to be proved by the resurrection of Christ. Hence our Lord gave his Disciples the most unquestionable evidence of his resurrection during the space of forty days previous to his ascension to heaven. After several other manifestations of himself to different Disciples on the day of his resurrection, he entered into conversation with two of them on their way to Emmaus: under the appearance of a stranger, he then expounded to them all the most important parts of the Mosaic and prophetic writings, and shewed them, that there was no just reason for them to be so disconcerted by his death, or so incredulous about his resurrection, since their own Scriptures had so clearly declared that the Messiah should die and rise again. Arriving at Emmaus, he accepted their invitation to abide with them at the house whither they were going: and at supper, he took the bread, and implored the Divine blessing upon it, and brake it, and gave it to them, just as he had been wont to do in former times. Now their eyes were opened; and in this unexpected guest they recognized their Lord and Master. It pleased him however, for wise and gracious reasons, to withdraw himself suddenly from them, and to leave them to make their own reflections upon all that had passed. Accordingly, no sooner had they recovered their surprise, than they addressed one another in the words of our text, “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

This kind of appearance, and this mode of communicating instruction, were peculiar to the occasion, and must be looked for no more: Christ is personally gone into heaven, where he will abide till the time of the restitution of all things. But we must not therefore imagine that all intercourse has ceased between himself and his people; for he will still, in a spiritual way, maintain communion with them, and give them such discoveries of himself, as shall cause their “hearts to burn within them.”

In confirmation of this truth, we shall shew,

I. That communion with Christ is yet the privilege of his believing people—

Whilst we disclaim all idea of visions, and impulses, and wild enthusiastic conceits, we do affirm that Christ will yet “manifest himself unto his people, as he does not unto the world:”

1. In the private duties of the closet—

[Christ has said to his Church. “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” This is to be understood, not of his corporeal, but spiritual, presence; according to what St. Paul prayed for in behalf of Timothy, “The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit [Note: 2 Timothy 4:22.].” In reading the Scriptures, he will, by his Holy Spirit, cast a light upon the Scriptures, as he did in this exposition which he gave to the Disciples; fixing our attention upon those points which are of primary importance, and “opening our understandings to understand them [Note: Luke 24:45.]” He will give us that spiritual discernment which is necessary for a right perception of their import [Note: 2 Corinthians 2:14.], and will so impress them on our hearts as to make them effectual for all the purposes of his grace [Note: Acts 16:14.]. Sometimes he will cause his word to distil as the dew, or to descend as the rain and snow, which fall not to the earth in vain [Note: Deuteronomy 32:2. Isaiah 55:10-11.]; and at other times he will cause it to pierce as a sword [Note: Hebrews 4:12.], or to burn like fire, or, like a hammer, to break the rocky heart in pieces [Note: Jeremiah 23:29.].

In prayer also will he give “boldness and access with confidence by faith in him [Note: Ephesians 3:12.].” His Holy Spirit will “help our infirmities and teach us what to pray for as we ought,” and “make intercession in us with groans which cannot be uttered [Note: Romans 8:26.].” He “will draw nigh to us whilst we draw nigh to him [Note: James 4:8.]:” he “will hear us and answer us,” and say, “Here I am [Note: Isaiah 58:9.]:” he will also impart to us the things we pray for, and give us “grace sufficient” for every occasion that can arise [Note: 2 Corinthians 12:9.]. Thousands can yet attest the truth of these things: they have gone to his throne of grace weak, dejected, disconsolate; and have lost all their burthen there, and come away filled “with joy and peace in believing.”]

2. In the public ordinances of religion—

[Our Lord has particularly promised, that “where two or three are met together in his name, there he will be in the midst of them [Note: Matthew 18:20.].” In the public assemblies of his people therefore he will assuredly be present. Indeed it is his presence there which alone makes them effectual for the end designed: and “if he go not up with us, it is to little purpose that we go” thither. It is he who gives energy to the word preached: “though Paul should plant, or Apollos water, it is He only that gives the increase [Note: 1 Corinthians 3:5-7.].” Ministers are merely the instruments whereby God communicates his blessings to the Church. Good is then done, and sinners are converted to God, when the power of the Lord is present to work, and when the word comes to their hearts, “not in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance [Note: 1 Thessalonians 1:5.].” Hence it is that persons, who but a Little time before “knew not that the Lord God was in that place,” are constrained to cry out, “This is none other but the house of God, this is the gate of heaven [Note: Genesis 28:16-17.].”]

