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CHAPTER VII

String 6: Resurrection





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NISAN was the beginning of months in the Jewish year; and the fourteenth day of Nisan, 33 A. D., found Jesus of Nazareth dead and in the tomb. The hopes of his followers were dashed to the ground. Looking back to the promises made by Jehovah to faithful Abraham, his disciples and other associates had believed Jesus to be the promised Messiah and trusted that he would be the deliverer of Israel from Roman bondage and would also be the instrument for the blessing, through Israel, of all the nations of the earth. But now he who they had hoped would redeem Israel (Luke 24:21) was dead. They were perplexed and overwhelmed. Seemingly they did not expect him to rise again from the dead, nor did they know at that time that Jehovah would not suffer the flesh of his Holy One to corrupt. The conduct of the disciples at this time, as well as of those who were in full sympathy with them, shows that they did not expect his resurrection. The body was carefully wrapped and placed in the tomb with myrrh, aloes, and spices, evidently to prevent decomposition. The subsequent great sorrow of the women at the tomb and their belief that the body of Jesus had been wrongfully removed and hid elsewhere, also the perplexity of the disciples, all tends to show that they did not have any hope or expectation of the resurrection of Jesus. Then we have the positive statement: "For as yet
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they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead." — John 20: 9.
246 The disciples were Jews and it might be supposed that they were somewhat acquainted with the Scriptures. We remember, however, that they were not learned men; and even if they had been acquainted with the text of the Scriptures they could not have had a very clear understanding of them at that time; just as we now see there are many wonderful truths in the Bible which have been there for centuries and which Christians never understood until recently. Now as we look at the inspired Word of God we can see some texts in the Old Testament which clearly refer to the resurrection of Jesus, and which texts must have been familiar to many Jews at the time Jesus was crucified. For information we note some of these texts here.
247 The Prophet Job pointed to the time of redemption and deliverance when he said: "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." (Job 19: 25) If the Redeemer was to stand at the latter day upon the earth, then he must be raised from the dead after he had provided the redemptive price by his death; hence this scripture must foreshadow his resurrection. The Psalmist David wrote prophetically concerning Jesus' resurrection when he said: "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore." (Psalm 16:10,11) We have the inspired testimony of the apostle that the prophet did there refer to the resurrection of Jesus. — Acts 2: 27-31; 13: 35-37.
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248 Again the Prophet David wrote concerning Jesus, the Savior of the world: "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." (Psalm 17:15) The awakening clearly means the awakening out of death. Jesus was awakened out of death in the express image of the Father. (Hebrews 1:2) Again the psalmist wrote: "Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men." (Psalm 68:18) Clearly the Apostle Paul refers to this same scripture in Ephesians 4:8, showing that the psalmist referred to the resurrection of Jesus.
249 The Prophet Isaiah wrote: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever." (Isaiah 9:6,7) Here it is clearly stated that the One who would hold this exalted position, the Messiah, is to be the everlasting Father. Father means life-giver, and it would be impossible for Jesus to be the great Life-giver to man unless he was raised from the dead.
250 Again the Prophet Isaiah described the sufferings of Jesus and his death and subsequent resurrection when he wrote: "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. . . . He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter. ... He was taken from prison and from judgment: ... he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was
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he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; . . . when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed. . . . He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many." (Isaiah 53:6-11) He could not have poured out his soul unto death and afterward see the travail of his soul and be satisfied unless he should be raised from the dead.
251 These scriptures clearly foretell the resurrection of Jesus. Besides this, Jesus had told his disciples while in Galilee that he would be put to death and rise from the dead. (Luke 24: 6, 7) "And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men; and they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry." (Matthew 17: 22, 23) But it may not be expected of them that they should understand the meaning of these Old Testament scriptures as referring to the resurrection of the Lord. They were not men of great learning. They were poor and followed humble occupations. They had doubtless not had the advantage of a great amount of education; but a stronger reason is that the holy spirit had not then been given and their minds had not been illuminated, and it is not to be expected that they would understand then the deep things of God's Word. (1 Corinthians 2:14) Nor is it at all surprising that they had forgotten some of the sayings of Jesus concerning his betrayal, his death and resurrection. We must remember that they loved Jesus very devotedly; and uppermost in their minds was the hope that he would be the deliverer of Israel. Only five days before his death they had joined him in his triumphant entry into Jerusa-
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lem, when the common people hailed him with gladness and joy. (Matthew 21:1-11) His death was so very sudden, so cruel, the shock so terrible, that the minds of these faithful disciples and others who loved him dearly were stunned. They were truly overwhelmed with sorrow and grief. He had been rudely snatched from them; unjustly tried, brutally condemned, and then subjected to the most ignominious death known to man, the death of the cross.
