Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

August 4, 1898

The Risen Saviour

“I am the resurrection, and the life.” He who had said, “I lay down my life, that I might take it again,” came forth from the grave to life that was in himself. Humanity died: divinity did not die. In his divinity, Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death. He declares that he has life in himself to quicken whom he will.

All created beings live by the will and power of God. They are recipients of the life of the Son of God. However able and talented, however large their capacities, they are replenished with life from the source of all life. He is the spring, the fountain, of life. Only he who alone hath immortality, dwelling in light and life, [could] say, “I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again.”

The words of Christ, “I am the resurrection, and the life,” were distinctly heard by the Roman guard. The whole army of Satan heard them. And we understand them when we hear. Christ had come to give his life a ransom for many. As the Good Shepherd, he had laid down his life for the sheep. It was the righteousness of God to maintain his law by inflicting the penalty. This was the only way in which the law could be maintained, and pronounced holy, and just, and good. It was the only way by which sin could be made to appear exceeding sinful, and the honor and majesty of divine authority be maintained.

The law of God's government was to be magnified by the death of God's only begotten Son. Christ bore the guilt of the sins of the world. Our sufficiency is found only in the incarnation and death of the Son of God. He could suffer, because sustained by divinity. He could endure, because he was without one taint of disloyalty or sin. Christ triumphed in man's behalf in thus bearing the justice of punishment. He secured eternal life to men, while he exalted the law, and made it honorable.

Christ was invested with the right to give immortality. The life which he had laid down in humanity, he again took up and gave to humanity. “I am come,” he says, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

All who are one with Christ through faith in him gain an experience which is life unto eternal life. “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” He “dwelleth in me, and I in him.” “I will raise him up at the last day.” “Because I live, ye shall live also.”

Christ became one with humanity, that humanity might become one in Spirit and life with him. By virtue of this union in obedience to the word of God, his life becomes their life. He says to the penitent, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” Death is looked upon by Christ as sleep,—silence, darkness, sleep. He speaks of it as if it were of little moment. “Whosoever liveth and believeth in me,” he says, “shall never die.” “If a man keep my sayings, he shall never taste of death.” “He shall never see death.” And to the believing one, death is but a small matter. With him to die is but to sleep. “Them also which sleep in Jesus God will bring with him.”

While the women were making known their message as witnesses of the risen Saviour, and while Jesus was preparing to reveal himself to a large number of his followers, another scene was taking place. The Roman guard had been enabled to view the mighty angel who sang the song of triumph at the birth of Christ, and hear the angels who now sang the song of redeeming love. At the wonderful scene which they were permitted to behold, they had fainted and become as dead men. When the heavenly train was hidden from their sight, they arose to their feet, and made their way to the gate of the garden as quickly as their tottering limbs would carry them. Staggering like blind or drunken men, their faces pale as the dead, they told those they met of the wonderful scenes they had witnessed. Messengers preceded them quickly to the chief priests and rulers, declaring, as best they could, the remarkable incidents that had taken place.

The guard were making their way first to Pilate, but the priests and rulers sent word for them to be brought into their presence. These hardened soldiers presented a strange appearance, as they bore testimony to the resurrection of Christ and also of the multitude whom he brought forth with him. They told the chief priests what they had seen at the sepulcher. They had not time to think or speak anything but the truth. But the rulers were displeased with the report. They knew that great publicity had been given to the trial of Christ, by holding it at the time of the Passover. They knew that the wonderful events which had taken place—the supernatural darkness, the mighty earthquake—could not be without effect, and they at once planned how they might deceive the people. The soldiers were bribed to report a falsehood; and the priests guaranteed that if the matter should come to Pilate's ears, as it most assuredly would, they would be responsible for the action of the soldiers. They bribed Pilate to silence, and by special messengers sent the report they had prepared to every part of the country.

Mrs. E. G. White

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