3. In the common offices of life—

[There is no time, nor place, where the Lord Jesus will not vouchsafe his presence to those who call upon him. In a crowd, in the midst of business, no less than in the retired and lonely walk, will our Lord be with them [Note: Genesis 28:15.]: he will even be as “their shade upon their right hand [Note: Psalms 121:4-8.],” to keep them from all evil, and to load them with his richest benefits: “his goodness and mercy shall follow them;” yea, “he himself will walk with them, and dwell in them,” so that in every possible situation they shall be enabled to say, “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ [Note: 1 John 1:3.].” How often has this been realized in social converse, and in the chambers of the sick! — — —]

If this be the privilege of his people, it may justly be said,

II. That it is the most exalted privilege they can possibly enjoy—

There is no satisfaction that a human being can possess, that is at all to be compared with that which arises from communion with his God and Saviour. The pleasure it affords is,

1. The most refined—

[That which is usually called pleasure, is, for the most part, unworthy of the name: the gratifications of sense are suited only to our animal nature, and enjoyed only in common with the beasts. Even intellectual pleasures, though more suited to us as rational beings, are yet far below the desires which we feel, and the capacities with which we are endowed. The Christian is “made partaker of a Divine nature;” and he can be satisfied with nothing less than the enjoyment of the Divinity himself. Accordingly this is his actual attainment. The Spirit of God inspires him with a lively hope [Note: 1 Peter 1:3.],” and “a peace that passeth all understanding;” and so reveals and “glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ” in his soul [Note: Galatians 1:16. John 16:14.], as to make him “rejoice with joy unspeakable and glorified [Note: 1 Peter 1:8. The Greek.].” Yes, the joy that he imparts, is such as disembodied spirits may be supposed to feel, an earnest and a foretaste of heaven itself [Note: Ephesians 1:13-14.].]

2. The most independent—

[For all other pleasures we are dependent either on outward circumstances, or on the state of our own minds. If, for instance, we are racked with pain, or bowed down with grief, or standing on the brink of the grave, no earthly thing will afford us any comfort. Not so the pleasure of which we are speaking; that is even advanced by the want of other things, and never is enjoyed with so rich a zest, as when it has nothing to aid, but every thing to counteract it. Then it is that the excellency of communion with Christ appears in its true colours — — —]

3. The most ennobling—

[Earthly pleasures prevent, for the most part, the ascent of the soul towards heaven — — — but communion with Christ raises the soul to heaven, and transforms it by constantly progressive changes into the Divine image [Note: 2 Corinthians 3:18.] — — —]

4. The most diffusive—

[Other pleasures we are content to enjoy alone: but this no one ever tasted, without instantly feeling in his soul a desire to impart it to those around him. “Come unto me, all ye that fear God, and I will tell you what he has done for my soul.” “Draw me” says the Church. “and we will run after thee [Note: Song of Solomon 1:4.];” for no one that is drawn would ever willingly come alone; he would, if possible, draw all others along with him — — —]

Some questions, which may possibly arise in the minds of those who desire communion with Christ, we shall now endeavour to answer—

1. How are we to attain it?

[It is not to be sought for in the circles of gaiety or in the cares of business, but in reading the word of God and prayer. We are aware, that all persons cannot dedicate to these exercises an equal degree of their time: nor is it necessary that they should: but all may, and must, devote some portion of their time to this great pursuit. God has given us six days for worldly labour, and requires the seventh to be sanctified to him: and if that day were conscientiously consecrated to the Lord, we should not long be unacquainted with the subject before us: “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost,” would soon he known to us by sweet experience. “Search the Scriptures,” says our Lord; “for they are they that testify of me.” Again, “He spake a parable, to teach us that we should pray always, and not faint.” These are the occupations in which we should take delight: and like the Apostles in their way to Emmaus, we should make the great mysteries of redemption a subject of our deepest research, and of our most familiar converse. Were we thus to seek after Christ, we should soon have the veil removed from our eyes; and God would “shine into our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ.”]

2. How are we to distinguish it?

[I grant that there are enthusiasts, who pretend to such impulses, and such communications as the Scriptures do not warrant us to expect: and it is certainly desirable to be on our guard that we be not led astray by them. But we must not despise those manifestations which God does vouchsafe to his people, because there are enthusiasts who profess to have experienced more. We do not reject good coin because a spurious coin is sometimes obtruded in its stead: but we learn to distinguish between them. So in reference to the subject before us, we should “prove all things, and hold fast that which is good.”

We apprehend then that the genuine experience of communion with Christ may be distinguished from enthusiastic pretensions to it, both by its rise, and its operation on the mind. Enthusiasts found their pretensions on some visions, or dreams, or on the word of God coming in a peculiar manner to their minds: and they are filled with pride, and conceit, and an unhallowed presumptuous confidence, which are certain indications of spiritual delusion. The true child of God, on the contrary, is humbled in the dust by the favours vouchsafed to his soul: he prostrates himself like Abraham and Moses [Note: Genesis 17:3. Exodus 34:8.], and covers his face with his mantle, as Elijah [Note: 1 Kings 19:13.], and abhors himself, like Job, in dust and ashes [Note: Job 40:4; Job 42:5-6.]. Nor is he hasty to talk of these manifestations: he will strive indeed to bring others to similar enjoyments; but he will not be forward to boast of his own: and the confidence which they create within him renders him tenfold more watchful against every occasion of sin. By such marks as these it will not be difficult for an humble person to judge; but such is the blinding efficacy of pride and vanity, that it is little less than a miracle if an enthusiast be ever brought to try himself by them.]

