Ms 203, 1898

1898

Ms 203, 1898

“The Lord is Risen.”

NP

January 10, 1898 [typed]

Previously unpublished.

Christ died under the imputation of sin; but he was raised again for our justification, and every charge against him was cancelled. He came from the tomb glorified. The eyes of the Roman guard were riveted on the face of him whom they had so recently mocked and derided. Can this glorified being be the prisoner they had seen in the judgment hall, the one for whom they had plaited a crown of thorns? Yes; this is he who stood before Pilate and Herod, his form lacerated by the cruel scourge. This is he who was crowned with thorns and robed in an old purple robe, who was nailed to the cross, at whom the priests and rulers, full of self-satisfaction and hatred, wagged their heads, and said, “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” [Matthew 27:42.] This is he who was laid in Joseph’s tomb. The decrees of heaven had loosed the captive, and the mountains piled upon mountains over his sepulcher could not have prevented him from coming forth. Ms203-1898.1

Why are the soldiers so helpless, yet seeing all? Why do they not move by the inspiration of Satanic agencies? Because the armies of Satan have fled away. Ms203-1898.2

When the soldiers rose from their prostrate position, they fled into the city. To everyone they met, they told their wonderful story, as distinctly and positively as possible. They walked as drunken men; for they were greatly frightened by what they had witnessed. Going to the priests they related to them the circumstances of the resurrection. With painful utterance they said, It was the Son of God who was crucified; for we have heard an angel proclaiming him as the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. The faces of the priests became as those of the dead. They had been loud in crying, “Crucify him, crucify him.” [John 19:6.] They had said defiantly, “His blood be on us, and on our children.” [Matthew 27:25.] Could they permit the testimony that Christ had risen to go forth? If this were allowed, the assertion made during his trial, that he was the Son of God, would be believed by the people. Caiaphas tried to speak. His lips moved, but he uttered no sound. The soldiers were about to leave the room when a voice stayed them. It was Caiaphas, who at last had found utterance. Wait, wait, he said. Tell no one the things you have seen. Ms203-1898.3

A lying report was then given to the soldiers. “Say ye,” said the priests, “his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.” [Matthew 28:13.] How miserable was this scheming. How could the soldiers say that the disciples had stolen the body while they slept; for if they were asleep, how could they know? Ms203-1898.4

The soldiers were horrified at the thought of bringing upon themselves the charge of sleeping at their post. This was an offence punishable with death. Should they bear false witness, deceiving the people, and placing their own lives in peril? Did they not keep their weary watch with sleepless vigilance? If they perjured themselves, how could they stand the trial, even for the sake of money? Ms203-1898.5

In order to secure the evidence they wished, the priests promised to secure the safety of the guard, saying that Pilate would not desire to have the facts of the resurrection circulated any more than they did. Then the Roman soldiers sold themselves and their integrity to the Jews. They came in before the priests burdened with a most startling message of truth; they went out with a burden of money and with a lying report on their tongues, which had been given them by the priests. Ms203-1898.6

So far will men go in fastening themselves in deception. To sustain themselves in their sin, the priests denied facts that it was not possible to make of none effect. In the terrible darkness that came over the earth as Christ hung on the cross, when all nature was convulsed and the earth quaked, the centurion and the hardened soldiers received all the evidence they desired. “When the centurion and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.” [Matthew 27:54.] But the priests were determined to reject the light. With a desperate effort to disprove the testimony of the guards, they affirmed that Christ’s body had been stolen. Everywhere the words were sounded, The body of Christ was stolen, the grave robbed. Ms203-1898.7

But the resurrection of Christ was certain. On every hand the Sanhedrim was met by proofs. When Christ rose, proclaiming in triumph, “I am the resurrection and the life” [John 11:25], he brought from the dead as types and pledges of the general resurrection, saints that had been co-laborers with God. These bowed at the Saviour’s feet in adoration, and then went into the city, revealing themselves to many, and declaring that Christ had risen from the dead, and that they had risen with him. This testimony contradicted the lie that the Roman guards had been hired to report. Thus was immortalized the truth of the resurrection. The risen saints bore witness to the truth of the words, “Thy dead men shall live; together with my dead body shall they arise.” “Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead.” [Isaiah 26:19.] Ms203-1898.8

What a day was this to the world! The Saviour was living, and not dead. Abundant evidence was given the disciples of the resurrection of their Lord. As two of them were walking to Emmaus, Christ joined them, and beginning at Moses, he opened to them in all the prophets the things concerning himself. In the upper chamber he revealed himself to the eleven as one risen from the dead. Calm and joyful in the belief of the truth, the disciples declared that Christ had risen. Unflinchingly they bore evidence that early in the morning of the first day of the week, they had gone to the sepulcher, and had found it empty. They had seen the shroud that had been wrapped about their Master’s body, but him they did not find. They bore witness that their Lord had indeed risen, that his body had not seen corruption, that they had seen him and talked with him. This was a decided triumph, and made of none effect the falsehood of the priests. Christianity was established by evidence that could not be controverted. Ms203-1898.9

How impotent on this occasion was the power of the kings and rulers. They could not act their will on Him who was slain for the sins of the world. Had it been possible, the prince of darkness with this apostate army would have kept forever shut the tomb that held the Son of God. But a heavenly host guarded the sepulcher. These angels had been unseen witnesses of all that had taken place in the mock trial in the judgment hall, where every action was noted, every taunt recorded. Ms203-1898.10

The hour of Christ’s triumph had come. The Lord had broken his bonds in sunder. He came forth from the tomb, proclaiming, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] His words to his disciples were fulfilled, “A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again a little while, and ye shall see me. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. ... Ye now therefore have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” [John 16:19, 20, 22.] Ms203-1898.11