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surest seal upon the reality of His sufferings. It proves that the awful scene on Calvary was no shadowy picture, no figment of man's invention, but a thing that actually occurred. It shews that the pure and spotless One did indeed pay the penalty of our sins; that Elias did not come to save Him, that He drunk the cup to the dregs; that His life was forfeited for our life; that He "poured out His soul unto death."
Let us remember it always, and with all thankfulness-thankfulness, not unmixed with awe and deep trembling of our soul before God! Let us learn to see in the most precious death of Jesus Christ, a death attested by His Burial, the only remedy for our guilt, the only ground of our pardon. And let us remember this also, that as Christ died for our sins, and was buried, so have we a death to die, yea, even while we live here, a death unto sin. Let us remember that it is by our dying this death, by "continually mortifying all our evil and corrupt affections,” crucifying the flesh with its affection and lusts, that we become "planted together in the likeness of His death,” and capable, through His merits, of the blessedness which shall be revealed hereafter. For, as St. Paul writes, “if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him." "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory,"
Again, the Burial of Jesus Christ was needed as a preparation for His glorious Resurrection.
That great event—that on which our hope of living again rests—would have wanted its full proof had it not been preceded by His interment. Men cannot be said to rise who have never died. If Christ the Lord, who came down from Heaven, and was made Man for us, and for our salvation, had, by that power which was in Him, gone back to Heaven without dying, as He surely might have done, we could have had no sure pledge that we shall rise out of our graves. But when the gracious Lord submitted Himself to every part of our mortal condition, when He died and was buried, was laid a lifeless corpse in the earth, and yet after that rose again and took His Body, with flesh and bones, and all things pertaining to man's nature, and therewith ascended into Heaven-why then, we have a good hope to lean upon; we who must die and see corruption, yet now by holding on to Him, by a close and true link of fellowship with Him who is our Head, may expect to share in the power of His Resurrection. Assured as we are that Christ was buried, and that He rose again, and left His tomb, we may have cheer and comfort in the prospect of our own death, and in looking back on their deaths who have gone before us. Hereafter, our flesh shall rest in hope. The grave in which the Saviour lay is now only a lodging, not our eternal tenement. We go down into it confident that we shall not abide in it for ever; that we shall, in God's good time, awake out of our death sleep, and pass out of it to our joyful resurrection, through His merits who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord !
THE LORD'S VICTORY.
PSALM CXVIII. 24.
“This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
THESE words are found in Psalm cxviii., the last of the three Psalms appointed to be read in the Service for this evening. It is easy to see the fitness of that Psalm, originally sung by a king of Israel, on an occasion of a solemn entry into the Temple. It has been applied to our Church, to the great event, which we commemorate to-day-the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is looked upon as a triumphant hymn; all throughout are notes of thanksgiving, and all throughout are allusions to Christ, and to His outcry, and the defeat of His enemies. “Thou
hast thrust sore at me that I might fall, but the Lord was my help. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord." Open me the gates of righteousness, that I may go into them and give thanks unto the Lord.” The same stone which the builders refused, is become the head-stone in the corner. This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. It is clear, then, as I said, why our Church selects the hundred and eighteenth Psalm for Easter Day. It is full of the great tidings of a risen conquering Lord-a Psalm of rejoicing, and a giving of thanks to Almighty God, who, through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, has overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of Everlasting life. And those tidings are beyond all others of importance to man, the greatest, the gladest, charged with most stupendous consequences.
The day on which the Lord rose from the dead has gained its name amongst us from that glorious event. It is called before all other days, the Lord's day, the day of days, the day that has no peer, a day of holy rejoicing. Yes! we will all rejoice, and be glad in it. If there come one day above all others in the year on which it becomes a Christian to be in gladness, to put away his sorrow, to be lifted up in heart, it is Easter Day.