3. How to improve it?

[We know of no better advice than that of St. Paul, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit, whereby ye are sealed to the day of redemption.” God is a jealous God. There are no bounds to his love to those who truly honour him and walk circumspectly before him; “He will rejoice over them to do them good:” but if we presume upon his favour, and give way to any sin, we may soon provoke him to withdraw from us. What God himself then said to his people respecting the Angel of the Covenant, whom he sent to bring them into the land of Canaan, I would say to you; “Beware of him, and obey his voice; provoke him not: for he will not pardon your trans-gressions [Note: Exodus 23:20-21.].” Merciful as he is towards repenting sinners, he will not endure any secret abomination in the hearts of his believing people; and if he behold any, he will hide his face from them till it be put away. If then he has made you new creatures, and sealed you for his own, be careful to “glorify him in your body and in your spirit, which are his.”]


Verse 33-34

DISCOURSE: 1591

CHRIST’S RESURRECTION

Luke 24:33-34 : And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed.

AMONG the various proofs of the truth of Christianity, that which arises from the credibility of the witnesses is by no means the least: nor is their credibility established by any thing more than by their backwardness to believe the resurrection of Christ, upon which the whole of Christianity is founded. They had been repeatedly informed by our Lord, that he should die, and rise again on the third day; yet upon his death they were totally confounded and disconsolate. Two of them conversing together in their way to Emmaus, were overtaken by a person whom they knew not, but who was none other than Jesus himself. He inquired into the subject of their conversation: upon which they told him what expectations they had once formed concerning their deceased Master; they once thought that it had been He who should have redeemed Israel; but now their hopes were at an end. They had heard indeed that he was risen that morning from the grave; that certain women who were of their company had seen a vision of angels, who testified that he was alive; that moreover some others had gone to the sepulchre, and found that it was even so as the women had said: but yet they could not credit these reports. After their conference, Jesus discovered himself to them, as he had already done to many others; by this they were convinced; and, notwithstanding the day was far spent, instead of staying, as they had intended, at Emmaus, they returned that same hour to Jerusalem, that they might acquaint the other Disciples with these joyful tidings, and bear their testimony to the truth of the things which had been reported. And when they came to Jerusalem, they found the Eleven gathered together, and others assembled with them, all overcome by the weight of evidence, and full of this wonderful event; and heard them saying one to another, “The Lord is risen indeed.”

From these words we shall take occasion to consider,

The importance of Christ’s Resurrection;

The proofs of it; and

The uses we should make of it.

I. The importance of Christ’s Resurrection—

St. Paul, instructing his beloved Timothy what to do and teach, particularly gives him this advice, “Remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.” It was necessary that he should remember the resurrection of Christ, on many accounts; partly for his own comfort, because all his hopes of salvation were founded on it; but principally, that by endeavouring to establish this point, he might convince the ignorant, and confirm the enlightened. Whatever else he might omit, it was necessary that he should insist much on this, because it was a doctrine of the utmost importance: For,

First, If Jesus was not risen, he was an impostor. Our Lord, in his discourses, had frequently foretold his resurrection: sometimes he reminded his hearers of the Prophet Jonas, who, as a type of him, was three days and three nights in the belly of a whale: at other times he declared it in still plainer terms; “Destroy this Temple (viz. his own body), and in three days I will raise it up again:” and to his Disciples he said repeatedly, that he must be crucified, and that on the third day he would rise again. Now, though his Disciples understood none of these things, yet there was evidently, amongst his enemies, some expectation of his resurrection; because they made sure the sepulchre, sealed the stone, and set a guard to prevent it, or at least to prevent his being stolen away; that so, by ascertaining that he was not risen, they might prove him a deceiver. And, had he not risen, they had accomplished their utmost wishes: they had detected him in deluding his followers, and thereby discovered him to be an impostor. But by rising according to his own word, he manifested that he was no impostor; but, as the Apostle says, he declared himself to be the Son of God, “with power by his resurrection from the dead.”

Again: If Jesus rose not, the Apostles were false witnesses. It was the grand truth which they were to establish: for when another Apostle was to be chosen in the place of Judas, the traitor, they were to “take one who had accompanied them all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among them, beginning from the baptism of John unto that same day wherein he was taken up from them, that he might be ordained a witness, with them, of His resurrection.” Accordingly, they “went everywhere, giving witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” When some among the Corinthian Church denied the resurrection of the dead, Paul proved it from the resurrection of Christ; and that again he proved by the most undeniable arguments: and then he very justly added, “If Christ be not risen, we are found false-witnesses of God.”

