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There laid they Jesus, therefore, because of the Jews', preparation day, for the
. For these reasons, I think it probable, that the two Marys attempted to visit the sepulchre in the end of the Jewish sabbath, or about the setting of the sun on our Saturday evening. " I say, attempted to visit the sepulchre, because it does not appear that they actually went thither. While they were going, there was a great earthquake, viz. that which preceded the most memorable cvent which ever happened among men, the resurrection of the Son of God from the dead. This carthquake, I
suppose, frightened the women to such a degree, that they immediately turned back : or their return may have been rendered pecessary by a storm, if this earthquake was attended with a storm : or we may espouse the opinion of Hammond and Le Clerc, who interpret the original words in this passage of a tempest only. As the tempest, therefore, or earthquake, which preceded our Lord's resurrection, was a great one, it could hardly fail to lay the women under a necessity of returning. The guards, it is true, remained at the sepulchre all the while ; but there was a great difference þetween the tempers of the persons, not to mention that the men being soldiers, duty obliged them to keep their post as long as possible. The whole of this account acquires a further degree of probability from the following remark : that on supposition our Lord's resurrection was preceded by a tempest, or earthquake, or both, which frightened the two Marys as they went to the sepulchre, and made them turn back, we can see the reason why the women did not go out with the spices till the morning, notwithstanding, according to Luke, they had bought and prepared, at least
, the greatest part of them, the evening on which Jesus was buried ; and notwithstanding the nature of erbalming required that they should make as much dispatch as possible.
* After the two Marys returned, they went with their companions, and bought wbat spices were pecessary to complete the preparation. So Mark says, xyi. I. And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary 'the mother of James, and Saloine, bought sweet spices, that they might come and qinoint him. Having set out for the sepulchre, in the end of the Jewish sabbath, when the first day of the week was drawing 04, by the time that they returned, they found their companions going to buy more spices, the sabbath being ended, and so went along with them, as Mark affirms. For though the storm had hindered them from proceeding to the sepulchre, they might attend their companions without much inconvenienicy, especially if the spices were to be, bad in any shop bard by. While the women were making these preparations for embalming Jesus, he arose from the dead ; his resurrection being preceded by the descent of an angel, whose appearance at the sepulchre was
ushered in with a great earthquake, and a storm which lasted several hours. (Mat. xxviii. 2.] And, behold, there was a great earthquake ; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. The angel who now descended, assuming a very awful and majestic form, the guards were exceedingly affrighted. [3, 4.] řis countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and becaine ans dead inen. Probably, they fainted away. It is not said at what particular instant Jesus arose, whether it was before the guards fell into the swoon, or after they recovered themselves and fled. Mark, indeed, by observing that Jesus appeared first, . to Mary Magdalene, may be thought to insinuate that the guards did not see him wlien he arose; yet the evangelist's words do not necessarily imply this ; for his nieaning may be, that he appeared to Mary Magdalene first of all the disciples only. Besides, though the guards saw him arise, it was, properly speaking, no appearance of Christ to them. However, be this as it will, it is certain that Jesus was arisen and gone before any of the women arrived at the sepulchre. Probably, also, the angel had left the stone on which he sat at first, and had entered into the sepulchre ; for, as we shall see immediately, when he shewed himself to the women, he invited them, not to go, but to come, and see the place where the Lord lay. Besides, when the women observed the stone rolled away from the door of the sepulchre, they saw no angel sitting on the stone, as is evident from their going so briskly for. ward.
5. On the morning of the first day of the week, according to our form of the day, when the weather was become calm, and every thing was made ready, all the women went out together very early, carrying the spices which they had prepared, to the sepulchre, at which they arrived about the rising of the sun. [Luke xxiv. 1.] Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. (Mark xvi. 2.) And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. [John xx 1 ] I'he first day of the week cometh Mary, Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre.”
That the journey of the women to the sepulchre in the morning, described by Mark and Luke, was made by all of them in one company, and at one time, is highly probable, since the women said to have gone to the sepulchre are the same in the three cvangelists, and the time fixed for their journey by such is the same.
