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The conversion of]


[one malefactor. which were hanged railed on him, say- 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, ing, Ifthou be Christ,save thyselfand us. remember me when thou comest into

40 But the other answering re- thy kingdom. buked him, saying, Dost not thou fear 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily God, seeing thou art in the same con- I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be demnation?

with me in paradise. (Y) 41 And we indeed justly; for we 44 And it was about the sixth hour, receive the due reward of our deeds: and there was a darkness over all the but this man hath done nothing amiss. earth until the ninth hour.

EXPOSITION-Chap. XXIII. Continued. slew the Prince of Life? The vengeance language of rebuke and execration, be of eternal fire was their doom, and from utters that only of apology and forgivethis Jesus lifts up his voice to save them... ness.”—(Dr. Belfrage's Sacram. Addresses, ..Our Lord was now offering up that sacri- No. xxvii.) fice by which sin was expiated; and in This prayer, however, had so little effect praying for forgiveness to them, he asks a upon the miscreants around him, that the pledge of the honour that should be con- cruel executioners coolly sat down at the ferred on him, and the happiness which he foot of the cross to part his garments; and would bestow, when God exalted him to the rulers who were present, and ought to give repentance and remission of sins to have suppressed the excesses of the multiIsrael.....

tude, were the first to deride him : " He The time when our Lord put up this saved others ! let him save himself if he be prayer demands our notice. In the first the Christ, the chosen of God!" Thus moments after we have been injured, re- shared our divine Master in the reproach sentment is strong. .... But it was imme- of ridicule too often poured upon his peodiately after our Lord was fixed to the cross ple as “the elect of God”—which is also that he offered up this prayer. The hills one of the peculiar characters of Messiah, around Jerusalem had scarcely ceased as well as of his people. (See Isa.xlii. 1.) echoing back the cry, Away with him, Upon some individuals, however, this when Jesus cried, Father, forgive them. painful scene had a most salutary effect; Nor was this a transient impulse of gene- namely, upon one of the malefactors, and rosity in the Saviour's bosom; it mingled upon ihe centurion who commanded the with the last throbbings of his heart; and guard which attended the execution, as we it was among the last of his injunctions be. shall see in the next section. fore he went to heaven, “ that repentance and remission of sin should be preached in (Y) Ver. 39–43. The base conduct of one his name to all nations, beginning at Je- malefactor, and the conversion of the other rusalem.” The conversion of many of his _"'It is a great comfort to dying person murderers shows the efficacy of this prayer. to have their friends near them;" but ou The three thousand Jews, who on the day Lord's sufferings were aggravated by the of Pentecost gladly received the word, were company of two thieves in his dying mo charged by Peter with having crucified bis ments, who at first, as it should seem by Master. The victim of their fury they now Matthew's Gospel (chap. xxvii. 44), unite honour as the author of their salvation. with his enemies to reproach aud blasphem

“Our Lord urges as a reason for the for- him. The other, whether convinced by th giveness of his enemies, that they knew not meekness and piety of our Saviour's con what they did. Deceived by the artful mis. duct, or overawed by the awful darknes representations of their leaders, and disap- which accompanied his last hours, is sati pointed in their favourite hope of a tempo- fied both of his personal innocence, and b ral Messiah, which our Lord's miracles divine mission. He therefore, in the fir had raised to the highest pitch, they now place, reproves bis obdurate fellow-sinne considered him as an impostor, and were and in the next place confesses his ow eager to destroy him, as one who had guilt, and implores the mercy of our S cruelly sported with the feelings of an op- viour: “Lord, Remember me, when the pressed people. Christ pitied their delu- comest into thy kingdom." sion, and .. offers for the cruelty of his A question here arises, What ideas cou murderers the only extenuation of which this man have of Christ's kingdom ? It their conduct admitted .... Instead of the not impossible that, before he committ

NOTE-Chap. XXIII, Con. Ver. 44. All the carth.-Marg. “land." So Matt. XXrii, 45.

Jesus gives]

[up the ghost. 45 And the sun was darkened, and 48 And all the people that came the veil of the temple was rent in the together to that sight, beholding the midst.

things which were done, smote their 46 And when Jesus had cried with breasts, and returned. a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy 49 And all his acquaintance, and hands I commend my spirit: and hav- the women that followed him from ing said thus, he gave up the ghost. Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these

47 Now when the centurion saw things. what was done, he glorified God, 50 And, behold, there was a man saying; Certainly this was a righteous named Joseph, a counsellor ; and he man.

was a good man, and a just :

