Mary wept because the Lord was no longer in the tomb. Ah, she should have wept if He had been there. Had He remained in the grave, we would have been without a Saviour. Does it not show that we often weep senselessly? Jacob said, "All these things are against me," when in reality they were working together for the most wonderful blessing. Mary's unbelief was responsible for her tears. Had not the Lord told her and the others repeatedly, that He was to rise from the dead the third day? Oh, how much sorrow we bring upon ourselves because we do not believe His word.—A. V. R.
A man was one conversing with a Brahmin priest, and he asked:
"Could you say, `I am the resurrection and the life?"'
"Yes," replied the priest, "I could say that."
"But could you make anyone believe it?"
Christ proved His superiority right there. His character and His actions were back of His words. He exhibited His divine power to silence His enemies.—D. L. Moody.
After the battle of Inkerman, in the Crimean War, some soldiers, gathering up the dead for burial and the wounded for the hospital, came upon the body of a young man, who had drawn himself, being fatally wounded, to the shade of a tree, and was lying with his head upon his arm as if asleep. As they picked him up they heard something tear, and looking more closely they saw an open Bible upon which he had placed his bloody fingers, and the congealed blood had carried with the finger a portion of the leaf. Scanning the leaf closely, one of them read aloud the words: "I am the Resurrection, and the Life," and with that text upon the finger of the dead Christian, they buried him. Dying, he was really beginning to live. With his finger upon the promise that Christ was the Life, he passed from the land of the dying, to the land of the living, from struggle to conquest, from darkness into light, from pain to peace.—Gospel Herald.
Oh, the anguish of Mary, the depth of despair,
When she came to the tomb and the Lord was not there!
As she desolate stood with her balm and her myrrh,
And His winding sheet only was waiting for her!
Oh, the blackness of death, oh, life's utter despair,
Had she come to the tomb and the Lord had been there,
Lying wrapped in the sheet with the balm and the myrrh,
And no risen Redeemer had waited for her!—From The Evangelical, by Marion Douglas.
It is said that the late Robert G. Ingersoll, well known infidel, used to tell this story: "I was never nonplused but once. I was lecturing one night and took occasion to show that the resurrection of Lazarus was probably a planned affair to bolster the waning fortunes of Jesus. Lazarus was to take sick and die. The girls were to bury him and send for Jesus. Lazarus was to feign death till Jesus should come and say, `Lazarus, come forth.' To emphasize the situation I said, `Can anyone here tell me why Jesus said, "Lazarus, come forth"?'
Down by the door a pale-faced, white-haired man arose and with a shrill voice said, `Yes, sir, I can tell you! If my Lord had not said, "Lazarus," he would have the whole graveyard of Bethany coming out to him!'"—Sunday School Times.
To me, the central point is the Resurrection of Christ, which I believe. Firstly, because it is testified by men who had every opportunity of seeing and knowing, and whose veracity was tested by the most tremendous trials, both of energy and endurance, during long lives. Secondly, because of the marvelous effect it had upon the world. As a moral phenomenon, the spread and mastery of Christianity is without a parallel. I can no more believe that colossal moral effects lasting for two thousand years can be without a cause than I can believe that the various motions of the magnet are without a cause, though I cannot wholly explain them. To anyone who believes the Resurrection of Christ, the rest presents little difficulty. No one who has that belief will doubt that those who were commissioned by Him to speak—Paul, Peter, Mark, John—carried a Divine message.—The late Marquess of Salisbury, in the Daum.
At the funeral of Dr. A. J. Gordon in Boston, Dr. A. T. Pierson said that the telegram announcing his death came at three o'clock in the morning, and, being unable to sleep, he read the New Testament through from Matthew to Revelation to see what it said about death. And he noticed that after the resurrection of Jesus the apostles seldom used the word death to express the close of a Christian's life, but "sleep," "at home in the Lord," or "depart," "loose the moorings," as of a vessel about to set out on the sea.
What a comfort to the Christian to think of the loved ones as being "asleep in Christ," instead of having ceased to be.—Harry H. Crawford.
"Dying together" with Jesus,
This is the end of strife!
"Buried together" with Jesus,
This is the gate of life!
"Quickened together" with Jesus,
By the touch of God's mighty breath;
"Risen together" with Jesus,
Where is thy sting, O death?"—Selected.
A traveler in Switzerland, uncertain of his way, asked a small lad by the wayside where Kaudersteg was, and received, so he remarks, the most significant answer ever given him. "I do not know, sir," said the boy, "where Kaudersteg is, but there is the road to it.'' There are a great many things I cannot tell you about the life to come, but I know where lies the road. As I know Christ, the hope of glory, I have the certain assurance of immortality.—Sunday School Times.
A Christian mill owner was fatally hurt one day. With wonderful serenity he proceeded to the tasks a dying man must do. A lawyer was summoned and a settlement of his business was made, then his wife and children were brought in. There was a most affectionate leave-taking. Then came his aged father whose face reflected his steadfast faith. "Father," said the son tenderly, "it is hardly worth while saying good-bye to you." Kneeling by his son the patriarch prayed with the simple fervency of a great soul. Then he took the hand of his son, already entering the shadows. "No, Aleck," he said comfortingly, "it is hardly worthwhile for us to say goodbye."—Christian Herald.