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SECTION XXII.

THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD. THE GLORIFICATION OF

THE DEATH ON THE CROSS BY THE WORD OF PROPHECY,
AND BY THE RESURRECTION ACCORDING TO THE SCRIP-
TURES. THE GLORY OF THE NEW LIFE OF CHRIST, AND
THE BEAUTIFUL COMBINATION OF HEAVENLY SPIRITU-
ALITY AND EARTHLY CORPOREITY IN HIS MANIFESTATIONS.
THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD INTO HEAVEN AMIDST TO-
KENS OF BLESSING FOR THE EARTH, AND ITS ELEVATING
INFLUENCE.

(Chap. xxiv.) The resurrection of the Lord was a fact of salvation for the Gentiles as for the Jews—the same gospel of reconciliation and of victory over death for all mankind. Yet, notwithstanding, it had a special aspect for the Gentiles, especially as these are represented by the Hellenic world. There were elements in the history of the resurrection which possessed a quite peculiar significance for the Greeks, whilst they had for the Jews a less measure of importance; and again other elements which were of superlative moment for the Jews, whilst for the Greeks they sank more into the background. According to this relation of the Hellenic spirit to the Gospel history, must the selection and combination of the facts of the resurrection by Luke give shape to his conception and description of the Easter narrative.

Among the Jews, woman had already in some measure been, placed on a footing of equality with man by the first-fruits of the New Testament spirit, which had been vouchsafed to that people. Therefore also prophetesses had appeared alongside of the prophets. Among the Greeks, however, woman had not yet been acknowledged as on an equality with the man, when Chris

, tianity made its entrance into the world. The testimony of woman had still no public validity. The woman had first to obtain her right position by the influence of the Gospel. Paul therefore has not quoted the holy women who were the first to see the Risen One among the witnesses for the resurrection.

1 See above, vol. v. p. 60. Paul naturally preaches in his letters the equality of woman with man (comp. Gal. iii. 28), but in his evangelical

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And so they appear also in Luke only as messengers of the angels who appeared at the grave of Jesus ; whilst in the other Evangelists they appear as messengers of the Risen One Himself, and very specially in the Gospel of Matthew, which in the first instance was intended for Jewish Christians. In the latter Gospel, several women even present themselves as the first witnesses of the resurrection, and form the medium of communication in reference to the return of the disciples to Galilee; 'whilst in Luke the circumstance is made conspicuous, that they could not at first obtain credit even for the angelic message. From the fund of like facts, therefore, the two Evangelists draw out quite opposite elements. The Jewish world, for which Matthew writes, knows already that women can be prophetesses and evangelists; the Gentile world, for which Luke writes, must first become ripe for this knowledge.

Further, the Gentile needs to learn that he is to be entitled to the same privileges with the Jew in the kingdom of God, the establishment of which begins with the resurrection. It is therefore important for him to know that this equality is already expressed in the manner of the first announcements of the Risen One. For him, thus, the fact is placed prominently in the foreground, that Christ made Himself known on the

very of Easter to Hellenic disciples, from the wider circle of discipleship, nearly at the same time in which He made Himself known to Peter. It removes all disquietude from his mind, when he hears that the Hellenic disciples who heard the salutation of the company of the Hebrew disciples, in the words, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon! could answer with the announcement, that the Lord had also already revealed Himself to them.

Still further, the Gentile, and most of all the Hellenic catechumen, must first be filled with the idea, or rather with the revelation, of the suffering and dying Messiah, before he is pre

first day

labours, like Luke in his Gospel, he had to do with Gentile catechumens, not with ripe Gentile Christians, as in his Epistles. Both points of view must be kept strictly apart. Even throughout the Pauline church arrangements, there still discovers itself a regard to the conditions and arrangements of the Hellenic, politically constituted world. (Vide 1 Cor. xi. 10, chap. xiv. 34, 35.)