EXPOSITION. the crime for which he was apprehended he was now entering the eternal world, as (or at least before his apprehension), he was also Jesus, whom he addressed as his might have heard soine of our Lord's pub- Lord and Saviour. It was in another state, lic discourses, in which he declared him. therefure, that he looked for an answer to self the Son of God, and the King of Israel. his prayers: it was to sit down with him It is not improbable that he might be (as a on his throne to eat and drink with him prisover) in Pilate's judgment-hall when in bis kingdom. May we all be enabled to Jesus avowed himself to be a King, and for adopt the same prayer in dying circumthat end expressly born; or, perhaps, in stances; but, alas! there are many, very the palace of Caiaphas, when he said, mapy, who would rather be forgotten than “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on remembered by their judge! the right band of God.” It is not to be This brief but very interesting narrative doubted that be heard the Jews, in inockery, furnishes us with a caution against prestile him king, or that he heard the in- sumption, and a caveat against despair. scription on the cross read by passengers An ancient writer has observed, that the and spectators ; yet all this might give him Scriptures present us with one instance, but a very imperfect idea of the nature of and but one, of conversion in the article of Messiab's kingdom. He migbt, however, death, to the end that no person may prehave been blessed with a religious educa- sume upon the like grace; nor any one tion, and accustomed in youth to read the despair in like circumstances. To presume Scriptures. We know also the advautages is madness ; for who knows that death will which many persons, similarly circum- give the warning of an hour, or even a mostanced, have derived from early instruc- ment? To despair is fully; for who can tion, when these things have been brought allege circumstances more desperate or to their recollection, and applied to their alarming than these-a criminal dying by consciences, by the influences of the Holy the hand of justice, with no friendly hand Spirit, under whose instructions this privi- to direct him to the hope of mercy; yet leged criminal was now placed. Yet we mercy finds him, with a pardou perfectly cannot pretend to determine how far his gratuitous and free. views were enlightened or correct.

But we must attend to our Lord's graOur Lord had been wont, in speaking of civus answer, with the when and where imhis second coming, to describe himself as plied in it. 1. When shall the penitent be “coming in the clouds of heaven," and remembered ? Not merely at a future peattended by the heavenly hosts (see Matt. riod in the day of judgment-but this day, xvi. 27 ; xxiv. 30, &c.) ; we think it pro which not only implies an intermediate bable, therefore, that the peniteat thief state between death aud judgment, but might allude to this, without any very dis- entrance on it in the day that closes our tinet idea of the nature of our Redeemer's mortal life-this day of salvation. Now, kingdom ; for even his most intimate dis though we would not contend for a rigid ciples at this time seem to have had very construction of the term day in all cases confused notions on this subject. (See next (for we know it is often used with much chap. ver. 21.)

latitude of interpretation), yet here it is Most certain it is, however, that he looked necessarily confined to a literal interprenot for secular honours, nor rewards, for tation. Our Lord, who probably died a

NOTES. Ver. 46. Gare up the ghost.-Doddr. “ dismissed the Sanhedrim.” Doddr.– Arimathea, a city of the spirit.”. Camp. * expired."

the Jews, which was situated on a mountain west Ver. 50, Joseph, a counsellor--ie" a member of of Jerusalem.--Calmel.

Joseph of Arimathea] S. LUKE,

[buries Jesus, 51 (The same had not consented to 54 And that day was the preparathe counsel and deed of them ;) he was tion, and the sabbath drew on. of Arimathea, a city of the Jews : 55 And the women also, which who also himself waited for the king, came with him from Galilee, followed dom of God,

after, and beheld the sepulchre, and 52 This man went unto Pilate, and how his body was laid. begged the body of Jesus.

56 And they returned, and pre53 And he took it down, and wrap, pared spices and ointments ; and restped it in linen, and laid it in a sepul- ed the sabbath day according to the chre that was hewn in stone, wherein commandment. (2) never mau before was laid.

EXPOSITION-Chap. XXIII. Continued. few moments before his fellow-sufferers officer, a salutary effect appears to have (see John xix. 32, 33), committed his soul been produced. The spectators also smote into the hands of his heavenly Father, who their breasts with anguish, and silently doubtless instantly received it; and by the withdrew; but the faithful women, the morning of the third day it returned to re- beloved John, and uthers of his acquaintanimate his mortal frame; it must, there- ance, stood and viewed the scene unto the fore, have been within this, or another day last. The following circumstances also at most, that the supplicant could be with remain to be here observed :Christ in Paradise, or we shall not be able I. The dying words of Jesus—" Father, to give it any definite import.