252 Clearly in fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah above noted, Jesus was put to death as an evil one, thereby making his grave with the wicked; and he was laid in the sepulchre of a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph. — Matthew 27: 57.
253 Little is said as to the doings of the disciples and their associates immediately following the crucifixion of Jesus when he was laid away in the tomb. The good women went and "beheld where he was laid". No doubt little else was done. After six o'clock p. m. of that day was the beginning of the sabbath day, and under the law the Jews must rest; hence we are not to expect that they did much of anything. Nor could it have been a day of much rest to them. It was a day of great sorrow. They could do no work to divert their minds from the terrible shock caused by the crucifixion of the Lord. The rest must have been one merely of cessation from labor. Surely they had little rest of body or peace of mind. For them it was a day of sorrowful waiting, because tomorrow they would go to the tomb. The sabbath ended at six o'clock p. m., but the night followed, which prevented them from visiting the tomb then.
254 The morning following was the first day of the week; and early that morning, before it became very light, Mary Magdalene and other good women who
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had followed Jesus from Galilee and had ministered unto him, hastened to the Savior's tomb. When they reached there the angel of the Lord appeared unto them, saying: "Fear not ye: for I know that 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. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre, with fear and great joy, and did run to bring his disciples word." (Matthew 28:5-8) This news to these faithful women sounded too good to be true. They were dazed and bewildered; yet with joy they hurried away to deliver the message to others who loved the Lord.
255 Here we have the proof that the resurrection of Jesus is one of the strings upon the harp of God, yielding great joy to those who hear its blessed sound. The first human being who heard of the resurrection rejoiced. How much more joy there must have been in heaven at that hour!
256 Angel means messenger; that is, one who is sent on a mission as a representative or deputy, or messenger of God. These holy messengers or angels always have access to the Father, Jehovah. (Matthew 18:10) We should expect, of course, that these holy ones of the heavenly host would sing praise and give utterance to joy before the Lord at every progressive step of his plan. These angels inhabit the heavens, the high place. And so the psalmist writes of them: "Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts." (Psalm 148:1,2) The Bible abounds with many instances
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wherein God has used these holy angels as messengers. He communicated with Abraham by his angels (Genesis 22:15); also with Jacob. (Genesis 31:11) God appeared unto Moses by his angel. (Exodus 3:2) He also delivered a message to Elijah by his angel. (1 Kings 19: 5) These holy messengers of God guarded the interests of Jesus at all times, from the moment he left the heavenly courts to become the man Jesus for the purpose of redeeming the world of mankind. (Zechariah 3:1-7) The angel of the Lord announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of the babe Jesus. (Luke 1:31) When she gave birth to this wonderful child, the angel of the Lord brought the message to the faithful shepherds, and the great multitude of the heavenly hosts joined together with that angel in praising God. — Luke 2: 9-11.
257 We may be sure that these faithful, holy angels, as God's instruments, were carefully watching every step of Jesus from the time of his birth up to the moment of his resurrection. With eagerness they would watch and wait to see if Jesus fully met all the requirements of God's law. They evidently knew that his full compliance would meet with the marvelous reward of a resurrection from the dead. It was one of these faithful messengers that the Lord sent from heaven to roll back the stone from the door of the tomb at the resurrection of the Master. What great joy must have filled the heavenly courts now when they beheld Jesus, by the power of God, triumphant over death and the grave!