Again: If Christ be not risen, the Gospel is an imposition. The very ground-work of all the Gospel is, the resurrection of Christ; “that he died for our offences, and was raised again for our justification;” for as his death was necessary, because he had undertaken to pay our debt, so his resurrection was also necessary, to shew that he had fully discharged it: if therefore he be not risen, all preaching of the Gospel, all credit given to it, and all hope of deliverance through him is vain; and this is what the Apostle himself has said, “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”

Again: If Christ be not risen, the Old Testament is also false—It is said, “He rose again according to the Scriptures;” His resurrection was typified, perhaps in the exaltation of Joseph from the prison to the government of the Egyptian kingdom; probably also in the live bird which was dipped in the blood of one that had been sacrificed and let loose into the air: there can be little doubt but that Isaac’s restoration, as it were, from the dead, was intended to prefigure it; and it is absolutely certain, that Jonas was a type of Christ in that particular: that type, therefore, must be fulfilled in Christ, or else it was false. It had also been foretold by David; “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption:” by this passage the Apostle Peter, in his first Sermon, convinces three thousand of the Jews that Jesus was to rise: and indeed it intimates the time of his continuance in the grave; for in Judea bodies began to corrupt on the fourth day; so that he must rise before that time, because he was to see no corruption. Thus the Old Testament, as well as the New, must be false, if Christ be not risen.

But further: If Christ be not risen, we, notwithstanding we be believers in Christ, are yet laden with the guilt of all our sins. By believing in Christ, we profess to be delivered from condemnation and to be cleansed from the guilt of all sin: but it has already appeared, that if Christ be not risen, he is a deceiver, his Apostles are false witnesses, the Gospel is an imposition, and the Old Testament itself is false: so that we must of necessity be under the guilt of our sins as much as ever, unless we can be delivered from it by crediting what is not true. And this is what the Apostle has also said, “If Christ be not risen, ye are yet in your sins.”

I add once more: If Christ be not risen, there neither is nor ever will be so much as one person in heaven. All those eminent saints that we suppose to have been exalted to heaven, died in the faith of Christ; of Christ, who should come; or of Christ, who did come. They themselves disclaimed every other hope but through Christ; and if they were deceived by him, woe be to them; for the Apostle testifies, “If Christ be not risen, ye are yet in your sins; then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ are perished;” so that not one of them is saved, if Christ be not risen.

We see then of what importance the doctrine of the Resurrection is! for if it be not true, Christ is an impostor. The Apostles are false-witnesses. The Gospel is an imposition, (and consequently the Apostle’s preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain); moreover, ye are yet in your sins, and all the saints that have ever lived have perished. Surely a doctrine of such importance ought to be well considered, and unquestionably proved. I proceed therefore,

II. To the proofs of this doctrine—

Time will not allow us to enter into a large discussion of this point; nor indeed is it as necessary for us to do so, as it was for the Apostles; for the minds of men in these days are open to conviction, whereas they had to combat with all the prejudices of those who put him to death. A few proofs therefore may suffice. We will prove it then,

First; From the testimony of angels. At the sepulchre of our Lord there appeared, both to the women and to others, a vision of angels, who told them that he was risen, saying, “He is not here but is risen; come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

Next; From the testimony of friends. He appeared to many, and ate and drank with them at different times after he rose from the dead. He suffered them to handle his body, to put their fingers into the print of the nails, and to thrust their hand into his side. And the very incredulity of all his Disciples, and especially of Thomas, convinces us, that they would not have believed it without the fullest evidence. He moreover appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, and in the presence of them all was taken up into heaven.

Next; From the testimony of enemies. Where did the Apostles begin to preach Christ? At Jerusalem, the very place where he had been crucified; and that too within a few days after his death: and so clearly did they prove, that he who had been crucified was risen from the dead, that in the first sermon three thousand of his enemies were converted and became his followers. Paul declared, that the greater part of the five hundred who had seen his ascension, were then alive: now, if it had not been true, it must have been strange that so many should enter into such a conspiracy, from which they could derive no advantage, and which would most probably expose them to persecutions and death: and it must be a miracle indeed if neither fear nor interest had induced some one or other of them to discover the cheat, particularly since there was one traitor even among the Twelve Apostles. But the very falsehood which the enemies framed on this occasion, was a testimony in favour of what they endeavoured to disprove. They said, “His Disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept:” now this was the most absurd falsehood that ever was contrived; it confutes itself; for it might be asked, ‘If you were not asleep, Why did you suffer them to take him away? and if you were asleep, How could you tell that they did take him?’

The last testimony shall be from God himself. Jesus had said, that after his ascension to his Father, he would send down the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, and that the Father also would send the Spirit in his name. Accordingly on the day of Pentecost, God poured out the Spirit upon the Disciples, and immediately after upon great numbers of his enemies, and thereby bore the strongest testimony both to the resurrection and ascension of Christ.

Here then are the united testimonies of Angels, of Friends, of Enemies, and of God himself: if these be not sufficient, further arguments would be multiplied to no purpose.