.“ (Mark xvi. 3.] And, now while the women were going along, they said among themselves, who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre ? for it was very great. It seems, they knew not what had happened : for those of them who had set out the preceding evening had not got to the sepulchre. At length, drawing near, they had their uneasiness removed, the stove was rolled away, and the door opeil, And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away. [Luke xxiv. 3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. Though they felt all round the sepulchre they could not find the body. Being, therefore, in great perplexity, it is natural to imagine that they would consult among themselves about Wie steps they were next to take. The issue of their deliberation secms to have been, that Mary Magdalene, whose zeal disposed, her cheerfully to undertake the office, should go immediately to the apostles, and enquire of them whether the body had been removed with their knowledge, and where they had directed it to bc laid: aud that, in the mean time, the rest were to search the garden carefully, in order to find it. Coming out of the sepulchre, therefore, Mary Magdalene departed and ran into the city, where she fouod the apostles, and told them that the body was taken away.
[Jobo xx. 2.] Then she runneth and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom. Jesus loved, and saith unto them, they have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter and John only are menttioned in this relation ; but the circumstances taken notice of by the other evanges lists, shew that the apostles lodged all together in one honse, as they used to do white their Master was alive. If so, it is reasonable to believe that they all heard Mary Magdalene's report, and were anxious to know the truth of it. But, in their present situation, they would judge it imprudent to go out in a body to examine the matter, and would rather depute two of their number for that purpose. Accordingly, 1 suppose, that Peter and John went to the sepulchre by the advice and appointment of the rest. Peter, therefore, went forth, and that other disciple, and came (or ra-, ther, weit) to the sepulchre, as is plain from the following verse, 4, so they ran both together.
“ While these things were doing in the city, the women at the sepulchre, having searched the garden to no purpose, resolved, now they had more light, to examine the sepulchre a second time; when, to their great surprize, just as they entered, they saw a beautiful young man in shining raiment, very glorious to behold, sitting on the right side: [Mark xvi. 5.] And entering into the sepulchre, (a second time, namely, after Magdalene was gone, and after they had searched awhile for the body in the garden) they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment. Matthew, verse 4, 5, says, that it was the angel who had rolled away the stove, and frightened the guards from the sepulchre. It seems, be had now laid aside the terrors in which he was arrayed, and assumed the form and dress of a human being, in order that, when the womeii saw him, they might be as little terrified as possible. (Mark xvi. 5.) And they were affrighted. So attrighted, we may suppose, that they were on the point of turning back : but the angel, to banish their fears, told them, with a gentle accent, that he knew their errand. [Mat. xxviii. 5.] And the angel answered and said unto the women, fear not ye ; (Mark, be not offrighted) for I know that ye seek Jesus (Mark, of Nuzureth,) which was crucified. [6.] Ha is not here, for he is risen, as he said then invited them to come down, and see the place where he had lain, i. e. to look on the linen rollers and the napkin which had been about his body, but which he had left behind when he arose ; for to look at the place in any other view, would not have been a confirmation of their faith in this resurrection. Come see (Mark, behold,) the place where the Lord lay (Mark, where they laid him.) 'This is the appearance of the one angel which Matthew and Mark have described. The womon, much encouraged by the agreeable news, as well as by the sweet accent with which the heavenly being spake, went down into the sepulchre, and, lo, another angel appeared. Probably, the one sat at the head, the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus liad lain”; the situation in which they shewed themselves by-and-by to Mary Magdalene. [Johu xx. 12.] This latter is ihe vision of two angels, which Lukc, who wrote his gospel first, has described as the principal vision. [xxiv. 3, 4.]