into thy hands I commend my spirit, and, But where is Paradise? The same place having said thus, he gave up the ghost," and state, we apprehend, as in the para- i.e. his immortal spirit into the hands of ble of the rich man and Lazarus, is called God. On this we remark, 1. That Jesus “Abraham's bosom.” (Chap. xvi. 19–31.) died with the utmost calmness and resigWhither Paul was taken up, and heard and nation, an example to all his followers; saw things indescribable ; and whither, at but, 2. he died a voluntary death ; so himdeath, be desired to depart and be with self tells us (John x. 17, 18): “I lay Christ, as far better” than the present down my life that I might take it state. (2 Cor. xii. 4 ; Phil. i. 23.) None of again." This was peculiar to himself : which things can surely be asserted re- “This commandment" (or commission), specting a state of utter insensibility, and says he,“ have I received of my Father :' non-exertion -- a state, assuredly, which implying that, as “Christ died for our po good man would desire in preference to sins," so also "he rose again for our justiactivity in the service of God and man upon fication." (Rom. iv. 25.) 3. On comparing the earth,

this address to the Father of Mercies, with

the complaint uttered just before (Matt. (Z) Ver. 44–56. The death und burial of xxvii. 46), it is evident that that complaint Christ.--The darkness and other prodigies was not uttered under any apprehensions which attended the death of our Saviour of our Saviour's being abandoned by his have been already noticed, with his sub- heavenly Father to his enemies; but only sequent interment, and the conversion of that while bearing our sins, and making the Centurion. (See Matt. xxvii, 45—60.) atonement for them, those smiles of apThe darkness here mentioned appears to probation--that comfortable sense of the have lasted from noon till about three in divine presence with which Jesus had been the afternoon, when our Saviour died, im- supported throughout his arduous minis. mediately after which it began to disperse. try, had been withdrawn. The sun of Might not this intimate that, by his death, divine approbation bad set in obscurity, to “life and immortality" were • brought to arise in fairer skies, where darkness is light?" However that be, the darkness never felt, and where clouds are never seen. itself must have made an awful impression “If (says Bp. Horne) the Master thus un, on the spectators. Many of the enemies derwent the trial of a spiritual desertion of Jesus were perhaps driven thereby from (while he suffered for our sins), why doth the awful scenę, which made even the the disciple think it strange, unless the Roman soldiers tremble; and upon some of light of heaven shine continually upon his them, particularly on their commanding tabernacle? Let us comfort ourselves in

NOTES-Chap. XXIII. Con. Ver. 64. The sabbatha drew on-Camp. ap to the lighting of the sabbath lamp, whicb is done proached." Vulg. “ began to shine," so the Gr. is at sunset. See Orient. Cust. No. 1283. allowed to mean literally; and some think it refers

The resurrection of]

[Jesus announced.

men, and be crucified, and the third CHAP. XXIV.

day rise again. NOW upon the first day of the 8 And they remembered his words,

week, very early in the morning, 9 And returned from the sepulcbre, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing and told all these things unto the the spices which they had prepared; eleven, and to all the rest, and certain others with them.

10 It was Mary Magdalene, and 2 And they found the stone rolled Joanna, and Mary the mother of away from the sepulchre.

James, and other women that were 3 And they entered in, and found with them, which told these things not the body of the Lord Jesus. unto the apostles.

4 And it came to pass, as they 11 And their words seemed to were much perplexed thereabout, be- them as idle tales, and they believed hold, two men stood by them in them not. shining garments:

12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto 5 And as they were afraid, and the sepulchre; and stooping down, he bowed down their faces to the earth, beheld the linen clothes laid by themthey said unto them, Why seek ye the selves, and departed, wondering in living among the dead?

himself at that which was come to 6 He is not here, but is risen: re- pass. (A) member how he spake unto you when 13 And, behold, two of them went he was yet in Galilee,

that same day to a village called Em7 Saying, The Son of man must maus, which was from Jerusalem be delivered into the hands of sinful about threescore furlongs.

EXPOSITION. such circumstances with the thought that that they may not be alarmed and terrified. we are thereby conformed to the image of So Elibu said to Job : “ My terror shall our dying Lord.(Horne on Ps. xxii. 1.) not make thee afraid: I also am formed

What follows in the close of this chapter out of the clay.” (Job xxxiii. 6, 7.) But relative to our Lord's burial, differs little there are cases in which human agents are from the account of Matthew; only Joseph improper and inefficient. " No man bath of Arimathea, who is there stiled a disciple ascendeel into heaven," and therefore no of Jesus, is here said to be one who “him- man can bring down messages from thence. self waited for the kingdom of God.” But angels, who wait constantly on the diThis also was the character of holy Simeon; vine presence, are always ready, and seem and it appears that all who were waiting to delight when they are commissioned on for the coming of God's kingdom, readily errands of mercy or benevolence to manembraced his Son.

kind. In the case before us, with what ten

derness and gentleness doth the angel ad. CHAP. XXIV.

dress the women who came to perforn, the (A) Ver. 1-12. The resurrection of Jesus last office of tenderness to their departed declared by two angels to the women who at- Lord: “Why seek ye the living among the tended the sepulchre, and reported by them dead? I know that ye seek Jesus that was la others.-God is pleased generally to make crucified; but he is not here: he is risen :" use of men to communicate his will to men, aud to confirm his words, he brings to their

