King's Business - 1951-03

his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up . . . And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.” A prisoner of the Jews, in the presence of Annas and Caiaphas, he declared boldly: “ By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” Peter never stopped preaching the resurrection until the day the enemies of Christ crucified him, head down, a martyr for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake. Our hearts thrill as we recall these post-resurrection personal appearances of Jesus which brought such a change to the lives of Mary, Thomas, Peter, and many others that space does not allow us to mention. Paul, for instance, “ a man born out of due time,” whose meeting with the risen Christ on the Damascus road changed him from a hater to a lover of the Saviour, and transformed him into the greatest missionary this world ever knew. We could follow a great cloud of witnesses down to our day who, although they did not see Jesus bodily, believed and died for the truth of the resurrection. But the most important thing of all to us is not what the fact that Christ lives meant to them but what it signifies to You and Me Does it mean to us, as it did to Mary, that “ the bitter grief which no one understands” has been removed from our hearts; that our Thomas-like doubts are gone; that our personal sin question, like Peter’s, has been solved? Has the risen Christ met our own personal needs? If not, then there can be no Easter in our hearts, however fra­ grant the lilies, and however melodious the hymns of praise. There is no real knowledge at all except experi­ mental knowledge. So what we hear and read and learn about the risen Christ may thrill us, but it is our own personal experiences with Him that will change us. Are we of this day defrauded because we have not seen Jesus in person? Not at all. Since we have made our appearance so far along the stream of time, of necessity we are forced into the group of those who must believe without seeing. And Jesus says of us, if we accept these things by faith: “ Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” We thus have the advantage over the eyewitnesses. In addition, there is something glorious ahead for us: that is sight. Faith does very well for the present time, but what will it be like to see Jesus and be with Him? If you are a Christian, think a moment about your own conversion. When you received Jesus as your Saviour, was it because of these infallible proofs of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Palestine? I dare say it was not. You were bearing a load of sin and sorrow in your heart; you heard the Gospel; you came to Jesus, and He lifted your burden. You believed, not be­ cause of outward evidences, but because He met your innermost need. Afterward it was a joy to have the truth corroborated, and to know that there was a definite basis of fact for “ the things most surely believed among us.” Have you a need today in your Christian life? Bemember Christ lives and He can supply it. Trust Him and you will not be disappointed. Christ is experienced in dealing with human hearts. Let Him satisfy the deepest longing of your soul. And to you, my unsaved friend, the resurrection should mean that there is an all-sufficient Saviour, an almighty living Lord, in Jesus Christ, whom you may know if you will. “ If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” It is necessary for the salvation of your immortal soul to ac­ cept the fact that Christ lives. Receive Him today! T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S

difference being that Peter repented while Judas did away with himself, thus shutting the door himself to God’s mercy. Jesus, when a prisoner in the house of the high priest before His trial, “ turned and looked upon Peter . . . and Peter went out and wept bitterly.” What was in that look only Christ and Peter knew, for He deals per­ sonally and privately with the need of every heart. For the first time in his life, Peter saw himself as he really was, and he felt that he no longer had any claim upon the love and mercy of Christ. No wonder the angel in the empty tomb declared to Mary of Magdala and the other women: “ He is risen; He is not here . . . go your way, tell his disciples and Peter.” Can it be that Peter, because of his shameful conduct, no longer even claimed to be a disciple? His faith had been crushed and he had sunk into the depths of despair and self-incrimination. If he had only remem­ bered the promise of Jesus to him, he would, not have known such utter defeat. “ Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” Christ arose! the waking dawn's pure light, Revealed that victory, by men undreamed; Though till that morn all hope had died it seemed: With bitter hate did Satan crush and smite The Lord, but in defeat light vanquished night; From death's dark tomb, eternal life has streamed, Christ conquered death that men might be redeemed— God's weakness stronger than the devil's might. As earth each year renewed when spring draws nigh, That had before succumbed to winter's blow, O r like the seed whose lot it is to die, But through its death does live anew, and grow; God's Son now lives, who by cruel men was slain; That all who die in Him shall live again. So Jesus arranged to be “ seen of Cephas” in person after His resurrection. His initial appearance to him with the ten disciples apparently did not accomplish what the Lord wished, nor did the visit t o .the eleven when He dealt with Thomas. The third appearance to the seven at the Sea of Galilee was for the obvious purpose of restoring His erring Peter. Since Peter had denied Him thrice, three times Jesus put to him that burning, heart-search­ ing question: “ Lovest thou me ?” He had to separate Peter forever from his old occupation of fishing which he now probably felt was the only thing he was fit for; He had to draw out of his heart the love of which he was capable. He uncovered the rock. Did Peter believe in the resurrec­ tion after this experience? He did, because it was the liv­ ing Christ who remade his vessel which had been broken upon the wheel of sin. His sin freely forgiven, restored to his place of leadership among the disciples, Peter became one of the greatest preachers of the resurrection ever known on earth. Hear him on the day of Pentecost: “ Him, being de­ livered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up.” Listen to him in Solomon’s porch: “ The God of our fathers, hath glorified Page Eight —Blanton W. Jones From Death s Dark Tomb

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