258 Lucifer, who became Satan, who had once been associated with the holy angels and who had seduced some of their fellow angels, had for centuries opposed Jehovah and specially tried to destroy Jesus. Jesus had been sent into the world that he might destroy
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the works of Satan; and now, having been raised from the dead, he would ultimately "destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil," which destruction would guarantee the deliverance of the human race. (Hebrews 2:14) Now Jesus had broken the bonds of death, being raised by Jehovah to power and glory, demonstrating the fact that he was fully approved by Jehovah. He now proved that he was worthy to be praised; and without question he received the unlimited praise of all the heavenly host. The revelator says: "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." — Revelation 5:11,12.

SCRIPTURAL PROOF

259 It was not their previous knowledge of the Scriptures and their faith in them that Christ Jesus would be raised from the dead which induced the disciples to believe that he was raised, but it was what they actually saw and experienced that led them to this conclusion. The knowledge gained by experience, coupled with the knowledge of the Scriptures subsequently acquired by them, not only established beyond a doubt in their own minds the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, but it emboldened them to declare the message on every opportune occasion to others and to emphasize this great doctrine of truth in their epistles to the church.
260 It will profit us here to consider the Scriptural testimony given in proof that Jesus was raised from
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the dead three days after his crucifixion. There have always been some that denied the resurrection and hence it is always well to fortify ourselves against such denial, as well as to strengthen our own faith. It must be remembered that the writers of these gospels were not learned men; they were not such men as would arrange a fraudulent scheme to deceive anybody. There would be no occasion for them to do this. The fact that they did not expect a resurrection and gave evidence of that by their conduct and their speech at and just after the Lord's death is strong circumstantial evidence that their testimony subsequently given is true. Besides this, the testimony itself bears all the earmarks of truth.
261 At the time Jesus died there was an earthquake. The Roman centurion who stood by exclaimed, "Truly this was the Son of God!" "When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: he went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre." — Matt. 27: 57-61.
262 The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead, basing their conclusion upon the words of the prophets. They feared that Jesus might arise from the dead. They knew they were guilty of having him put to death and they hoped that would be the end of him. "Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that
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that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead; so the last error shall be worse than the first." (Matthew 27:62-64) When the Roman governor heard their request he granted them a Roman guard, saying to them: "Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch." — Matthew 27: 65,66.
263 The Lord Jehovah must have held these Pharisees in derision, who presumed by having the stone sealed and a Roman guard placed at the entrance that they could prevent his bringing Jesus out of the tomb. God could have easily resurrected the Lord without removing the stone. He chose, however, to do the latter. And in addition to raising up Jesus as a divine being, he also removed the body in his own good way and to his own good place, that it might not see corruption, even as he had promised. — Psa. 16:10.
264 This Roman guard kept a close vigil over the tomb during Friday night, Saturday and Saturday night; and early Sunday morning the angel of the Lord appeared and rolled back the stone. The keepers testified that the countenance of the angel was like lightning and his raiment as white as snow, and these watchmen did shake because of fear.
265 The sabbath day now ended, the dawn of the first day of the week being here, the faithful women were the first ones to start for the tomb. "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was
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a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that 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. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre, with fear and great joy, and did run to bring his disciples word. 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." — Matt. 28:1-10.
266 There must have been great excitement about that time among some of the people of Jerusalem. These faithful women ran to tell the disciples, while the Roman soldiers hurried into the city to notify their employers of what had happened. "Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this
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saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day." — Matthew 28:11-15.
267 The account given by Luke is almost identical with that given by Matthew. Likewise the testimony given by Mark. John also gives an accurate account of the resurrection of the Lord. We insert here the testimony of each of these witnesses for the purpose of showing that the four testified substantially to the same facts and fully corroborated each other.
268 "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought 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 sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from 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 unto you." — Mark 16:1-7.
269 "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
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and as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, 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 men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulchre, 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 other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles." — Luke 24:1-10.
270 "The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then 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 sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 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 sepulchre, and 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 also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed." — John 20:1-8.
271 Added to the testimony of these four witnesses is that of Paul, who on his way to Damascus had a miraculous vision of the Lord. Concerning the resur-
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rection of the dead the apostle later testified: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures; and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time." — 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8.
272 John, subsequently writing concerning the Lord, emphasizes the fact that they saw with their own eyes, saying: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." — 1 John 1:1-4.