NOTES. CHAP. XXIV. Ver. 1. Very early in the morn- Ver. 5. The living, &c. - Margin, “ him that try: -See Note, Matt. xxviii. 1.

liveth." Ser. 4. Two 'men stood by them.-Matthew and Ver. 12. And departed, wondering, &c.--Dr. Mark speak only of one" a young man," and him Camp. observes, that by a slight change in the stting." It is not uncommon for one Evangelist pointing (a thing very allowable when it clears the to name one only of two pamed by others, as in the sense), some render the phrase, “ And he went Case of Bartimeus, &c.; and the angel singled out home, wondering at what had bappened.” So Hamby the two first Evangelists was probably the one mond, &c.; but he (Camp.) prefers the common vbo spoke. As to the word rendered stood, Abp. punctuation, as best supported by the ancient verNewcome says, it “ does not necessarily import a sions. He reads, therefore, “ 'He (Peter) went pasture, but may be rendered, appeared to them.'” So it is used Luke ii. 9.

away, musing with astonishment,” &c.

Jesus converses]


[with two disciples 14 And they talked together of all demned to death, and have crucified these things which had happened. him.

15 And it came to pass, that, 21 But we trusted that it had been while they communed together and he which should have redeemed reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, Israel: and beside all this, to day is and went with them.

the third day since these things were 16 But their eyes were holden that done. they should not know him.

22 Yea, and certain women also of 17 And he said unto them, What

our company made us astonished, which manner of communications are these were early at the sepulchre ; that ye have one to another, as ye walk, 23 And when they found not his and are sad ?

body, they came, saying, that they 18 And the one of them, whose had also seen a vision of angels, which name was Cleopas, answering said said that he was alive. unto him, Art thou only a stranger in 24 And certain of them which Jerusalem, and hast not known the were with us went to the sepulchre, things which are come to pass there in and found it even so as the women had these days?

said : but him they saw not. 19 And he said unto them, What 25 Then he said unto them, O things? And they said unto him, Con- fools, and slow of heart to believe all cerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was that the prophets have spoken: a prophet mighty in deed and word, be- 26 Ought not Christ to have sufferfore God and all the people :

ed these things, and to enter into 20 And how the Chief Priests and his glory? our rulers delivered him to be con- 27 And beginning at Moses and all

EXPOSITION~Chap. XXIV. Continued. recollection the conversation of their di- o:hers. The women remembered these vine Master, “ Remember how he spake words of their now risen Lord, “ and reunto you, when he was yet in Galilee.” On turned from the sepulchre, and told all these words we may remark-l. That much these things unto the eleven, and to all the of religion consists in recollection-in re- rest;" and they shortly after went forth collecting what Christ has said and done into all the then known world to preacli a for us; and one of his last affectionate ad- risen Saviour. 3. Women had the honour monitions was, as he surrounded his supper to be the first believers in the resurrection table, “ Do this in remembrance of ine!" of their Lord: for some time, even the Israel of old were commanded to remember eleven apostles were incredulous, and the “all the way which the Lord their God had reports of the women were to them as led them;" and much of the bliss of the “ idle tales.” Blameable as this might be, celestial paradise will probably consist in it, however, ciears them from the charge the like einployment. So Dr. Watts:- of a weak credulity, and gives strength to “ There on a green and Aowery mount,

their subsequent testimony. Even Peter, Our weary souls shall sit;

who went to examine the sepulchro, and And with transporting joys recount

found it empty, does not yet appear satisThe labours of our feet.

fied: the most that is said of him is, that 2. That our duty, next to the recollec

he departed, wondering in himself at that lion of God's goodness, is to report it to which was come to pass."

NOTES—Chap. XXIV. Con. Ver. 17. And are sad.--Doddr. “ appear with a Ver. 20. And have crucified him.-So also this sorrowful countenance,'' which is evidently the crime is charged upon the Jews repeatedly by St sense, though the conciseness of the original inight Peter (Acts ii. 22, 23; iv. 8, 10), because they wert be preserved, by rendering, " And look sad," or the guilty, procuring cause. gloomy.

Ver. 21. Redeemed Israel -That is, from the Ro Ver. 18. Art thou only a stranger ? &c.-Camp. man yoke, and set up a temporal kingilom. "Aic thou the only stranger in Jerusalem who is Ver. 25. O fools! - Doddr. “thoughtless crea ubacquainted," &c.; implying that these events oc- tures." See Note on Chap. xi. 40. cupied the whole conversation of the day, and of the Ver. 27. In all the Scriptures-Namely of the Ol people. Ver. 19. In deed and word-i. e, in preaching and

'Testament, for none of the New Testament was ye

written. working miracles.

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