7 June. 1691.
28. Matth. 5. 6. 7.—He is not here: for he is risen, as he said: Come see ye place where ye Lord lay. Upon this occasion we have heretofore been treating of ye humiliation & Sufferings of our blessed Mediator, & now I was minded to treat of Some other Subject than this before us: only I thought it very incongruous to pass over Christs exaltation, or to leave ye discourse of it to some other time. It was needful yt our Saviour should suffer, & it was as needfull yt he should overcome his sufferings else he could not have been our Saviour. 16. Matth. 21. It is needfull then yt we consider both.
Now there were three steps or degrees of Christs Exaltation, directly opposite to so many Degrees in his State of Humiliation: viz.
- 1. Resurrection from ye dead, opposed to Death.
- 2. Ascension into Heaven, opposed to his descending into the Grave, & to ye lowest place of ye Earth.
- 3. Last: Session at ye right hand of God, opposed to his remaining in ye Grave, & in ye state of Death, or in Hell. I purpose a little of each of these. And
- 1. First of Our Saviours Resurrection. For wch purpose have chosen this text. He is not here: for he is Risen &c. These words are part of ye Angels discourse to Mary Magdalene, & Mary ye Mother of James & Joses, & Salome ye Mother of Zebedes children, mentioned. 16. Mark. 1. and Joanna mentioned. 24. Luke. 10. & other good Women, wo were visiting our Saviours Sepulchre. 24. Luke. 1. Which discourse of ye Angels with them consists
- 1. Of a word of comfort. 5. v. Fear not ye. The keepers they did fear & well they might: but these good Women had cause to rejoyce & not to tremble or fear.
- 2. A Reason why they should not fear, because saith he 5. v. For I know yt ye seek Jesus, wch was crucifyed. q.d. I know ye are come with a good mind, not an evil mind, & so I am sent with good tydings to you, & so
- 1. He declares his Message viz: ye Resurrection of Christ.
- 1. Negatively. 6. v. He is not here. i.e. in ye Sepulchre, & among ye dead, where ye thought to find him. He was here a little while ago, but he is not here now.
- 2. Positively. For he is Risen. 6. v. He is not stollen away by others, but he is Risen, by his own Divine power.
- 2. He confirms this good tydings
- 1. By our Lords own Prediction. As he said. For he is Risen, as he said. 16. Chap. 21.
- 2. By an ocular testimony. 6. v. Come see ye place where ye Lord lay. And com̄ands them to divulge it. 7. v.
- Doctr: Our once humbled, wounded & bruised Mediator has long since been Exalted by a Glorious Resurrection. It is true this Sun went down in most thick & dark clouds, but it did quickly arise again with most bright & dazling beams of light. Never did ye natural Sun go down in such a black cloud, nor never did it arise with such glorious beams of light.
Here three things may be enquired into viz:
- 1. Why Christ arose?
- 2. How Christ arose?
- 3. Last: For what end Christ arose?
- 1. Q. Why Christ arose? Christ indeed did arise, but Why?
- An: Christs Resurrection was necessary for these reasons
- 1. The Dignity of his Person required his Resurrection. Christ being ye fountain of life, yea life itself it was therefore incompatible yt a person of such dignity should be held under ye Power of Death. Christ as man might dye, did dye, but as God could not alwayes lye under ye power of death. 2. Acts. 24. The very same Person dyed as man, & conquered Death as God. 1. Cor. 75. 54.
- 2. The discovery of Satisfaction, made to Divine justice, for sin, required also Christs Resurrection. As his death was needfull for payment of our debts, so his Resurrection was needfull for our acquittance. 4. Ro. ult. He was delivered for our offences, & was raised again for our justification. By his Death he made satisfaction to divine justice, & by his Resurrection open declaration is made of yt Satisfaction.
- 3. Last: The remaining work yt he had to do as Mediator in ye Heavens required also his Resurrection. It was not enough to do wt he did on Earth for sinners, but somthing farther both as Prophet, Priest, & King is needfull in Heaven, & therefore he must rise again.
- 2. Q. How Christ arose? And here two things are to be noted.
- 1. The Gloriousness of Christs resurrection.
- 2. The Manifestation of this his Glorious Resurrection.
- 1. The Gloriousness of Christs Resurrection. Our Lord Jesus did not only arise from ye dead, but he arose gloriously, victoriously, & Majestically. The Gloriousness of Christs Resurrection may be discerned in these following particulars.