273 Thus we see there were more than five hundred witnesses who testified to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. This alone should establish the fact beyond any question of a doubt; but when we see the reason for the Lord's resurrection, the whole matter not only becomes clear but brings great joy to the heart of one who does see it. We must furthermore consider that these faithful witnesses of the Lord did not go to some isolated place to give their testimony concern-
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ing his resurrection, but they gave it openly before the tribunals, before Jews and heathen philosophers, courtiers, lawyers, as well as the common people. They did not wait until years afterward to begin to give their testimony concerning his resurrection, but did so immediately after the great event took place. They were so bold in declaring it that had there been a possibility of refuting their testimony we may be sure that the Pharisees would have attempted it. They did not give this testimony for the purpose of gaining fame, glory, or riches. But, on the contrary, they knew that they would bring upon themselves the indignation of the Pharisees and rulers and would expose themselves to suffering and death.
274 At Pentecost, only fifty days after the resurrection of the Lord, the Apostle Peter stood forth before the multitude and proclaimed to the men of Judea and all that dwelt in Jerusalem concerning the resurrection of the Lord. In his eloquence he exclaimed: "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:36) So persuasive and convincing was the apostle's argument that the Jews who had participated in having the Lord put to death "were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Some of them suffered death and martyrdom because they preached Christ and his resurrection. (Acts 7:59) The apostles and early Christians received much persecution because they testified boldly that Jesus was raised from the dead. They would not have done this had they been trying to carry out some fraudulent imposition. Their motive in preaching these doctrines was to be witnesses for the Lord concerning the ful-
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filment of his great plan for the redemption and deliverance of mankind.

CHRIST THE LORD DIVINE

275 Jesus was put to death in the flesh and was resurrected a divine being. (1 Peter 3:18) God had promised to grant unto him the divine nature, giving him the power and authority to have inherent life. Only divine beings have life within themselves and need nothing to sustain life. Jesus said: "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." (John 5: 26) When on earth he was a man. When he was raised from the dead he was the express image of Jehovah God. "Who being the brightness of his [Jehovah's] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." (Hebrews 1: 3, 4) He was begotten to the divine nature at the time of his baptism in the Jordan. He was born on the divine plane to the divine nature at his resurrection. When he was raised from the dead he was both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2: 36) Lord means one who owns; one who has power and authority, and one whom his followers acknowledge as Master and Lord. Christ means the anointed one, the one appointed by Jehovah to carry out his great plan. So now being raised from the dead he is both owner of all things and endowed with power and authority to carry out Jehovah 's plan. The name Jesus means Savior of the people. That was his earthly name. It is more particularly associated with him as the sin-bearer, or one
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who made his soul an offering for sin, who suffered for us and who bore our sins, the one whom the prophet describes as "the man of sorrows".
276 When he arose from the dead Jehovah highly exalted him and gave him a name above all other names. He was once a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. Now, resurrected from the dead, he is the exalted one; hence the apostle declares: "Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  — Philippians 2:8-11.
277 God has decreed that since the earth was the scene of Jesus' suffering it shall be the scene of his glory, and all creatures shall bow at the name of Jesus, and that every creature shall confess that Jesus is Christ and is the Lord.
278 On the day Jesus was raised from the dead and on several occasions thereafter he appeared unto his disciples and others who specially loved him. He did not appear to them in the same body which was crucified; nor with the same clothing in which he was buried. The Scriptural account is that the clothing and a napkin were folded up and laid aside in the tomb. Had he appeared in the same body that was crucified, those who were with him for three and a half years would have readily recognized him. Surely Mary would have known him. He appeared to her as a gardener on one occasion, and only when he spoke her name in the tone so familiar to her did she recog-
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nize him. The Scriptural account of his appearing to the disciples and other witnesses is briefly noted as follows:
279 He appeared on Sunday morning, early in the day. of his resurrection, to Mary Magdalene near the sepulchre at Jerusalem. — John 20:11-18.
280 On the same Sunday morning, to the women returning from the sepulchre. — Matthew 28: 9,10.
281 On the same Sunday morning to Simon Peter alone near Jerusalem. — Luke 24: 34.
282 On the same day to two disciples going to Emmaus, between Jerusalem and Emmaus. — Luke 24:13-21.
283 On the same Sunday evening to the apostles (except Thomas) at Jerusalem. — John 20:19-25.
284 Thereafter he appeared again one week later (Sunday evening) to the apostles, Thomas this time being present, at Jerusalem. — John 20: 26-29.