We come then,

III. To set before you the uses which we should make of this doctrine—

Doctrines are of no value any further than they have a practical effect: in order therefore to improve that which has been now established, permit me to point out in two or three particulars the uses which we are taught to make of it.

We should, in the first place, consider the Resurrection of Christ as a pledge of our resurrection. In the Old Testament the resurrection of the body was but obscurely intimated; but in the New Testament it is clearly revealed. Whatever difficulties may appear to arise from the innumerable changes which our bodies shall have undergone, He who first created us out of nothing, knows how to reunite our scattered atoms; and with him all things are possible. Moreover he has assured us, that he will do so: He has told us, that this frame of ours, which is sown in the earth a weak, corrupt, dishonoured body, shall be raised in incorruption, power, and glory. Of this the Resurrection of Christ is a pledge; for the Apostle says, “Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.” The first-fruits were a sheaf taken from the field, and waved before the Lord as the appointed means of obtaining his blessings upon the whole harvest: so we, by virtue of Christ’s Resurrection, and through the favour which he has procured for us, shall in due time be raised, and “our vile body shall be made like unto his glorious body.” Let us remember therefore, that this life is only a state of probation for another; and that, though our mortal part sleep for a little season in the dust, “the hour is coming,” as our Lord expressly tells us, “when all that are in the grave shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and that they have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.”

Another use which we should make of Christ’s Resurrection is, to consider it as a pattern of our life. In this view the Holy Scriptures frequently represent it: St. Paul tells us that “We must be planted in the likeness of Christ’s Resurrection;” that “like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life:” and again he says, “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.” Thus plainly is his Resurrection proposed to us as a pattern for our life; and this it should be, in the source, the manner, and the end of it. As to the source of his Resurrection, it was by the glorious power and operation of the Father: It is by the same divine power that we must be quickened from our death in trespasses and sins: that same Spirit which re-animated his body must restore our souls to life. As to the manner of his Resurrection, it was irresistible; the stone, the seal, the guard were all in vain. So must we break through every obstacle that might detain us in the ways of sin. No desire of man’s applause, no regard to worldly interests, no delight in sensual indulgence, must keep us from following the steps of our Divine Master. As to the end of his Resurrection, he rose, that he might “live unto God:” and such must be our life on earth; we must live unto God in a state of holy communion with him, making his word our rule, his glory our aim, and his service the joy and delight of our souls: nor is there any doubt, but that a life, thus begun in this world, will issue, like Christ’s, in a life of endless happiness and glory.

The last use of his Resurrection which I propose to mention, is, that we should make it the ground of our hope. Our salvation is most generally ascribed to the death of Christ; but sometimes also to his Resurrection: and when St. Paul mentions them as joint grounds of our hope, he seems to lay the greater stress upon his Resurrection; “Who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again.” Nor is this without reason; for, by means of his Resurrection, he is enabled to execute his priestly office. The High Priest under the law was not only to slay the sacrifice, but to carry its blood within the vail, to sprinkle it before the mercy-seat, and to cover the mercy-seat with a cloud of incense: and this, as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews informs us, Jesus is now doing: he has offered himself a sacrifice for our sins, and now he is entered into the highest heavens with his own blood, and ever liveth to make intercession for us. By his Resurrection also, we are assured, that God has accepted his sacrifice on our behalf: for if it had not been accepted in this view, Christ must have deceived his followers, and God must have countenanced that deception, by giving the author of it such a signal testimony of his approbation: and as God would not have done this, we may look to him now with confidence as a reconciled Father: and we are fully warranted to do so, because St. Peter has said, that “God raised up Jesus from the dead, and gave him glory, that our faith and hope might be in God.” We are further assured by the Resurrection of Christ, that he has all power committed to him in heaven and in earth, and is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him: and therefore St. Peter says again, that “we are begotten to a lively hope by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” But that particular consideration, which above all renders the Resurrection of Christ a ground of hope, is, that he rose, as he died, not in a private capacity, but as the Head and Representative of all his people; on which account we are said to be “risen in him,” and to be now “sitting with him in heavenly places.” However therefore the members of his mystical body upon earth may be still contending with the enemies of their salvation, they may rejoice in an assured expectation of victory through Christ their Head: they may already triumph in the thought, that the guilt of their sin is expiated; that God is reconciled; that the hosts of hell are vanquished; that heaven is opened; that grace is promised; and that glory is reserved for them at their departure hence. Who then would not hope in this exalted Saviour, especially when we are so expressly told that he rose again for our justification?