- 1. If we consider Who rose? Why Christ Jesus: & yt not as a Private Person, but as a common Person, ye head of all ye Elect. As he dyed in our stead, so he rose in our stead, so yt all ye Church rose together with him, & in him. In this respect ye Apostle makes a comparison between Adam, & Christ. Now Adam before his Fall, stood as a common person, ye Representative of all mankind to proceed from his loines. So Jesus Christ before his death, in his death, & after his deathstood as a com̄on Publick Person: So yt he did not live, dye, or rise again, as a single Person, but as a Representative of all beleivers in ye World. Hince Adam is called ye first man, & Christ ye second man 1. Cor. 15. 47. as if there never had been, nor ever should be any more men in the world than these two. So yt as all included in Adam dyed in him, & with him, so all included in Christ live & rise in him, & with him. 2. Eph. 6. God hath raised us up together, & made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Hince Christ is called ye first fruits of them yt sleep. 1. Cor. 15. 20. The Saints are virtually risen wth Christ, because he is their first fruits.
- 2. If we consider by what Power Christ rose again: Why by his own Power, as he himself witnesseth. 2. Joh. 18. 19. 20. 21. Destroy this Temple (i.e. my body) & in three dayes I will raise it up: He doth not say some other shall raise it up, but I will raise it up. This he did, but could never have done it had he not had a Divine Power. The Shunamites Son was raised by Elisha, & an other by Elias, but they did not raise themselves, nor did they yt raised them, do it by their own Power, but by Power given them from above, & therefore thô in their lifetime, they raised others yet wn they were dead they could not raise themselves. But Jesus Christ did thus both living & dead. He had equal Power to take up his life, as to lay it down. 10. Joh. 18.
- Obj: The Resurrection of Christ is ascribed somtimes to ye Father, & somtimes to ye Son in many places. 2. Acts. 24. 5. Ch. 30.
- An: It is a work common to all the Three Persons: & therefore here is no contradiction. There is but one Power of the Father, Son, & Holy Ghost: So yt its true of all: What ye Father dos ye Son also dos as Christ himself tells us. 5. Joh. 19.
- 3. If we consider ye Earthquake yt was at his Resurrection. 28. Matth. 2. Behold, there was a great Earthquake. The Earth shook both at Christs Passion, & at his Resurrection: Then to shew yt it could not endure his suffering: & now to shew yt it could not hinder him Rising. No sooner dos Christ shake himself, but he shakes ye Earth: at his first motion ye Earth moves, & Trembles at ye Presence of ye God of Jacob. 114. Ps. 7. But whither ye Earth danced for joy yt our Saviour was Risen, or Trembled for fear yt he would not be beleived on, we cannot determine, saith one.
- 4. If we consider ye Ministration of Angels at his Resurrection. Wicked men, High-Priests & others had sent him out of ye living, & imprisoned him in ye Earth, & set guards and watches to detain him in yt hold: but an Angel from Heaven comes & opens ye prison doors. 28. Matth. 2. Not yt Christ needed such help, but to shew his Power. He saith to his Angels do this & they do it
- 5. If we consider ye great company yt did arise together wth our Lord Jesus 27. Matth. 52. 53. The graves were opened, & many bodies of Saints wch slept arose &c. It may be ye Graves were opened when Christ was laid down in his Grave, but ye text is plain yt ye Spirits came not into the dead bodies till Christs Resurrection. Christ is said to be ye first-born from ye dead 1 Col. 18.
- Q. But how ye first-borne?
- An: He is ye first-borne in time, dignity & efficacy.
- 1. In Time. He was ye first yt rose to an immortal life. 26. Acts. 23. Lazarus & others rose before Christ, but they rose to live a mortal life, & to dye again.
- 2. In dignity. He is ye Head & therefore ye more noble.
- 3. In efficacy & causality: He is ye cause of our Resurrection. Hince he is called a quickning Spirit. If a man be over head & ears in ye water there is then no hopes of Recovery but wn the head is above water so long its well: So here.
- 6. Last: If we consider ye day our Lord Jesus arose & yt day was ye first day of ye week: ye Same day in wch he began to build ye world: thereby showing us yt he is ye beginning of a new Spiritual World, in whom we are made ye Sons of God. And even as in ye first day of ye world, God commanded light to arise out of Darkness: so in ye first day of ye Redeemed world, ye Sun of Righteousness dos arise, affording light to them yt sit in darkness, & dispelling those clouds of obscurity which was under ye old Testament. Hince this day is called ye Lords day. 1 Rev. 10. From ye first step of his Exaltation being on this day, & so a manifestation of his being ye true Lord & Saviour, the Messiah:
I say all these things laid together ye Resurrection of Christ was a most Glorious Resurrection. That is ye first thing: The second thing is to consider ye manifestation of Christs Glorious Resurrection. But so much at present.