THIS IS EASTER
E.T. Springett Moxham, Australia
AND one's mind automatically turns to the scene upon the little hillock outside the city walls! Jerusalem had been stirred with the events of the previous few days.
The Son of God had been hailed as King fivedays before He was brutally put to death. We think of Gethsemane and our Lord's suffering, His breaking heart and His very blood falling into the ground. We see an angel at His side strengthening Him so that He might go on through more suffering to Calvary.
Our Lord had started to die in the Garden, but He had no desire to die there and then. Death in the Garden was the cup He wanted the Father to remove from Him. Rather was He prepared to suffer the coming brutalities of the people and crucifixion, for He knew, that His mission could not, and would not end before He reached Calvary and had carried through the will of His Father, and thus did He die for the sins of Israel and the world. His death was called for by the Jews, but carried out under Gentile law.
We hear His sevenfold cry, and listen as He sends away His spirit so that His words might be fulfilled. Had He not said,
"I lay down my life... No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself'?" (John 10:17-18).
What is there to say this Easter which is new and yet old? It is our duty to look carefully into our treasures and take from them things old and new, and so we turn back the clock to the day when our Lord paid the supreme sacrifice in our stead and set us free from sin that we might look upward every day with sunshine on our faces.
Having obtained permission of Pilate, we watch as Joseph of Arimathea carefully raises the body of Jesus, and, with Nicodemus, wind it in linen clothes with the
mlyrrh and aloes, as the manner of the Jews was to bury, i.e., to embalm, and lay it in a new sepulchre in the garden on the little hill where our Lord was crucified (John19:38-42).
This was the second time our Lord had been bound around with grave clothes, the first time in the stable at His birth in Bethlehem, and the second time in His
sepulchre at Calvary.
At His birth, this was the sign God had given the shepherds when they went a searching for the Baby Jesus, for in the circumstances of His birth in the stable, Mary had no alternative but to bind her rich and precious possession in what were virtually grave clothes.
Thus it was that Mary laid upon Jesus an unmistakable sign the shepherds could not possibly miss, for swaddling bands was the manner of the Jews to embalm and bury: and so the mark of death was laid on our blessed Lord almost before a cry escaped from His lips..., and so, we look back to Calvary and to His sepulchre, to the second time He was bound around with grave clothes.
There they laid the Lord, having wound Him around in grave clothes with approximately a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes, and thus they left Him,wrapped and
embalmed with such a large quantity of spices that, together with the natural weight of His body, must have approximated some 18-20 stones (252-280Ibs.)!
After three days when first the women, and then the disciples, arrived at the tomb, He was gone! He had been raised by the power of the Father, and "made a
quickening Spirit", and no amount of argument can alter this fact! (I Corinthians 15:45).
I tmay be asked, "What is a quickening Spirit?" and the Bible leaves us in no doubt whatsoever as to the meaning of the phrase. The Greek word zoopoieo means
a life-giving ,a life-sustaining and a life-preserving Spirit, likeGod Himself.
Our Lord made this crystal clear when He said,
"As the Father hath life in Himself so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself" (John 5:26).
"God is Spirit, and thus, like Father, like Son, and all the many sons of the Father who are to be brought unto glory, the eternal glory of the Father" (Hebrews 2: 10).
Is it not written,
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is"? (I John 3:1-2).
The glorified man and member of the Bride of Christ is to be clothed with a body,
"a house not made with hands (i.e. not a natural body) etemal in the heavens..., Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit" (2 Corinthians. 5:1-5).
The second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord from Heaven, was made a quickening spirit. Nevertheless, He is the Son of man, and, by virtue of this fact, He is the Judge. Having suffered all things, He is perfectly equipped to judge all men. It is most important to distinguish between His work as Son of God and Son of man (John 5:27).
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit... There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body" (John 3:6; I Corinthians 15:44).
This change from glory to glory does not alter the fact that man remains man. The difference is in the spirit of man and in the body; the one is flesh, whilst the other
is a glorified spiritual body.
The glorified man is still man with a Christ-like spirit, a Son of God, as Christ, and with a glorified body like unto Christ's. Such a man will be able to manifest himself
in a body of flesh and bones as did Jesus, who was, and is, able to pass through walls and barred doors (John 20:19,26; Philippians 3:20, 21; I John 3:1, 2).
Our Lord's body of flesh had been changed at His resurrection to a glorious spiritual body, and even as He was able to pass through walls and barred doors, so He
was able to pass through grave-clothes and the solidified mass of glutinous spices in which He was wrapped, and thus leave them behind in the tomb rather like an empty shell, the shape and size of His human body!
Here was irrefutable proof to John that our Lord's body had not been stolen, but that our Lord had in fact, been raised from the dead, glorified and was alive for
Courtesy of 'The Kingdom Herald', Australia
Back To Archive Contents