Seeing then that his Resurrection enables him to execute his priestly office; seeing it assures us that his sacrifice is accepted for us; seeing it is the means of his being in vested with almighty power; and seeing that by means of it his whole mystical body is risen and exalted with him, happy shall we be, if He be our hope and our confidence: but if He be not, we must be entirely hopeless and undone for ever; for there neither is nor can be any other ground of hope: we may have the faith of Abraham, the repentance of David, the self-denial of John the Baptist, the knowledge of the Apostles, and the fidelity of Stephen; yet all in vain; if Christ be not risen, all this will profit us nothing; we must inevitably perish notwithstanding all; for thus says the Apostle, in a fore-cited passage, “If Christ be not risen, ye are yet in your sins; then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ are perished:” so that Abraham, David, John the Baptist, the first martyr, Stephen, yea and all the Apostles, are perished, if Christ be not risen. If then these words of St. Paul be true, we see the pernicious tendency of their doctrines who would persuade us to renounce our dependence upon Christ, and to rely on our own works as the ground of our hope. What! are we better than those saints of old? Or would it avail us any thing if we were? No: we might be possessed of every virtue that ever adorned a human being, and in the highest degree that it ever appeared in a fallen creature, and perish at last, if we made any thing but Christ the ground of our hope. Let us look then to this exalted Saviour: let us regard his Resurrection as the pledge of our resurrection, the pattern of our life, and the ground of our hope; and then we may adopt the triumphant language of the Apostle; “Who is he that shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? it is God that justifieth: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again.”


Verse 46-47

DISCOURSE: 1592

THE GOSPEL TO BE FIRST PREACHED AT JERUSALEM

Luke 24:46-47. Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

THE Apostles were to be Christ’s chosen witnesses respecting all that he had said, and done, and suffered in the world. To qualify them for this office, he gave them all needful instruction, not only whilst he sojourned openly among men, but in the interval between his resurrection and ascension. He opened to them more particularly the principal types and prophecies that related to him, and “then opened their understandings also that they might understand them:” and thus, by exhibiting the Gospel more fully to their view, and strengthening their organs of vision to behold them, he prepared them for the ministry which they were now speedily to undertake.

The necessity of the death and resurrection of Christ we have before considered [Note: See Disc. on Luke 24:26.]. We now fix our attention on the direction which he gave them,

I. To preach the Gospel to all nations—

The Gospel comprehends two points, “repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ”—

[Repentance is unknown to the law: that says, ‘Do this, and live;’ and in the event of transgression, denounces a curse against us [Note: Galatians 3:10.]. Whatever there was of repentance enjoined by Moses and the Prophets, it was altogether from a respect to that sacrifice which was in due time to be offered for the sins of men. That it is an evangelical duty, appears from its comprehending the substance of John’s preaching [Note: Matthew 3:2.], and of Christ himself [Note: Matthew 4:17.], and of the Apostles also, both at, and after, the day of Pentecost [Note: Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19; Acts 17:30.] — — — and to bring men to it, was the end for which Christ died and rose again. This therefore must be preached as an essential part of the Gospel.

“Remission of sins” also is a distinguishing feature of the Gospel of Christ: it is indeed the glory of the Gospel, that it makes provision for our attainment of that blessing. Not that the remission of sins is bestowed on account of our repentance: repentance prepares the mind for a due reception of it; but it is for the sake of Christ only that it is bestowed: and therefore in our preaching we must particularly mark, that this mercy is the purchase of his blood, and the gift of his grace.]

These are to be preached to all nations—

[The blessings of the Mosaic dispensation were confined to the House of Israel; but those of the Gospel are to be extended to all mankind. They are equally necessary for all, free for all, effectual for all: there is not a human being that does not need to repent and seek remission of sins in the name of Christ; for “there is no name but his, whereby any man can be saved.” Nor is any person excluded from these mercies, if he do not himself thrust them away from him; for “the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” Nor shall any have reason to complain that they are not sufficient for him; for “all that believe are justified for all things.” Hence the offer of them must be made to all; “we must go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.”]

Our Lord however enjoined his Apostles—

II. To begin their ministration of it at Jerusalem—

It had been foretold that “the law should go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” But there were also important reasons in our Lord’s mind, why his Gospel should in the first instance be published there. It would be eminently useful,

1. To confirm his truth—

[If the Apostles had left Jerusalem, and gone at once to the heathen, it would have appeared as if they had despaired of succeeding where their testimony might be inquired into, and were practising an imposition on those who were unable to contradict them. Thus the Gospel would have been universally regarded as “a cunningly-devised fable.” But by beginning at the very place where their Master was crucified, and bearing their testimony respecting his resurrection, in the very place where he had been put to death, and before the people who were most interested in controverting their statements; and being enabled too to confirm their word with signs and miracles; being successful also in convincing hundreds and thousands that Christ was indeed risen, and was the only Saviour of the world; all this carried such conviction along with it, that even to this hour the enemies of Christianity are confounded by it, nor can find any reasonable plea for doubting what is so firmly and incontrovertibly established — — —]

