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cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. 39 | And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. 40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him ;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.
"The superscription. The writing over his head on the cross. 'The king of the Jews.' See notes on Matt. xxvii. 37. And the scripture was fulfiiled,' &c. This passage of scripture is found in Isaiah liji. 12. This does not mean that he was a transgressor, but simply, that in dying, he had a place with transgressors. Jesus died, the just for the unjust, and in his death, as well as in his life, he was holy, harmless, undefiled.
42 | And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
"The even.' The time after three o'clock in the afternoon. The preparation,' &c. The following day was to be a day of peculiar solemnity, called the great day of the feast. More than ordinary preparation was, therefore, made for that sabbath on the day before. Hence the day was known as a day of preparation. This preparation consisted in getting ready food, &c., to be used on the sabbath.
43 Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
Joseph, an honourable counsellor.' A distinguished man who probably held a high office among the Jews, as one of their great councilor a Jewish senator. The word ' honourable’ is given in reference to his personal character, as being a man of integrity, and blameless life. "Waited for the kingdom of God.? Waited for, or expected, the coming of the Messiah. It implies that he believed Jesus to be the Messiah, and that he had waited for him to build
up the kingdom of God; and this agrees with what John says, xix. 38, that he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews. He had retained his secret belief in the hope that Jesus would be treated as the Messiah, and then he proposed openly to acknowledge his attachment to him. But God called him to a public profession of attachment in a different manner, and gave this distinguished man grace to evince it. So men often delay a profession of attachment to Christ. They cherish a secret love, they indulge a hope in the mercy of God; but they conceal it for fear of man. Whereas God requires that the attachment should be made known. As soon as they have evidence, satisfactory to their own minds, that they are christians, so soon are they bound to profess Christ before men. This is the command of God, and this is the way, of
peace. None have the prospect of comfort in religion, who do not have respect to all the commandments of God. 'Went in boldly unto Pilate.' The disciples of Jesus had fled, and if they had not, they had no iufluence with Pilate. Unless there had been a special application to Pilate, in behalf of Jesus, his body would have been buried that night in the common grave with the malefactors : for it was a law of the Jews that the body of an executed man should not remain on the cross on the sabbath. At this critical juncture, God inspired Joseph with confidence; he dared to express sympathy for the Saviour; he went in boldly, and begged the body of Jesus. It needed no small measure of courage to do this. Jesus had just been condemned, mocked, epit upon, crucified. To avow attachment for him now was proof of sincere affection; and the Holy Spirit has thought this worthy of special notice. Craved the body.' Begged or asked.
44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead • and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
"And Pilate marvelled if.' Wondered if he was dead; ur wondered that he was so scon dead. It was not common for persons crucified to expire under two or three days, sometimes no• until the sixth or seventh.
45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
"When he knew it of the centurion. Being informed by the centurion of the fact that he was dead.
46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
Beheld where he was laid.' The affection of these pious females never forsook them in all the trials, contempt, and sufferings of their Lord. They followed him to the cross; they watched him, as near to him as they were permitted to come, in his last
inoments; they followed him when taken down, and laid in the tomb. This is the nature of true love. While professed attachment will abound in prosperity, and live most in sunshine, it is only genuine love that will go into the dark shades of adversity, and flourish there. In scenes of poverty, want, affliction, and death, it shows its reality. That which lives there, is genuine. That which turns away from such scenes, is spurious.
CHAPTER XVI. I AND when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
See this passage explained in notes on Matt. xxviii. 1–8. 'Sweet spices.' Aromatics. Substances used in embalming; Many of the substances used for embalming were bitter; and none of them, perhaps, could properly be called sweet. The word spices' expresses all that there is in the original. 'Anoint him.' Embalm him. Or apply these spices to his body to keep it from putrefaction. This is proof that they did not suppose he would rise again. And the fact that they did not expect he would rise gives more strength to the evidence for his resurrection.
3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre ? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
'It was very great.' These words belong to the third verse: Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre ?" for, the evangelist adds, it was very great. . ' Sitting on the right side. As they entered. The sepulchre was large enough to admit persons to go into it; not unlike, in that respect, our vaults.
5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6_And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said
8 And they went out quickly, and fled from
the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed : neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
And Peter.' It is remarkable that Peter is singled out for special notice. It would have been right if the Lord Jesus had from that moment cast him off, and noticed him no more. But he loved him still. Having loved him once, he loved him unto the end, John xii. 1. As a proof that he forgave him, and still loved him, he sent him this special message: the assurance that though he had denied him, and had done much to aggravate hiz sufferings, yet he had risen, and was still his Lord and Redeemer. The meaning is, ' tell his disciples, and especially Peter :: sending to him a particular message. Before his fall, Jesus had prayed for him that his faith should not fail, Luke xxii. 32; and the prayer of Jesus was always heard, John xi. 42.
9 T Now, when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
'Believed not.' This is proof that they did not expect his resurrection ; that they were not easily deceived; and that nothing but the clearest evidence could convince them.
12 | After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
'He appeared in another form.' In a form unlike his ordinary appearance, so much so that they did not at first know him. See notes on Luke xxiv. 13-31. As they walked and went into the country. To Emmaus. Luke xxiv. 13.
13 And they went and told it unto the residue : neither believed they them.
“The residue.' The other disciples. Those who remained at Jerusalem.
14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
* As they sat at meat.' As they were reclining at their meal. * Apd upbraided them,' &c. Rebuked them, or reproached them. This was done because, after all the evidence they had had of his
resurrection, still they did not believe. This is a most importan circumstance in the history of our Lord's resurrection. 'Never were men more difficult to be convinced of any thing, than they were of that fact. And this shows, conclusively, that they had not conspired to impose on the world. They were not convinced, until it was impossible for them longer to deny it. Had they ex pected it, they would have caught easily at the evidence, and even turned every circumstance in favour of such an event.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
'Into all the world.' To the Gentiles as well as the Jews. This was contrary to the opinions of the Jews, that the Gentiles should be admitted to the privileges of the Messiah's kingdom, or that the partition wall between them should be broken down. See Acts xxii. 21 ; xxviii. 28. It was long before the disciples could be trained to the belief that the gospel was to be preached to all men; and it was only by special revelation, even after this command, that Peter preached to the Gentile centurion, Acts x, Preach, Proclaim; make known; offer. To do this to every creature, is to offer pardon and eternal life to him on the terms of the plan of mercy: through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. The gospel.' The good news. The tidings of salvation. The assurance that the Messiah is come, and that sin may be forgiven, and the soul saved ‘To every creature. To the whole creation. That is, to every human being. Man has no right to limit this offer to any men or class of men. God commands his servants to offer this salvation to all men. If they reject it, it is at their peril.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
'He that believeth. That is, believeth the gospel, Credits it to be true, and acts as if it were true. This is the whole of faith. Man is a sinner. He should act on the belief of this, and repent. There is a God. Man should believe it, and fear and love him, and seek his favour. The Lord Jesus died to save him, To have faith in him, is to believe that this is true, and to act accordingly: that is, to trust him, to rely on him, to love him, to feel that we have no merit, and to cast our all upon him. There is a heaven and a hell. To believe this, is to credit the account, and act as if it were true: to seek the one, and avoid the other. We are to die. To believe this, is to act as if this were so: to be in readiness for it, and to expect it daily and hourly,. To do this, is 10 be a christian ; not to do it, is to be an infidel. Is baptized. Is initiated into the church by the application of water, as significant that he is a sinner, and needs the purifying influences of the Holy Ghost. Faith and baptism are the beginnings of a chris