[Luke xxiv. 3, 4.] And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lonel Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold two men stood by them in shining garments. From this account, indeed, it is generally-inferred, that the angels appeared to the women on their first entering into the sepult chre. But the conclusion is by no means certain; for the evangelist does not tell us where the angels appeared, whether in the sepulchre, or out of it. In his account, therefore, of the matter, there is nothing forbidding us to suppose that the worden, after' missing the body, came out and searched for it up and down the garden, then
went in a second time, and discovered the angels as they entered ; for they were stilh
When the women bad satisfied their curiosity by looking at the place where the Lord had laia, aud where nothing was to be found but the linen clothes in which he had been swatbed, the angel who first appeared to them bade them.go and tell his disciples, particularly Peter, the glad news of his resurrection from the dead, that he was going before them to Galilee, and that they should have the pleasure of seeing him there. [Mat. xxviii. 7.). And go quickly, and tell his disciples, (Mark, and Peters) that he is risen from the dead ; and, behold, he goeth before you into
Galilee, there shall ye see 'him, (Mark, as he said unto you,J 10, I have told you: This message, as well as that from Jesus himself, [Mat. xxviii. 9, 10.] was sent to all the disciples, and not to the apostles in particular. The reason may have been this : Our Lord intending to visit his apostles that very evening, there was no oc! casion to order thein into Galitee to see him. But, as most of his disciples were now in Jerusalem celebrating the passover, it may easily be imagined, that, on re ceiving the news of their Master's resurrection, many of them would resolve to tarry, in expectation of meeting with him; a thing which must have been very inconvenient for them at that time of the year, when the barvest was about to begin, the sheaf of first-fruits being always offered on the second day of the passover week.
Wherefore, to prevent their being so long from home, the messages mentioned were seot, directing them to return into Galilee, well assured that they should have the pleasure of seeing their 'Lord there ; 'and, by that means, he happily relieved from the suspicion of bis bemg an impostor, which, no doubt, 'had arisen in their minds when they saw him expire on the cross. Accordingly, he appeared, as we shall see by-andby, to more than five hundred of them at once, who, m consequence of this appointment, gathered together to see him. The women, 'highly elated with the news of their Lord's resurrection, and of his fatending to shew himself publicly in Galilee, went out of the sepulchre immediately, and ran to bring the disciples word. [Luke xxiv. 8:] And they remembered his words. (Mat. xxviii
. 8.) And they departed quickly from the sepulchre, with fear and great joy,'( Mark, thoy went out quickly, and fed from the sepulchre, for they trembled, and were anased,) And did run to bring his disciples word. [Mark xvi. 8.] Neither said they any thing to any man for they were afraid. [Luke xxiv. 9.] And returned from the sepulchre, and told an these things unto the eleven. The eleven were not all présent when the women came, for Peter and John were gone to the sepulchre. Yet, as it was not Luke's intention to mention every circumstance minutely, he speaks of their informing the eleveu in general, though from Matthew it appears that the women did not tell these things to Peter and John till afterwards : and to all the rest, namely, at different times. [10.] It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. When the women came to the apostles the first time, Mary Magdalene was at the sepulchre with Peter and John : but her report, though made separately, is fitly joined by Luke with that of her companions for various reasons. [Luke xxiv. 11.) And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Their Master's crucifixion gave such a severe blow to their faith, that they laid aside all the thoughts that they had entertained of his being the Messiah : and, therefore, they had not the least expectation of his resurrection, notwithstanding he had often predicted it to therd; Day, they looked upon the story which the women told them about it as a mere chimera, the delusion of a disordered imagination.
“ While the women were running into the city to impart the glad tidings of the Lord's resurrection, which they had received from the angels, Peter and John were on the road to the sepulchre having set out to examine the truth of what Mary Magdalene had told them : but, happening to go by a different street, or, perhaps, entering the garden of the sepulchre by a different
door from that through which the company of women had departed, they did not meet with them. The two disciples made all the haste they could : for they were anxious to have their doubts cleared up; but John, being the younger man, out-ran Peter; and got to the sepulchre first He did not, however, go in; he only stooped down, and saw the rollers which brad. been about the body. (John xx. 4.] So they ran both together; and the other