King's Business - 1949-04

O h e l^eôurrection an j Our Oc omrvuôôion


By Claude E. Copperwheat*

I T was from the lips of the Risen Christ that the Church received her world-wide commission. Not only is the truth of the resurrection the great keystone of our faith; it is also the very basis of all our missionary activity. “ If Christ be not risen,” wrote Paul, “ our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain.” So also is that mighty and ro­ mantic task of world evangelization, with its gripping story of “ blood, sweat and tears,” of triumphs and miracles, cul­ minating in the transformation of millions of lives down the centuries and across the world. The mainspring of all this noble ministry has been not so much the claimant need of humanity, as the impelling com­ mand and commission of Christ the Lord. Obedience is the prime factor and the dominating motive. The Commission We turn to the Gospels and the Acts and read again those stirring and majestic words of commission repeated with vary­ ing emphasis. In Matthew, “ All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” In Mark, “ Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” In Luke, “ Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” In John, “ Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” In the Acts, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy- Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” *Missionary of the European Christian Mission. Page Si*

As we thus read, we are impressed by the fact that these words were all spoken by our Lord in that period between His resurrection and ascension into Heaven. If Christ be not risen therefore, our commission is an invention. Deluded then have been that innumerable company of earth’s noblest souls who have gone forth in obedience, leaving friends and home and comforts, laboring sacrificially and unstintingly, many losing health and life, in the task and spirit so well expressed by the hymn, Bear the news to every land, Climb the steeps and cross the waves, Onward! ’tis our Lord’s command; Jesus saves. But no, the commission of our Lord is as living, as stirring and as impelling today as ever, for He is alive. And still they go forth, men and women, “ young, strong and true,” to join the never-ending stream of those who “ bear the news to every land,” for not only have they read the marching orders, but have come face to face with the Commander. The Commander It is just this characteristic of Christ that is striking as we read of His appearances following His resurrection. He is recognized, hailed and acknowledged as Master, Lord, and God, claiming therefore the allegiance and obedience of His disciples. To Mary in the garden, He was thought to be the gardener until she heard her name, uttered by a voice which belonged ,to One only. It was not the gardener, but “ Rabboni,” her Master and Lord, and she would fain fall and worship at His feet. When Thomas, so deeply plunged into despair and skep­ ticism, was confronted by the Risen Christ in the upper room, his response to the challenge laid down to him, “ Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believ­ ing” could be no other than, “ My Lord and my God.” He sur­ rendered to his Captain. T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S

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