2. To magnify his mercy—

[When we reflect on all the miracles that Christ had wrought in support of his assertions, and what indignities had been offered to him by all ranks and orders of people at Jerusalem; and at last what a cruel death they had inflicted on him; we might well expect that he should exclude that murderous city from any share of his mercy. He might well have said to his Disciples, Go and “preach repentance and remission of sins to all nations;” but come not near Jerusalem, that wicked city, that has filled up the measure of its iniquities in the murder of its Messiah. But instead of laying any such injunction on them, he commands them to be peculiarly mindful of that city, and to begin their ministrations there: so that, if they should have access to the priests, who demanded sentence against him, or to any of the people, who, in the various ways, by mockings, by scourgings, by nailing him to the cross, by piercing him with the spear, executed it upon him, they might declare to them his readiness to forgive all their trespasses, and, by the blood he had shed, to cleanse them from the guilt of shedding it. What wonderful mercy was here! James and John, upon a small provocation that was offered him, would have called down fire from heaven to consume a whole village: but their Lord, after having sustained the utmost injuries that ingenious cruelty could inflict, was anxious only for the salvation of the persons that had inflicted them. Here was mercy, such as none but God could exercise [Note: Hosea 11:8-9.].]

3. To encourage sinners to the end of time—

[It is common with men, when convinced of sin, to despond, as if they had sinned beyond the reach of mercy: the advantages they have lost, the favours they have abused, the iniquities they have committed, seem to form such a load of guilt as can never be removed from their souls. But who ever lost more advantages, or abused more favours, or committed greater iniquities, than they who “crucified the Lord of glory?” Yet they were the first objects of our Redeemer’s pity and compassion. So then shall it be with all who truly desire to find acceptance with him: “Where sin has abounded, grace shall much more abound;” even as Paul “obtained mercy, that in him, as the very chief of sinners, God might shew forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them that shall hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”]

To improve this subject, we would entreat you,

1. To embrace this salvation—

[“To you is the word of this salvation sent;” and as ambassadors from Christ, we beseech you to receive it with all thankfulness. Nor think it a hard matter to repent, and flee to Christ, when the remission of your sins is suspended on it, and shall be insured by it — — — O let not Christ shed his blood in vain; nor us, as his ministers, commend to you his grace in vain! — — —]

2. To imitate this example—

[Do you admire this unbounded love of Christ to sinners? Know that, in this, “he has left you an example, that you should follow his steps.” You have been greatly injured perhaps by a fellow-creature: return not then the injury; but render good for evil, and blessing for cursing. This is to tread in the steps of Christ, and to approve yourselves his true Disciples. “If your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: and labour to heap coals of fire on his head,” to melt him into love. “Be not overcome of evil; but overcome evil with good [Note: This may be made an useful subject for Missions to the Jews, by shewing, that whilst we imitate the example of Christ in love to our enemies, we should follow his direction in seeking with peculiar and unremitting diligence the restoration and salvation of the Jews: for, where and when were we ever authorized to neglect them, as we have done for 1800 years.].”]


Verses 50-53

DISCOURSE: 1593

THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST

Luke 24:50-53. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

AMIDST the various proofs given by our Lord to his Disciples respecting his Messiahship, there was one of pre-eminent authority, namely, the ascending up to heaven in their immediate presence. He had not risen in their presence, because his frequent appearances to them for the space of forty days after his resurrection would be a sufficient evidence to them that he had risen: but if, in his ascent to heaven, he had withdrawn privately, they would not have known whither he was gone; since they could not go up thither to obtain a personal interview with him, or to ascertain the truth of his ascension. Hence our blessed Lord, having accomplished all that was necessary to be done on earth, led them out to Mount Olivet, and went up from the midst of them to heaven, giving them ocular demonstration that his removal from them was such as he had taught them to expect: “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father [Note: John 16:28.].”

In the account here given us by St. Luke, we notice two things;

I. Our Lord’s departure from his Disciples—

“Having loved his own, he loved them to the end;” and expressed his love to them most particularly in the very instant of his departure: “He lifted up his hands, and blessed them:” and it was in this very act that he was taken up from them; “While he blessed them, he was parted from them.” Now his removal in the midst of this act ought not to be passed over as a mere accidental and uninteresting occurrence; it surely may be considered as intimating to us,

1. What was his object in coming into the world

[We are told by St. Peter, that “God sent him to bless us [Note: Acts 3:26.].” Man was cursed, as a transgressor of God’s law: nor could he, by any means, remove the curse or obtain any blessing whatever. Sin interposed an insurmountable obstacle in his way. But Jesus undertook to remove this obstacle: to expiate the guilt of sin by the sacrifice of himself, and thus to open a way for man’s reconciliation with his offended God. This sacrifice he had now offered, and had “finished the work which God had given him to do.” Now therefore he authoritatively pronounced his Disciples blessed: blessed, as believing in his name; blessed, as interested in his death; blessed, as committed to his protection; and blessed, as fellow-heirs of his glory. Just as the high-priest, after offering his sacrifice, was to bless the people [Note: Leviticus 9:22.], so now Jesus intimated that the end of his incarnation was accomplished, and that, as our Great High-priest, he was empowered to bless his people with all spiritual and eternal blessings [Note: Genesis 14:18-20.].]

