Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 115, 1897

The Risen Saviour.


October 14, 1897

Portions of this manuscript are published in 5BC 1110; 6BC 1092; CTr 283-286.

“And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone at the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked they saw that the stone was rolled away; for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen: he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said to you.” [Mark 16:1-7.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 1

Luke relates some things more definitely. The angels inquired, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen; remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful man, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and others that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.” [Luke 24:5-11.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 2

The Sabbath was past, and Mary Magdalene came early in the morning when it was yet dark unto the sepulcher. Other women were to meet her there, but Mary was the first at the sepulcher. They had prepared the sweet spices to anoint the body of their Lord. The women were greatly terrified, and buried their faces in the earth, for the sight of the angels was more than they could endure. The angels were compelled to hide their glory yet more decidedly before they could converse with the women. The women trembled with awe. The angels said, “Fear not ye: for I know ye seek Jesus which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” [Matthew 28:5, 6.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 3

When Mary found the stone rolled away from the door of the tomb, “she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and came to the sepulcher. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying: yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in that other disciple also, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, ....” [John 20:2, 3, 5-9.] “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy One to see corruption.” [Psalm 16:10.] “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave; for he shall receive me.” [Psalm 49:15.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 4

“Then the disciples went away again to their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus has lain. And they said unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She said unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she has thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? ... She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith to him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and said unto him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I have not yet ascended unto my Father, but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God.” [John 20:10-17.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 5

Jesus first appeared “to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils, and she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned.” There was no more weeping for Mary. Her heart was filled with joy and rejoicing. “But they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.” [Mark 16:9-11.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 6

While Mary was absent, He appeared to the women who had come to the sepulcher from another direction. The message was given to the women by the angel, “Go quickly and tell his disciples, Behold he goeth before you into Galilee. There shall ye see him.” [Matthew 28:7.] As yet there had been no revelation of Christ to the eleven, and the women went to tell the disciples the wondrous news. “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. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid; go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.” [Verses 9, 10.] Thus Christ made an appointment for a public meeting with His brethren in Galilee. Who was it that reminded the women who were seeking Christ in the tomb of what the Saviour had said to them previously? It was Christ who had risen, as He had told them He would. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 7

In this connection Mark gives a most precious statement, that must not be overlooked. The angel said to the women, “Go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee.” [Mark 16:7.] What a comforting message was thus given to the women to give Peter. The last look Jesus had given Peter was after the disciple’s thrice repeated denial. Peter was not forgotten by Christ, and this mention of his name signified to him that he was forgiven. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 8

Said the angel, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here: he is risen; remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee.” [Luke 24:5, 6.] The wonderful instruction that Christ had given His disciples was never to lose its force, but they had to be reminded of the lessons that Christ had repeatedly given them while He was yet with them. “Remember,” said the angel, “how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” [Verses 6, 7.] The disciples were surprised that they had not thought of these things before. Why had His words been forgotten? 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 9

Christ had spoken to them in regard to His future. “From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders, and chief priests and scribes and be killed.” If he had left the matter there, there would have indeed been cause for the disciples to be hopeless. But He continued, “And be raised the third day.” [Matthew 16:21.] But instead of listening to every word spoken by the divine Teacher, Peter allowed his feelings to be stirred at the thought at such a chapter in the Saviour’s history. He took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, “Be it far from thee, Lord; this shall not be unto thee.” [Verse 22.] The disciples had not yet given up the idea so long cherished that Christ would reign on David’s throne as a temporal prince, but Christ said, “Get thee behind me, Satan:” for it was Satan, “for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” [Verse 23.] He would have Peter understand that Satan originated his speech, and that he rebuked Satan. “Get thee behind me.” No longer interpose between Me and My disciple. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 10

“And Jesus going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples apart by the way, and said unto them, Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.” [Matthew 20:17-19.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 11

He had declared, “All ye shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.” [Matthew 26:31, 32.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 12

How many things the Lord had told His disciples in regard to His sufferings and death and resurrection. Why then did the disciples look on the dark side, and feel so wholly discouraged. Had not Christ anticipated their disappointment? Had He not given them the precious instruction in John 14, 15, 16? “Let not your heart be troubled,” He had said, “Ye believe in God: believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also. ... Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father; for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” [John 14:1-3, 27-29.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 13

Christ had said everything encouraging that He could, in order that their faith might not die when He died upon the cross. If, after His crucifixion and burial, in the place of giving way to their sorrow, the disciples had carefully reviewed what Christ had told them to prepare them for this time, they would have seen light amid the darkness. They need not have been in such apparently hopeless discouragement. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 14

