Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

July 21, 1898

The Risen Saviour

The Sabbath is passed; and early in the morning of the first day of the week, while it is yet dark, Mary Magdalene is at the sepulcher. Other women are to meet her there, but Mary is the first at the tomb. Weeping, she draws near to the place where the body of Jesus had been laid, “and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher. 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 sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture.” “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption.” “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.”

“Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She said unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.”

Feeling that she must find some one who will tell her what has been done with Jesus, Mary turns away even from the words of the angels. As she does so, another voice addresses her: “Woman, why weepest thou?” Through her tear-dimmed eyes, Mary sees one whom she supposes to be the gardener. “Sir,” she says, “If thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary.” At the familiar voice, she turns to him. She knows now that it is no stranger who speaks. Before her she sees the living Saviour. She springs toward him, as if to embrace his feet, saying, “Rabboni.” But the Saviour raises his hand and says, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”

There was no more weeping for Mary. Her heart was filled with rejoicing. She “came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.” “And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.” While Mary was absent, Jesus appeared to the women who had come to the sepulcher from another direction. These women had prepared sweet spices with which to anoint the body of their Lord. On the way to the sepulcher they had said, among themselves, “Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher?” When they reached the place, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment.

The women were greatly terrified, and bowed their faces to the earth; for the sight of the heavenly being was more than they could endure. The angel was compelled to hide his glory still more before he could converse with them. “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. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”

As yet there had been no revelation of Christ to the eleven, and the women went to tell the disciples the wondrous news. “And as they went to tell the disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.” Thus Christ made an appointment for a public meeting with his brethren in Galilee.

“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. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.”

“Go your way,” said the angel to the women; “tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee.” What a comforting message was thus given to Peter! The last look Jesus had given Peter was after the disciple's thrice-uttered denial. Peter was not forgotten by Christ, and this mention of his name signified to the repentant disciple that he was forgiven.

Said the angel: “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but he is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

The wonderful instruction that Christ had given his disciples was never to lose its force, but they had to be reminded of the lessons which he had repeatedly given them while he was yet with them.

“Remember,” said the angel, “how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” The disciples were surprised that they had not thought of these things before. Why had his words been forgotten?

Christ had spoken to them in regard to his future. He had declared, “All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” He had shown them “how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests, and scribes, and be killed.” When going up to Jerusalem, he had taken the twelve apart by the way, and said to them: “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge, and to crucify him.” If he had left the matter here, there would indeed have been cause for the disciples to be hopeless. But he added, “And be raised again the third day.” “After I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.”

Why, then, did the disciples look on the dark side, and feel so wholly discouraged? Had not Christ anticipated their disappointment? Had not given precious instruction? “Let not your heart be troubled,” he had said; “ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also ... Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.”

Christ had said everything encouraging that he could, in order that the faith of his disciples might not fail when he hung upon the cross. If, after his crucifixion and burial, in the place of giving way to their sorrow, the disciples had carefully reviewed what Christ had told them to prepare them for this time, they would not have been so wholly discouraged. They would have seen light amid the darkness.

Mrs. E. G. White

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