285 Some days thereafter he appeared on the shores of Galilee to seven of his disciples who had gone back to fishing. — John 21:1-13.
286 A little later he appeared to the eleven disciples on a mountain near Galilee. — Matthew 28:16-20.
287 A short time thereafter he again appeared to a company of more than five hundred of his followers, gathered by appointment, in Galilee. — 1 Cor. 15: 6.
288 He again appeared to the Apostle James only. — 1 Corinthians 15: 7.
289 Then he appeared for the last time on the side of the Mount of Olives to his disciples at the time of his ascension. — Luke 24: 50, 51; Acts 1: 6-9.
290 The question will arise in the minds of many, Did he appear in a spirit body or a human body, and how did he get the body if it was not the one in which
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he was crucified? We may be sure that he was not raised from the dead with a human body, because on one of these occasions he appeared to the disciples when they were in a room with the doors fastened. (John 20:19-26) The only answer is that now, as a divine being, he had the power to create a body and clothing and appear at any time and upon any occasion that he desired. Mary supposed him to be a gardener; two of the disciples who walked with him thought he was a stranger in the community. Again, none of the disciples recognized him by his body on the sea of Galilee; likewise on other occasions when he appeared unto them. On all these occasions he was recognized by his actions, his words, and the familiar tone of his voice. It was hard to convince Thomas, who declared he must have some more proof; therefore the Lord created a body having in it the marks of the nails in order that Thomas might be convinced. And when he was convinced, Jesus said to him: "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." — John 20: 27-29.
291 The purpose of Jesus' appearing to the disciples was that the fact might be fully established that he was resurrected and alive. He had the power to create a fleshly body and appear in it and dissolve it at any time; and without doubt when he appeared to his disciples behind locked doors he created the body immediately in their presence and dissolved it when he disappeared. To prove to them that he was a real body of flesh and bones he said to them: "Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." (Luke 24:39) This was not a spirit body, but a body of flesh. The body with which he ascended on high and which he has in heaven is a
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glorious body which no man can look upon and live except by the miraculous power of Jehovah. The Apostle Paul states: " Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 15: 50, 51) In addition to this, John says: "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." — 1 John 3:2.
292 Paul was given a miraculous view of the Lord in glory. As he was journeying to Damascus suddenly there shone about him a light from heaven. He did not see the body of Jesus but only the light from his glorious body. He heard a voice saying unto him: "I am Jesus." So brilliant was this light that for three days he was blind; and the Lord performed a miracle by removing his blindness. "And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales; and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized." (Acts 9:1-19) The Apostle Paul afterward relating this incident said: " And last of all he [Jesus] was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time." (1 Corinthians 15:8) Here we have a little glimpse of what the glorious body of the Lord is. These facts show that the bodies in which Jesus appeared after his resurrection were neither the body that was crucified nor his glorious spiritual body, but bodies created expressly for the purpose of appearing unto his disciples. Our Lord's human body, the one crucified, was removed from the tomb by the power of God. Had it remained there it would have been an obstacle in the way of the faith of his disciples, who were not yet instructed in spiritual things. They were not thus instructed until the giving of the holy spirit at Pentecost. The Scriptures do not reveal what became of that body, except that it did not decay or
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corrupt. (Acts 2:27,31) We can only surmise that the Lord may have preserved it somewhere to exhibit to the people in the Millennial age. The Scriptures tell us that God miraculously hid the body of Moses (Deuteronomy 34: 6; Jude 9); and Jehovah could just as easily have preserved and hidden away the body of Jesus. Jesus being resurrected a divine being, the express image of the Father, we are sure that no man could look upon him and live. (Exodus 33: 20) Christ Jesus the Lord in heaven is a glorious being, the fairest of ten thousand, and altogether lovely, and no human eye has ever seen him since glorified, except the vision miraculously given to Paul.