2. What should be his occupation when he was departed from it

[He was not now going to relinquish their concerns: on the contrary, he would still be as mindful of them as ever. He was going to heaven upon their business; “as their forerunner,” “to prepare places for them;” “to make continual intercession for them;” to take on himself the management of the universe for them;” and to receive a fulness of all gifts and graces for them, that “they might receive out of it” according to their several necessities. His removal, though it interrupted the sight of his person, and the hearing of his voice, should not interrupt the communication of his blessings: He would still load his Disciples with the richest blessings, and “not them only, but also all who should believe in him through their word:” and, if we now look to him with the eye of faith, we may behold him, as it were, at this very instant occupied as he was at the moment of his departure from the world: he is still blessing, blessing, blessing his believing people: “having received gifts for men, he is daily and hourly bestowing them, even on the most rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell among them [Note: Psalms 68:18.]:” yea, he will yet further extend his favours to the remotest corners of the earth: for “in him shall all the nations of the earth be blessed [Note: Genesis 12:3. Psalms 72:17.].”]

If we look only to the past history, we shall be surprised at,

II. The effect it produced upon them—

When our Lord had told them of his intended departure, they were “filled with sorrow;” but now that he was really gone, they were altogether as full of joy: but they were now better instructed in the nature of his kingdom than they had been before. Indeed even to the last they retained some expectation of a temporal kingdom [Note: Acts 1:6-7.]: but his departure from them effectually dissipated that delusion; and taught them to look up to him for far higher blessings.

Now the effect which was produced in them by the sight of his ascension, ought equally to be wrought in us by the recollection of it; and I shall have addressed you to no purpose, if you do not depart from this place with a measure of those very feelings with which the Apostles were impressed on this occasion. I call upon you therefore now,

1. To adore him—

[He is worthy of all adoration: nor can we doubt but that the “worship” paid to him by his Disciples, was such as they paid to Jehovah himself. The prayer which they almost immediately afterwards offered up to heaven for the appointment of a successor to Judas, was addressed to Him [Note: Acts 1:24.], just as Stephen’s afterwards was, at the very time that he beheld the Father himself sitting on his throne [Note: Acts 7:59-60.]. Let us then adore Him as our incarnate God: and remember that, in so doing, we most truly and acceptably serve our heavenly Father [Note: John 5:22-23. Philippians 2:9-14.].]

2. To rejoice in him—

[Who can contemplate Him seated on his throne of glory, and constituted “Head over all things to his Church,” and not rejoice in him? We are commanded to “rejoice in him always [Note: Philippians 4:4.]:” such joy is the characteristic mark of all his people [Note: Philippians 3:3.]: and it ought to he as elevated and as fervent, as our feeble nature will admit of [Note: 1 Peter 1:8.]. If the Apostles, notwithstanding they were bereft of his bodily presence, and were as yet but partially acquainted with the benefits that were to result from his ascension, “returned to Jerusalem with great joy,” much more should we, to whom the full extent of those benefits is opened, “rejoice with exceeding great joy.” Let Israel then “rejoice in him that made him and redeemed him; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King [Note: Psalms 149:2.].”]

3. To consecrate ourselves to him—

[The Apostles from this time appear to have given themselves up wholly to the exercises of devotion. This was right in their peculiar circumstances; but was not intended as a precedent for us. We have civil and social duties that call for our attention, and which must on no account be neglected. Yet, as far as relates to the affections of the soul, we must consecrate ourselves as entirely to God as they. We should be “sanctified wholly to the Lord, in body, soul, and spirit [Note: 1 Thessalonians 5:23.].” He has “bought us with a price; therefore we should glorify him with our bodies and our spirits, which are his [Note: 1 Corinthians 6:20.].” Let us then serve him in his temple at the appointed seasons of public worship; and let us serve him in our closets, where no eye seeth us but his.]

4. To wait for the accomplishment of all his promises—

[Our Lord had promised to his Disciples, that “they should in the space of a few days be baptized with the Holy Ghost;” and had told them to wait at Jerusalem for that gift [Note: ver. 49 and Acts 1:4-5.]. At Jerusalem therefore they waited in expectation of the promised blessing. And have we no promises to be fulfilled to us? Has he not given us “exceeding great and precious promises,” comprehending every thing that we can desire for body or for soul, for time or for eternity? Let us then wait for the accomplishment of them to our souls. In due time “Jesus will come again from heaven in like manner as he went to heaven:” and then will that last promise be fulfilled, “I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” O that in the mean time he may find us with “our loins girt, and our lamps trimmed,” and ourselves as those who “wait for the coming of their Lord!”]

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Luke 24:4". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/luke-24.html. 1832.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology