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proved him to be the Son of God, do you not wonder still more and more that he should be left to suffer thus? It is not strange that you should wonder. It is a mystery to all who hear of it; a mystery which can be explained in only one way, and that we know is the right explanation, because we find it in the scriptures. He did not suffer for his own sake, but for the sake of sinners. Isaiah says, "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; with his stripes we are healed;" and "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Peter says, "He bore our sins in his own body on the tree."
The whole family of man, you know, are sinners. God is too holy to love sinners, and too just to suffer sin to go unpunished. His pure law required that guilty man should suffer everlasting punishment, but at the same time he pitied us, and was willing that his Son should die, "the just for the unjust," to bring us back to God. Jesus looked on us in our lost condition, and offered to suffer the punishment which we deserved. His Father accepted the offering, and “laid on him the iniquities of us all." It was this heavy load of sins that caused the Saviour to cry out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.'
We have been thinking of the distress of body which our Saviour endured, but we have reason to suppose that was trifling, compared with the agony of his spirit. It was not the torture of the nails, nor the pains of expiring nature, that caused this bitter cry, but the punishment due to our sins, the punishment for the sins of the whole world, which came over him like a flood, and hid his
Father's face from him, and made him feel that God had forsaken him. Jesus, you know, was pure and holy. Though the effects of sin were laid upon him, it did not make him a sinner, therefore it was far more distressing to him to suffer the punishment of sin, and be driven away from the presence of his righteous Father.
O look, dear reader, at that dying Saviour. Look in your mind, and think how willingly he suffered. He might have ascended up from the hands of his murderers, or he might have caused the ground to open and swallow them up; but then the inhabitants of the earth must have been lost; you and I could have had no hope of pardon.
Think how dreadfully he suffered. Death by crucifixion was exceedingly painful. It was a slow, distressing torture, far more fearful than such a death as John suffered, who was beheaded in the prison; and yet this was but a small part of his suffering. We have no language to describe, nor thoughts to conceive, of the distress of his holy soul, when he groaned under the sins of a whole world.
Think how meekly he suffered. "When he was reviled, he reviled not again." In giving the account of our Saviour's death, Luke relates some circumstances not mentioned by Matthew. He says when Jesus was about to expire he prayed for his murderers, saying, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." O how did his mercy overcome every other feeling, even the distress he suffered from the punishment of sin, and with his latest breath he prays that his enemies may be forgiven. Say, dear children, should you
not love such a Saviour? A Saviour, so kind, so meek and forgiving, so willing to bear the sins of a wicked world, and die the painful death of the cross, to save us from the punishment which our sins have deserved? Yes, you must give yourself to him, and love him with all your heart, or you can never be happy. Do not suppose that his atonement will save you, unless you accept of him as your Saviour, and seek to obey all his commands, and desire to be made pure and holy as he is.
OUR SAVIOUR'S RESURRECTION.
6. He is not here: for he has risen as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there ye shall see him: lo, I have told you.
8. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
9. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
10. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
AFTER Jesus had uttered the last cry, and his spirit departed; his mangled body hung lifeless on the cross, having suffered all its pain. John informs us that one of the soldiers plunged a spear into his side, but this gave him no pain, for he
was already dead. Perhaps his enemies were willing to go away and allow his friends to draw nigh, now they had gratified their wicked feelings. by putting him to death. Though they had taken him, and "by wicked hands had crucified and slain him," the blessed Saviour still had friends who loved him, and thought with aching hearts on his cruel death. To these good people the Saviour's body was very dear; and if they could do nothing to save him from death they hoped to save his body from further abuse by laying it in a quiet grave.
We are told that one of his friends, a rich man, named Joseph, went to Pilate, the Roman governor, "and begged the body of Jesus." Pilate gave him permission to take it down from the cross, and he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new sepulchre, or tomb, placing a heavy stone at the door of it. There were other friends of Jesus, who brought sweet spices to anoint his body, according to the custom of the country. Two of these are called in the first verse of the twenty-eighth chapter of Matthew-Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary; and it is said that they came "at the end of the Sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, to see the sepulchre." Luke mentions that they brought the spices, to anoint the body of Jesus. The end of-the Sabbath means the Jewish Sabbath, which was the same as our Saturday. It was therefore early on our Sabbath morning that these pious women came to manifest their love for their departed Saviour by anointing his body with precious ointment. Perhaps you will think it strange that they supposed they could come near
to the body of Jesus after he had been buried, but it is not strange, because in that country tombs are large rooms under ground, and a person can enter them without trouble. As these women came near to the sepulchre, they found the stone rolled away from the door, and an angel sitting on it. Pilate had sent some men to watch the sepulchre, and these men were so frightened by the appearance of an angel that they fainted and fell down; but the angel was a beautiful and holy being, and no good person need to be afraid of him. He spoke kindly to the women, saying, "Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus who was crucified." He then told them as you see in the first of the verses above, that he was not in the tomb, but was risen; and invited them to look in and "see the place where the Lord lay." After this the angel tells them to go quickly, and inform the Saviour's disciples that he had risen, and would go before them into Galilee. The women departed quickly, and hastened to bring to the sorrowing disciples the joyful news that their Lord had risen from the dead. They went "with fear and great joy." Perhaps they could not help feeling some fear when they knew that they had been talking with a holy being from heaven, but they felt great joy, for they saw that the Saviour whom they loved was not in the tomb; and they believed that the angel told them the truth when he "he is risen." Now they hoped soon to see Jesus again, and hoped too that his enemies, and the enemies of all righteousness would not be allowed to rule over the world, and make the people obey them.
They felt so joyful, and so eager that the disci