293 The purpose of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus when understood is further proof that he was raised divine. As we have seen, the ransom must be provided by a perfect human being going into death. This ransom price, namely, the value of a perfect human life, must be presented in heaven itself as a sin-offering on behalf of mankind. Unless this was done, the ransom would be of no avail and there would be no purchase of the human race from death and its results. The Apostle Paul plainly states that Christ Jesus has entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. (Hebrews 9: 24) He is now a great high priest who passed into the heavens, becoming the high priest on behalf of those who come to God through him during the Christian era. (Hebrews 4:14-16) On the typical atonement day, as we have seen, God caused Israel through the priesthood to make a picture of the sin-offering. The high priest appearing in the Most Holy and sprinkling the blood upon the mercy seat was a type of Jesus appearing in heaven itself, presenting the merit of his sacrifice as a great sin-offering. This would have been
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impossible had not Jesus been resurrected a divine being.
294 Afterward Jesus Christ gave unto John a revelation by his angel, which is recorded as the book of Revelation. In that he said: "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." (Revelation 1:18) Hell means the tomb, the grave, the condition of death into which the whole human race has been going for so many centuries. Death is the great enemy and in due time the Lord will abolish or destroy both death and the grave, as we shall see later on.
295 As each person comes to a knowledge of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and understands and appreciates the purpose, his heart is made glad. Only those who are enlightened have yet appreciated the fact that the resurrection of Jesus is one of the strings on God's wonderful harp. In due time these benefits will be made known to all, and all shall recognize this wonderful truth. After the Lord has finished the selection of the members of his body, which is called the church (Colossians 1:18), then his merit or ransom sacrifice will be presented on behalf of the world of mankind and all will reap the benefits of his resurrection. The foregoing scriptures conclusively establish the resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead.
296 In Paul's day there were some who denied the resurrection, even as it has been ever since. To meet their argument Paul wrote: "Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is
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our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's, at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." — 1 Cor. 15:12-26.
297 Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and his ascension on high, all men are guaranteed one full, fair opportunity to obtain everlasting life. God has made this provision and given this guarantee, as Paul states. "Because he [God] hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." (Acts 17:31) We are now just coming into that "appointed day", in which the world is beginning to know and soon will know much more about the wonderful benefits resulting from the resurrection of our Lord. In that great day the Lord shall reign in glory and then will
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be fulfilled his words: "Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment." (John 5: 28, 29, R. V.) Of this we shall have more to say when we discuss the "restoration" string of God's great harp.

What is the first month of the Jewish year? ¶ 245.
On the fourteenth day of that month, 33 A. D., where was Jesus? ¶ 245.
What had his disciples expected him to do? ¶ 245.
What was their condition of mind, and what their hopes, after his death? ¶ 245.
What was the expectation of the disciples with reference to his resurrection? ¶ 245.
How had the body of Jesus been prepared for burial? and what was the purpose? ¶ 245.
Give further proof with reference to the expectation of the disciples concerning Jesus' resurrection. ¶ 245.
Did the disciples at that time understand the scriptures with reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ? ¶ 246.
Is the student now able to understand scriptures in the Old Testament relative to the resurrection of the Lord that have been heretofore little understood? ¶ 246.
Give some texts of the Old Testament bearing upon the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. ¶ 247.
Did the psalmist speak of Jesus going to hell? and if so, what was meant? ¶ 247.
Give the apostle's interpretation of this statement. ¶ 247.
What was meant by the statement of the psalmist in Psalm 17:15? ¶ 248.
In whose likeness was Jesus awakened? Give the Scriptural proof. ¶ 248.
Did David in Psalm 68:18 refer to Jesus' resurrection? and if so, why? ¶ 248.
Quote the words of the prophecy of Isaiah (9:6, 7) concerning Jesus. ¶ 249.
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Did the prophet here foreshadow the resurrection of Jesus Christ? ¶ 249.
How did Jehovah refer to Christ's resurrection in the words of the Prophet Isaiah (53: 6-11)? ¶ 250.
Had Jesus told his disciples that he expected to be raised from the dead? and if so, where? ¶ 251.
Why were the disciples sorry, as stated in Matthew 17: 22, 23? ¶ 251.
Why could not the disciples of Jesus understand the prophecies concerning his resurrection? Quote a scripture from the New Testament in support of this answer. ¶ 251.