Before any one had reached the sepulcher, there was a great earthquake. The mightiest angel from heaven, he who held the position from which Satan fell, received his commission from the Father, and clothed with the panoply of heaven, he parted the darkness from his track. His face was like the lightning, and his garments white as snow. As soon as his feet touched the ground it quaked beneath his tread. The Roman guards were keeping their weary watch when this wonderful scene took place, and they were enabled to endure the sight, for they had a message to bear as witnesses of the resurrection of Christ. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 15

The angel approached the grave, and rolled away the stone as though it had been a pebble, and sat upon it. The light of heaven encircled the tomb, and the whole heaven was lighted by the glory of the angels. Then his voice was heard, “Thy Father calls thee; come forth.” And Jesus came forth from the grave with the step of a mighty Conqueror. There was a burst of triumph, for the heavenly family were waiting to receive Him, and the mighty angel, followed by the army of heaven, bowed in adoration before Him as He, the Monarch of heaven, proclaimed over the rent tomb of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” [John 11:25.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 16

When Christ upon the cross cried out, “It is finished,” there was a mighty earthquake, that rent open the graves of many who had been faithful and loyal, bearing their testimony against every evil work, and magnifying the Lord God of hosts. [John 19:30; Matthew 27:50-52.] Now as the Lifegiver came forth from the sepulcher, proclaiming, “I am the resurrection and the life,” He summoned from the grave these saints. When alive, at the cost of their lives, they had borne their testimony unflinchingly for the truth. Now they were to be witnesses of Him who had raised them from the dead. These, said Christ, are no longer the captives of Satan. I have redeemed them; I have brought them from the grave as the first fruits of My power, to be with Me where I am, never more to see death or experience sorrow. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 17

During His ministry Jesus raised the dead to life. He raised the son of the widow of Nain and Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus. But these were not clothed with immortality. After they were raised they continued to be subject to death and decay. But those who came forth from the grave at Christ’s resurrection were raised to everlasting life. They were the multitude of captives who ascended with Him as trophies of His victory over death and the grave. They were indeed quickened by the Lifegiver. They came forth as trophies of His victory over death and the grave. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 18

These went into the city, and appeared unto many, declaring, “Christ has risen from the dead, and we be risen with him.” Some were terrified at the sight. They bore the most undeniable evidence not only of their own resurrection, but of the resurrection of the crucified Redeemer. After His resurrection, Christ did not show Himself to any save His followers, but testimony in regard to His resurrection was not wanting. It came from various sources, from the five hundred who assembled in Galilee to see their risen Lord. This testimony could not be quenched. The sacred facts of Christ’s resurrection were immortalized. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 19

Those who had been raised were presented as trophies to the heavenly universe, as samples of the resurrection of all who receive and believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. They were a symbol of the final resurrection of the righteous. That same power that has raised Christ from the dead will raise His church and glorify it, with Christ, as His bride, above all principalities, above all powers, above every name that is named, not only in this world, but in the heavenly courts, the world above. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 20

But where were the Roman guards? They had been enabled to view the mighty angel who sang the song of triumph at the birth of Christ. The angels now sang the song of redeeming love. All united in the song, “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy ways thou king of saints. Thou only art holy. Thy judgments are made manifest.” [See Revelation 15:3, 4.] “Who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame.” [Hebrews 12:2.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 21

The Roman guards fainted and became as dead men under the wonderful, amazing scene which they were permitted to behold. When the heavenly train was hidden from their sight, they arose to their feet and made their way as quickly as their tottering limbs would carry them to the gate of the garden. As they came up staggering like blind or drunken men, their faces pale as the dead, they told to those they met of the wonderful scenes they had witnessed. Messengers preceeded them quickly to the chief priests and rulers, declaring, as best they could, the incidents that had taken place. The guards were making their way first to Pilate, but the priests and rulers sent word for them to be brought into their presence. The hardened soldiers presented a strange appearance, as they bore testimony both to the resurrection of Christ and also of the multitude whom He brought forth with Him as the One who holds life-giving power. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 22

While the women were making known their message as witnesses of the risen Saviour, and while Jesus was preparing a place where He could reveal Himself to a large number of His followers, another scene was being enacted. The watch appointed to guard the sepulcher came into the city. They appeared like men that had been greatly frightened. Their faces were colorless. Going to the chief priests and rulers, they told them what they had seen at the sepulcher. They had not time to think or speak anything but the truth. They thought their story would at once commend itself to the supposedly righteous men who had employed them. But the rulers were not pleased by the report. Joseph and Nicodemus were not with them at this time. Gamaliel was not with them, for the report of the recent transactions had reached him. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 23

