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recorded resurrection from the dead. The body had not begun to decay, and the miracle consisted in merely calling the departed spirit to return, and take up its former abode.
19 Some time after this he called the widow's son of Nain, back to life again. This young man was probably older than the little maid and had been dead longer. The funeral procession with the corpse, was on the way to the tomb. Mortification had begun its work. There was more than calling the spirit back to the body. His flesh was filled with corruption from death, which had to be purified.
The next resurrection was shortly before his crucifixion. It was the awakening of Lazarus from the sleep of death. He was probably a man in middle life, perhaps about the age of our Lord and Saviour. He had been dead four days, buried and corruption had taken hold of his flesh. 20 Lord by this time he stinketh. His flesh had begun to decay, the organism of his body was destroyed, and in fact there had to be new material created for his risen, living body.
Again there is evidence of the growth of his divine life in the fact that in his early ministry, up in Galilee, 21 He could not do many mighty works there, because of unbelief. The twelve whom he kept with him could not have been as counselors, for up to the time of his death, he was in the habit of rebuking them saying, 22 Do ye not understand? But they were men sincere at heart, they honestly desired righteousness by the knowledge of the truth, and so they were a wall about him, to immure him from the influence of the unbelief in the world. When he called the little maid to life again, he put the people all out of the house, save the believing par
ents and devout Peter, James and John. He went up on the mountain apart from the people to be transfigured, taking with him the same three devout apostles. But at the grave of Lazarus, the unbelieving Jews, who had come out from Jerusalem, stood near him and Martha at his side was unbelieving; yet notwithstanding all he commanded Lazarus to come forth, and he came.
The resurrection of Lazarus was after Jesus transfigured himself on the mount. His transfiguration and the calling Lazarus back to life, reveal the facts that he had power to call the dead to life, that the saints would have risen in glorified bodies, that he could lay down his natural body and enter a glorified body, and lead the race into the kingdom of heaven, living in bodies of everlasting life on earth, without tasting death. 23If the people seeing with their eyes, and hearing with their ears, should have understood with their hearts, and should have been converted, Christ would have healed them in everlasting divine power; instead of 2*beginning to teach that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, and the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Since it became impossible for him to lead his generation into the kingdom of heaven, and the people would go on dying, it became necessary if he, to coming generations, would be a perfect pattern to men in all things, to meet death himself, to be laid in the tomb, and to rise in a glorified body, forever free from the sorrows of death. So it is written, 25It became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one,they are brethren. 26 To this end, Christ both died and rose again that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living.
*Luke 4:12. “Mark 8:31. *Heb. 2:10-11.
Yet there were expressions of the deepest emotions, at the approaching shadows of his sufferings and death. 27 Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour, but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father glorify thy name. Heaven regarded his sorrow and breaking its silence, the voice came, I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again. His body had been glorified on the mount of transfiguration, but that was from his living body, and now the greater task was before him, of rising from a dead body into newness of life, by his own holiness in communion with the Father. No man had ever done it, but he knew he could, for his sanctification was sufficient for the task. 28For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. For this cause came I unto this hour. He had sanctified himself, in preparation for a greater task, than would have ever been imposed upon man, had not his generation rejected him; for he in his glorified body would have assisted the saints in their resurrection from the dead.
The voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. When they were coming down from the mountain where Jesus had been transfigured, he said to his disciples, 28Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of Man be risen from the dead. Enoch, Elijah and perhaps Moses were translated, without seeing death, into the great beyond; but no man at
will ever had laid down his natural body and taken up a spiritual body living on earth. Only they three had seen it, and the revelation was too great to be accepted by the unbelieving world, on testimony so limited. Tell the vision to no man till the Son of man is risen; then it will be demonstrated before public view that man, by the power of the holiness of his life, rose from the bondage of death, into a glorified body living by the spiritual life alone: then they must believe that the Son of man on earth has power to lay down his life, and to take it up again in a body of everlasting life, by the commandment in love received from the Father. The great manifestation by Jesus Christ was the almighty power of Jehovah, the God in men on earth, when the powers of the flesh are in absolute subjection to their divine life in holiness.
The higher the divine life is quickened in men, the more sacred is their regard for the human soul, the union of the divine life with the physical established in the beginning in Eden by Jehovah; and which never should be put asunder. Jesus never staid in the presence of a corpse longer than to call the departed spirits back to life again. He wept at the grave of Lazarus. His groaning in himself as he came to the grave was evidence of deeper feelings, than could have been called forth in sympathy with Mary and Martha; especially when he knew their grief would so soon be turned into rejoicing. In fact his soul revolted at death, and it was deep sorrow to him that his friend Lazarus should be held under its power.
Jesus approached his own death, knowing that he would rise again the third day. His sorrows approaching death could have been in no way from the timidity of men fearing to end this life, and enter the great beyond. There must have been a powerful revulsion in the soul of Jesus, at the thought of the flesh of his body, which he had kept absolutely from sinning, so that disease could not invade it, being held under the dominion of death. Then the thought that he must part from his friends leaving them in the flesh, whom by his watchful care he had kept while he was with them in the world; and the race of men, whom he had come to save in the kingdom of everlasting life, would go on dying; and that his death, by reason of the rejection of the living truth in his life, would seal the curse upon the world in deepest sorrow, seemed more than his kind heart could bear. 30 My soul is exceeding sorrowful, while there is death; he said to his three beloved disciples in the garden, abide ye here and watch with me. Going a little forward, he fell on his face and prayed, saying, O my Father if it is possible, let this cup pass away
from me; yet over all, not as I will, but as thou wilt. He prayed that his individual wish might in no way hinder the full dominion of the divine will. He went to his three disciples whom he had left to watch, and finding them asleep, said, What could ye not watch with me one hour? He yearned for human sympathy. He returned to his solitary place and prayed the second time, saying, O my Father since this cup cannot pass away, except I drink it; thy will be done. He came again and found them sleeping, and returned and prayed the same words. The victory was won. He rose above every individual desire. He no longer needed the sympathy of his disciples. Sleep on now, and take your rest. He was ready for the great ordeal. Every power in his flesh was subdued. The will of the Father in him alone was doing. 811 Come to do thy will O God, was his sacrifice.
O my Father since this cup cannot ass away, except I
»Math. 26:38-46. *Heb. 10:7.