And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about three score furlongs.…
I. HIS RESURRECTION IS THE PLEDGE OF OURS.
1. First, because He promised that it should be — "because I live, ye shall live also." His human nature was the grain of seed (John 12.) which, sown by the hand of God in the field of the world, was to fructify in death, to bear a thousandfold in resurrection, He linked our nature with His. It was united not for a season, but for ever.
2. But we have, secondly, more than the identity of our nature with His, to establish the fact that in His resurrection we have the pledge of our own We need to be assured that His triumph will avail for us; and we are. In His hands (Revelation 1:18), we are told, are placed "the keys of death and hell." No longer is death in Satan's power; he was compelled to surrender his dominion to the Saviour.
II. We proceed to view our Lord's resurrection as THE PATTERN OF OURS. To be raised in the lowest character in which it were possible, would be an exaltation too glorious to be understood in our present humiliation. Let us examine a few of the particulars of resemblance between His resurrection and ours.
1. And, first, He retained the identity of His person. No change passed upon Him, save that round His humanity glory appeared, like that, perhaps, which He wore for a season on the Mount of Transfiguration. And we, too, shall rise, in the likeness of His resurrection, our very selves.
2. We shall be raised, too, by tim same instrumentality. We are told by the Saviour that He had power to lay down His life, and power to take it up again. We are nowhere told that He did so; on the contrary, it is plainly declared that He was not His own deliverer from the prison-house of death. He is said, in the first of Peter, the third chapter, at the eighteenth verse, to have been "quickened by the Spirit"; and again, in the eight chapter of Romans, the second verse, to have been raised by the Father. Hence it is evident that God the Father was the Author, and God the Spirit the Agent of the resurrection of Christ. If it should be asked, "Why is it so?" the answer is, that Christ came to fulfil all the conditions of our salvation; He must be "made like unto His brethren in all things," and therefore in His resurrection.
3. Angels were employed instrumentally in the resurrection of Christ; and they will be in ours. Wherefore is the Lord of Hosts indebted to an angel's hand for His deliverance? Why does not the prison door fly open as the God-Man awakens from His death-sleep? Why? Because He must "fulfil all righteousness"; He must travel back to the glory He had left in the character of those He ransomed; He must submit to every condition of that covenant by which the ransomed fallen are to enter into life; He must, in short, return to glory as a Man.
III. We come to speak upon some of THE EFFECTS OF THE SAVIOUR'S RESURRECTION. These we regard in a twofold aspect.
1. As the resurrection affects our present relation to God. The atonement and resurrection of Christ are inseparably connected. We take but a defective view of the atonemeat when we limit it to the work wrought on Calvary; nay, we will say, that if the work of the Saviour ended here, there could have been no atonement. The work was commenced on Calvary — it is completed in heaven. Without the resurrection there could be no triumph over death, no entrance into glory, and hence no atonement available for our entering where Christ had not gone before.
2. But there is another and most important way in which the tidings of our text affect us. We stand in the same position as Israel of old occupied on the day of atonement, as regards our justification our privileges in other respects exceed. We have lost more than God's favour in the fall; we have lost our right of access to Him. A rebel may be pardoned, and fully pardoned, and yet never find access to the royal presence. It was so with Israel! they approached God only through the person of their high priest. Ours is the high and holy privilege of access to God.
3. We connect the resurrection of Christ with our own; not as regards its reality for this we have done before, but its glory. But what can we say of this? To tell of the glory which shall burst upon a waiting Church in the resurrection morning, would be to describe that sun which shall no more go down; it would be to fathom the perfections of that God whose glory fills heaven and earth. In conclusion: There is not a being in the universe which will not be affected by the resurrection of Jesus.
(A. C. Carr, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.