The soldiers were bribed to report a falsehood, and the priests guaranteed that if the matter came to Pilate’s ears, as it most assuredly would, they would be responsible for the actions of the soldiers. They bribed Pilate to silence. They did more. By special messengers they sent the report they had prepared to every part of the country. They knew that great publicity had been given to the trial of Christ by holding it at the time of the Passover. They knew that the wonderful events that had taken place, the supernatural darkness, the mighty earthquake, could not be without its effect. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 24

Many had believed on Jesus as they saw the terrible sights that took place. They remembered the voice that was heard at the foot of the cross amid the noise and confusion. “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.] As Christ cried out, “It is finished,” the cloud of blackness rolled back from the cross. The light seemed more bright in contrast with the darkness. Then the words of confession were heard, not in whispered tones, but as a witness, “Truly this was the Son of God.” All eyes were turned to the place from whence came the voice. Who had spoken? It was the centurion and the Roman soldiers, heathen and idolaters. Thus was the evidence given that soon our Redeemer would see of the travail of His soul. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 25

What so enlightened and convinced these men that they could not refrain from confessing their faith in Jesus? It was the sermon that was given in every action of Christ and in His silence under cruel abuse. At His trial one seemed to vie with the other in making His humiliation as degrading as possible. But His silence was eloquence. In that lacerated, bruised, broken body hanging on the cross, the Centurion recognized the form of the Son of God. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 26

The priests and rulers were afraid to walk the streets of Jerusalem for fear of meeting Christ. They were anxious to keep within walls, thinking that this would protect them. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 27

The Priest and Sacrifice were now taken hold of by God in order. The One who was obedient unto death is now taken into eternal unison both as God and man. The Father says to Him, “Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” [Psalm 110:4.] When by faith we see Christ in His human and divine nature, it is because God has revealed Him. The hidden wisdom which no man ever can or will explain to the sense of men, “God ordained before the world unto our glory, which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.” See 1 Corinthians 2:2-11. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 28

It was to the glory of God that the Prince of life should be the first fruits, the antitype of the typical wave-sheaf. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate, to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things?” [Romans 8:29, 32.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 29

Christ was the first fruits of them that slept. This very scene, the resurrection of Christ from the dead, was observed in type by the Jews at one of their sacred feasts, called the feast of the Jews. They came up to the temple when the first fruits had been gathered in, and held a feast of thanksgiving. The first fruits of the harvest crop was sacredly dedicated to the Lord. That crop was not to be appropriated for the benefit of man. The first ripe fruit was dedicated as a thank offering to God. He was acknowledged as the Lord of the harvest. When the first heads of grain ripened in the field, they were carefully gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem, they were presented to the Lord, waving the ripened sheaf before Him as a thank offering. After this ceremony the sickle could be put to the wheat, and it could be gathered into sheaves. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 30

As Christ ascends while in the act of blessing His disciples, an army of angels encircle Him as a cloud. Christ takes with Him the multitude of captives as His trophy. He will Himself bring to the Father the first fruits of them that slept to present to God as an assurance that He is conqueror over death and the grave. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 31

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates: and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors: and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.” [Psalm 24:7-10.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 32

There is the throne and around it the rainbow of promise. There are seraphim and cherubim. The angels circle round Him, but He waves them back. He enters into the presence of His Father. He points to His triumph in this antitype of Himself, the wave sheaf, those raised with Him, the symbol of the captive dead who shall come forth from their graves when the last trump shall sound. He approaches the Father, and if there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, if the Father rejoices over them with singing, let the imagination take in this scene. Christ says, “Father, it is finished. I have done thy will, O my God. I have completed the work of redemption. If thy justice is satisfied, I will that those whom thou hast given me be with me where I am.” [See John 17:24.] The voice of God is heard. Justice is satisfied. Satan is vanquished. Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The arms of the Father encircle His Son, and His voice is heard, saying, “And let all the angels of God worship him.” [Hebrews 1:6.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 33


When Christ wept over Jerusalem, with quivering lips He said, “O that thou hadst known, even thou in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy peace—but now they are hid from thine eyes.” [Luke 19:42.] Never will they see the things they might have seen had they believed in Jesus Christ as the One sent from God. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 34


Thomas was not with the twelve when Jesus appeared to them. “The other disciples therefore said unto him, we have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my fingers into the prints of his nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” [John 20:25.] 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 35