King's Business - 1940-03


TH E K I N G ’ S B U S I N E S S

March, 1940

to Jesus, and not knowing it wsa Jesus, said, “We hoped that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel” (ef. R. V.). The speaker was saying, in effect, “Our hopes are disappointed; now He is dead.” But He was not dead; as a mat­ ter of fact, He was actually walking with them, but they did not recognize Him. Yet within six weeks of the death of Jesus these very disciples were de­ claring fearlessly, and at great peril to their safety, that they had seen Jesus alive. The removal of the body of Jesus Christ would not have explained the change in their outlook and conviction’; and three days were not long enough for a legend to spring up that should so tremendously have affected these men and women. The only rational ex­ planation is in the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. Let us go forth in the power of His resurrection to face the present world. “Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by th.e glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

unwind the clothes. If His foes had taken Him away, they would have ,taken Him just as He was at His burial. But the wrappings were still there. How do you account for their being there? JeSus, in His glorified body, had slipped out of them. And that explanation was accepted within twenty-five years of the event by the whole Christian church, and in places as far removed from one another as Corinth, Rome, and Jerusa­ lem. Everywhere it was accepted as a historical fact by the Christian church, and the belief was based, in the first place, upon the testimony of eyewit­ nesses. Not one of the disciples expected Jesus to rise from the dead. Do you think they would have gone to the ex­ pense of embalming His body if they had believed in the resurrection? Em­ balming was a very expensive thing; and the very fact that they embalmed Him indicates that they had not the slightest idea that He was going to rise again. They did not really believe it. You remember that one of the disciples on the road to* Emmaus, when talking O F ALL the men whom Jesus made, Simon Peter is the one we love the most. His awful back- humanness about them which brings him very close to us. What he finally became under the personal power of Jesus the Christ teaches us what we may become under the same leadership. Christ managed the tumultuous and fluctuating elements of Peter’s charac­ ter. He transformed a nature as un­ stable as water into the consistency of a rock: “Upon this rock [Peter’s testi­ mony to the deity of Christ] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” “Thou art Simon . . . thou shalt be called Cephas . . . A. stone.” Under Christ’s power, Peter became the man of rock. Christ by His own words has made Peter the great central figure of the resurrection. [ The author of this article, who served for years on the Board of Trustees of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, part of the time as Chairman of the Board, went to be with the Lord on February 22, 1937. The appropriateness of this Eas­ ter meditation for this present hour will be clearly apparent. — E ditor .]

fax more significant than death. It means “the way out.” That is the rea­ son the second hook of the Bible is called “Exodus” ; it was the way out of bondage, out of Egypt, for the children of Israel. And when Christ sppke about His exodus, He was not referring to death, but about a way out; and if He had not risen, there would have been no Way out. He went into the darkness of the tunnel, and then came out again into the light. The resurrection is the complement of His incarnation and His crucifixion. Furthermore, Jesus Himself predicted His resurrection. The New Testament claims for Him absolute perfection in motived in thought, in word, in deed; but if He had predicted something con­ cerning Himself which had not come to pass, we should need to modify our views concerning His perfection. First, in an indefinite sort of way He pre­ dicted it. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” And to­ ward the end He told His disciples that He was going to die, and that after three days He would rise again. Was He right, or was He wrong? Did He rise again, or did He not? Again, the empty tomb demonstrated His résurrection. If the foes of Jesus had taken His body from the grave, why did they not produce it, to silence for evermore those who were preaching that He had risen? It would have been wholly to their advantage to have pro­ duced the body; and that would have discredited the statements of His disci­ ples forever. But we know that they did not produce the body of Jesus. Why? Because they did not have it to produce! And if His friends had taken it, and then had said He was risen, they would have been deceivers. And are you going to ask me to believe that the church for nineteen hundred years has been built up on deceit and lies? Can we suppose that these disciples would have sacrificed liberty and life, and would have been content to suffer and to die for such a falsehood as that? Read again the history of the martyrs, and of their sufferings under Nero and Dio­ cletian. They were thrown to the lions and were torn to pieces; they were burned at the stake; they were tortured on the rack. Why? Because they would not dény^ their faith in a crucified and risen Christ! But the tomb was not empty; His clothes remained. In the East they wound the clothes round the body, with a napkin round the head. When the dis­ ciples went into the tomb, they did not perhaps at first realize that Jesus was not there. When He rose, Jesus did not R esurrection Faith o f the Early Christian Martyrs

Encouragement from the Risen Christ M a rk 16:7 By W. E. EDMONDS

Peter has been criticized and perhaps justly so, but what would you have done with the same disposition and same en­ vironment? Put yourself in Peter’s place. He was not a hypocrite; you could read him at a glance; his heart was in his countenance and on his lips. He tried to be a hypocrite on one occasion and made such bungling work of it that no one would believe his lie. What was in him was sure in some way or other to come out. He had no diplomacy. He thought aloud. There was no duplicity about him. He did nothing underhanded. Neither did he seek honor by round- [ Continued on Page 96]

slidings endear him to us, for there is a

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• “Because I live, ye shall l i ve

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