1 In Mark and John, only Mary Magdalene.

pared for faith in the Risen One. The true Israelite knows already of holy suffering, of divine sorrow, of the blessing of affliction, nay, of the suffering of the Messiah, by the teaching of Old Testament scripture, and by his own Old Testament experience. Not so the Gentile, and least of all the Greek. To the Gentile, misfortune appears as a hated destiny, accursed, and only productive of curse; the Greek especially gladly turns away his eyes from distress and death, because within their limits the beauty of life grows pale, and dark shadows occupy its place. Therefore must the Hellenic disciple be first conducted from faith in God to faith in the divinely appointed sufferings of the cross, before he is in a position fully to receive the Risen One. He must pass through a compendious course of prophetic Christology, more particularly of the prophecies regarding the sufferings of Christ, and inwardly experience the burning of the holy fire, by which this beautiful world is reduced to ashes, in the spirit of the high-priesthood of Christ, before he can appreciate in one who is risen from the grave, the same Lord who first appears in spirit-like manifestation, and then withdraws into invisibility.

The Hellenic spirit needed also for its reflection, as well as for its sense of beauty, a more distinct conception of the Risen One. He must have the full expression of the glorified corporeal existence of Christ; and therefore he asked for a testimony in which the entire spirituality of Him who was risen in the body was made patent, and for another in which the full bodily subsistence of the spiritual, all-controlling power of the Risen One was declared, in order to contemplate in the vital unity of this contrast the ideality of the material body, the glorification of Him who rose from the grave.

He must also see the announcements of the Risen One during the forty days in a special light. What the Lord had spoken during this time regarding the necessity of the sufferings on the cross according to the Scriptures; what He had ordained regarding the preaching of the Gospel, that it should

go

forth to all nations as a preaching of repentance, and of the forgiveness of sins in His name; what He had commanded regarding the tarrying of the apostles in Jerusalem; and what might be the meaning of the priority of Jerusalem in the spreading of the kingdom of God: all this was to him of special importance.

Finally, the Hellenic spirit, according to its general conception of the world, desired to be made acquainted with the return of Christ to the Father, in which His glorification was perfected by the historical facts of the ascension in a definite, plastic form. But, last of all, he needed to be reminded that the Risen One, although He now actually belonged to the whole world, has not forsaken His people; that He first revealed Himself to the world in the thanksgiving hymns of pious Israelites, and through them, through their prayers, filled the temple of Jerusalem itself with the reflection of His glory.

In accordance with these wants, the Hellenic Evangelist took from the fulness of Gospel history what was suitable for him.

The female disciples, who desire to anoint the Lord, appear here in a large company. On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, came the Galilean women, who had attended the burial of the Lord, to the sepulchre, and severalfemale disciples who had afterwards joined them-along with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. And as they were filled with fear, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead ? He is not here, He is risen! Remember how He spoke unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered His words. And they returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and others with them, who told these things to the apostles. But their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

Yet the word of the women was not altogether without effect. Peter, in particular, arose (after receiving their report) and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes lying by themselves. On this he turned back again, full of wonder, (revolving in himself) at that which was come to pass (comp. ver. 24).

So little had the message of the angels, and so little had even the report of the women, borne fruit in calling forth faith in the resurrection of Jesus among the company of the disciples.

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Already it was afternoon, already the day declined, and still a deep dejection oppressed their hearts. This frame of mind seems to have induced the two Hellenic disciples, who were among

the first to obtain a sight of Jesus, to leave the city and go to Emmaus.

And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs (or stadia, about seven English miles). And they talked together of all these things which had happened. But while they communed together, and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and walked with them. But their eyes were holden, that they did not know Him ;-for they on their part saw as yet only death and destruction, and the Lord on His part had passed over into a higher life. And He said unto them, “What manner of communications are these that

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have one with another, and why is your countenance so sad?' Then answered the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, Art thou the only stranger in Jerusalem who knoweth not the things that have taken place in these days?' And He said unto them, “What things?' They answered, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and in word before God and all the people: how the chief priests and our rulers—also the political—delivered him over to the punishment of death, and crucified him? But we trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel—the promised Messiah. But it is now, for all this—that he did so great things, and we hoped so great things of him—to-day the third day since that took place (he seems to mean, our hope is now all but extinguished). Certain women, also, of our company affrighted us, who were early at the sepulchre, did not find his body, and came, saying they had also--besides the empty grave—seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. And some of them who were with

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1 Regarding the position of this place, see above, vol. v. p. 71.

2 The name of this one is Hellenic, and points to a Hellenic disciple; and the silence concerning the name of the other is a circumstance which, not without ground, has led to the supposition that Luke bere meant himself (see vol. v. 70).

3 The Jewish άρχοντες could not have been separated from the αρχιερείς by the article oi.

+ The translation—we trusted that he should have redeemed Israel-does not express the proper meaning of this passage.

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