What was the hope uppermost in the minds of the disciples? ¶ 251.
What had happened just five days before Jesus' death that increased such hopes in the minds of the disciples? ¶ 251.
What would be the probable effect upon the disciples of the sudden death of the Master? ¶ 251.
In being put to death as an evil one and buried in the sepulchre of a rich man, what prophecy did Jesus fulfil? ¶ 252.
On what day was Jesus crucified? and what was the day following? ¶ 253.
What were Jews expected to do on that day of the sabbath? ¶ 253.
When did the sabbath day end? ¶ 253.
What was done by Mary and others on the morning of the first day of the week after Jesus' crucifixion? ¶ 254.
Who appeared unto them at the tomb? and what did the messenger say? ¶ 254.
What effect did this message from the angel have upon these women? and what did they do? ¶ 254.
What proof have we here that the resurrection of Jesus is one of the strings of the harp of God? ¶ 255.
What effect was produced upon the first human being who heard of the resurrection of the Lord? ¶ 255.
How must this news have been received in heaven? ¶ 255.
What is the meaning of the word "angel"? ¶ 256.
Do these angels have access to Jehovah? Give the Scriptural proof. ¶ 256.
Is there Scriptural proof that these holy messengers sing praises in heaven? ¶ 256.
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What Scriptural proof have we that God uses angels for messengers? Give several instances. ¶ 256.
Is there any Scriptural evidence that these holy angels guarded the interests of Jesus while here on earth? ¶ 256.
Cite Scriptural proof as to what else the angels did with reference to Jesus the babe. ¶ 256.
Is it reasonable to suppose that the angels watched the progressive steps of Jesus' course from his birth to his resurrection? ¶ 257.
Might we expect them to be looking for the resurrection of Jesus Christ? ¶ 257.
Who was sent from heaven to roll back the stone from Jesus' tomb? ¶ 257.
When the triumph of Jesus over death and the grave was marked, what effect must that have produced in heaven? ¶ 257.
Would the resurrection of Jesus demonstrate his approval by Jehovah? ¶ 258.
Would his triumph over death and the grave be reason for his praise in heaven? ¶ 258.
Give Scriptural proof of the praise of Jesus Christ by the heavenly hosts after his resurrection. ¶ 258.
What was it that convinced the disciples of the resurrection of Jesus Christ? ¶ 259.
Being convinced of his resurrection, how did that affect Jesus' disciples in regard to proclaiming the truth? ¶ 259.
Why should we have Scriptural proof of the resurrection of Christ Jesus? ¶ 260.
Is it reasonable to suppose that Jesus' disciples would concoct a scheme indicating his resurrection, contrary to the facts? ¶ 260.
What convulsion of nature occurred at the time of Jesus' death? ¶ 261.
Give the Scriptural proof of the burial of Jesus' body. ¶ 261.
Why did the Pharisees believe in the resurrection of the dead? ¶ 262.
Did the Pharisees specially request of Pilate a special guard to be placed over the tomb of Jesus? and if so, why? Give the Scriptural proof. ¶ 262.
What did Pilate reply to them? ¶ 262.
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Could God have resurrected Jesus Christ without removing the stone? ¶ 263.
How would this indicate the derision in which he held the Pharisees? ¶ 263.
Who rolled away the stone from the tomb? ¶ 264.
What did the Roman guard testify concerning the appearance of the one who rolled away the stone? ¶ 264.
Who first appeared at the tomb on the morning of Christ's resurrection? ¶ 265.
Relate what took place there between Mary Magdalene and the messenger who appeared to her; and what was the message delivered to her? ¶ 265.
What other wrongful thing did the priests do when they heard of Jesus Christ's resurrection? ¶ 266.
Compare the testimony given by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and state whether there is any real difference. ¶ 267-270.
What other apostle's testimony is added to that of the ones just quoted? and what did he say about the resurrection of Jesus? ¶ 271.
What further testimony did John subsequently give concerning Jesus Christ's resurrection? ¶ 272.
How many witnesses testified to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus? ¶ 273.
Where did these faithful witnesses give their testimony concerning the resurrection of the Lord? ¶ 273.
Did they endanger themselves by giving such testimony? ¶ 273.
The fact that they gave it immediately and boldly, what weight does that add to its truthfulness? ¶ 274.
What was their motive in testifying of the Lord's resurrection? ¶ 274.
Did any one suffer martyrdom because of giving testimony to this effect? Give the Scriptural proof. ¶ 274.
To what nature was Jesus Christ resurrected? ¶ 275.
What does it mean to have inherent life? ¶ 275.
What did Jesus say about the Father giving him this favor? ¶ 275.
When the Lord was raised from the dead, was he made lower or higher than the angels? ¶ 275.
When was he begotten, and when born, to the divine nature? ¶ 275.
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What is the meaning of the terms "Lord" and "Christ"? ¶ 275.
What power and authority has the Lord possessed since his resurrection? ¶ 275.
What is the meaning of the name "Jesus"? ¶ 275.
State what the Scriptures say of his exaltation at the resurrection. ¶ 276.
Has God decreed how the creatures of earth shall ultimately honor the Lord Jesus? ¶ 277.
When was the first time Jesus appeared to his disciples after being raised from the dead? ¶ 278.
With what body did he appear? ¶ 278.
Give the reasons why he did not appear in the body that was crucified. ¶ 278.
How did Mary recognize him? ¶ 278.
State how many times Jesus appeared prior to his ascension on high, giving the Scriptural proof. ¶ 279-289.
Did he appear in a spirit or a human body? and how did he get the body in which he appeared? ¶ 290.
How could he appear in the room in the presence of the disciples when the door was locked? ¶ 290.
How did the disciples recognize him at the sea of Galilee and other places? ¶ 290.
What was Jesus' purpose in appearing to the disciples? ¶ 291.
Describe the body in which Jesus appeared behind locked doors; and what did he say to his disciples then? ¶ 291.
Could the body in which Jesus was crucified ascend into heaven? and if not, why not? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 291.
Describe his appearance to Saul on the way to Damascus. ¶ 292.
Did Saul see the body of Jesus at that time? ¶ 292.
What effect did the appearance of the Lord to Paul have upon him? ¶ 292.
What did Paul later say about Jesus' appearing unto him? ¶ 292.
What does the appearance of the Lord to Paul prove with reference to the bodies in which Jesus appeared Shortly after his resurrection? ¶ 292.
What became of the body of the Lord that was crucified? ¶ 292.
Christ Jesus in glory possesses what kind of body? ¶ 292.
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What did the resurrection of the Lord and his appearance in heaven have to do with the ransom and sin-offering? ¶ 293.
Were his resurrection and ascension on high necessary to complete the sin-offering? ¶ 293.
On the typical atonement day, through what ceremonies did the high priest pass in connection with the sin-offering? ¶ 293.
What did this typify? ¶ 293.
In the Revelation of Jesus to John, what did he say about being the one who was once dead? and what power does he now possess? ¶ 294.
What is meant by the terms "hell" and "death" as used in Revelation 1:18? ¶ 294.
Up to this time who have appreciated the value of Jesus' resurrection as a part of the divine plan? ¶ 295.
Do the scriptures herein cited prove the resurrection of Christ Jesus? ¶ 295.
What argument did Paul produce against the contention that Christ was not raised from the dead? ¶ 296.
What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantee to mankind? ¶ 297.
Give the Scriptural proof of such guarantee. ¶ 297.
Where are we now with reference to the 'day appointed', as referred to in Acts 17:31? ¶ 297.


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WHO SHALL ROLL THE STONE AWAY?

A nameless chill pervaded all the air,
On that gray morn, long centuries ago,
As through the city's narrow streets there crept
Two women on their way to Calvary.
The fragrant odors of sweet spices told
Of their sad errand to the tomb of him
They loved. And as they neared the garden where
Their blessed Lord was laid, a sudden fear
Took hold upon their eager, loving hearts —

(The sepulchre was hewn from solid rock,
A great stone had been rolled before the door,
And sealed with Pilate's royal signature) —
They felt their weakness, and in anguish cried,
"Oh, who shall roll for us the stone away?"
But faith grew bold, they urged their faltering steps —
When lo! they found an angel from the Lord
Had rolled away the stone, and sat thereon!

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