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20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
'Lo, I am with you.' That is, by my Spirit, my providence, my attending counsel and guidance. I will strengthen, assist, and guide you. This also proves that Christ is Divine. If a mere man, or a creature of the highest order, how could he promise to be with his disciples always, or at all? If he was with them always, he was God; for no finite creature could thus be present with many men scattered in different parts of the world. Unto the end of the world.' The presence of Christ was no less necessary after the time of the apostles than before, and consequently there is no propriety in limiting the promise to his own age. It may, therefore, be considered as a gracious engagement to aid, strengthen, guide, and defend, all his disciples, but more especially his ministers, to the end of time.
HARMONY OF THE ACCOUNTS
APPEARANCES, AND ASCENSION OF CHRIST.
I THE RESURRECTION.
As there has been much difficulty felt in reconciling the accounts of the different evangelists respecting the resurrection of Christ, and as infidels have maintained that they are utterly irreconcilable, it may be proper, in closing the notes on Matthew, to give these accounts at one view. One thing should always be borne in mind by all who read the Gospels, namely, that the sacred narrative of an event is what it is declared to be by all the evangelists. That a thing is omitted by one does not prove that another is false because he has declared it; for the very object of the different Gospels was to give the testimony of independent witnesses to the great facts of the life and death of Jesus. Nor does it prove that there is a contradiction because one relates facts in a different order from another; for neither of them professes to relate facts in the precise order in which they occurred. The object was to relate the facts themselves. With these principles in view, which are conceded to profane historians always, let us look at the accounts which are presented in the sacred narrative respecting the resurrection, appearance, and ascension, of Christ. 1. Jesus was laid in the tomb on Friday evening, having been wrapped in linen with myrrh and aloes, in a hurried manner, John xix. 39, 40. The women, not apprized of that, or desiring to testify their regard further, prepared spices on the same evening to embalm him, Luke xxiii. 56. As it was too late that night to complete the preparation, they deferred it till the first day of the week, resting on the sabbath, Luke xxiii. 56.
2. On the first day of the week, early, the women completed their preparation, purchased more spices, and properly mixed them to make an unguent to anoint the bandages in which the body was rolled, Mark xvi. 1. Or this may refer to the same purchase as is mentioned by Luke. They had bought them, that is on Friday evening.
3. They came to the sepulchre just as the day began to dawn, or just as the light appeared in the east, yet so dark as to render objects indistinct. It was 'in the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week,' Matt. xxviii. 1. 'Very early in the morning, at the rising of the sun;' or as the sun was about to rise, Mark xvi. 2. 'Very early in the morning,' Luke xxiv. 1. Éarly while it was yet dark,' John xx. 1.
4. The persons who came were Mary Magdalene, Matt. xxviii. 1. John xx. 1; Mary, the mother of James and Joses, Matt. xxviii. 1. Luke xxiv. 10. Mark xv. 40; Salome, the wife of Zebedee, and mother of James and John, compare Matt. xxvii. 56. Mark xv. 40; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, compare Luke xxiv. 10; viii. 3. and certain others, not specified, Luke xxiv. 1, 10.
5. The object of their coming: 1. To see the sepulchre, Matt. xxviii. 1. 2. To embalm him, or to finish embalming him, Mark xvi. 1. Luke xxiv. 1.
6. While on the way, they inquired who should roll away the stone for them, that they might have access to the body of Jesus, Mark xvi. 3.
7. When they arrived, they found there had been an earthquake, or shaking of the tomb, so that the stone was rolled away, Matt. xxviii. 2. Mark xvi. 4.
8. The angel, who rolled the stone away, had sat down on it, and appeared to the keepers, and frightened them; though he did not appear in this place to the women, but only to the keepers, Matt. xxviii. 2-4. At that time probably our Saviour had risen-how long before the women came there is not known, and cannot be ascertained.
9. When they came there, Mary Magdalene, greatly struck with the appearance, hurried and agitated, and probably supposing that the body had been stolen, left the other women, and ran to the city, at the distance of half a mile, to inform the disciples, John xx. 2.
10. While Mary was gone, the others probably looked round the garden in search of the body, and then came and examined the sepulchre to see if it was not there. The tomb was large, and they entered into it. There 'the angel spake unto them, Matt. xxviii. 5. They saw a young man,' that is, an angel in the appearance of a young man, sitting on the right side,' Mark xvi. 5. When they entered he was sitting; as they entered he rose and stood, Luke xxiv. 4. Luke adds that there was another with him, xxiv. 4; this other one was not seen when they entered into the sepulchre, at the time mentioned by Mark; but was seen when they had fully entered in, as mentioned by Luke.
11. The angel charged them to go and tell the disciples and Peter, Matt. xxviii. 7. Mark xvi. 7, and to assure them that he would see them in Galilee. The angel also reminded them of
what Jesus had said when they were in Galilee. Luke xxiv. 6,7.
12. They went immediately towards the city, yet taking a different way from the one Mary had taken, or going in such a way that they did not meet her when she was returning from the city with Peter and John, Matt. xxviii. 8. Mark xvi. 8. They said nothing to any man,' Luke xxiv. 9, 10. In Luke xxiv. 10, it is said that it was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, that told these things to the disciples. Not that Luke affirms that they were together when they told them, but that the information was given by them, though perhaps at different times.
13. While they were gone, Mary Magdalene returned to the sepulchre, following Peter and John, who came running, John xx. 2-9. They examined the sepulchre, and found that the body was really gone; but as yet they did not know the reason, not having seen the other women to whom the angel had told the cause, and Mary Magdalene having left the women before the angel had spoken to them. As yet, therefore, she was ignorant of the reason of his removal.
14. Peter and John then left the sepulchre, returned home, and left Mary alone, John xx. 10.
15. While Mary was there alone, she looked into the sepulchre, and saw two angels, probably the same that had appeared to the other women, John xx. 11--13.
16. Jesus appeared to Mary while she was alone at the sepulchre, John xx. 14-18. Thus, according to Mark, xvi. 9, he appeared to Mary Magdalene 'first.'
17. Mary then went to tell the disciples that she had seen him, but they did not fully believe her, John xx. 18. Mark xvi. 10, 11. 18. Afterwards Jesus appeared to the other women, Matt. xxviii. 8. 'As they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail.' This would seem, in Matthew, to be immediately after they had left the sepulchre the first time. But the words 'as they were going' might have been rendered,' after they were gone. They do not imply, of necessity, that the appearance took place immediately, but only after they were gone, without specifying the time. Probably it was not long after he had appeared to Mary Magdalene. They would probably return to the garden after they had informed the disciples, and linger around there that they might ascertain what had become of him, or learn whether he had been seen by any one. It was then, probably after they had been away and returned, and after he had been seen by Mary, that they saw him.
II. APPEARANCES OF JESUS AFTER THE RESURRECTION.
1. To Mary Magdalene, John xx. 14. Mark xvi. 9.
3. To Peter, 1 Cor. xv. 5. Luke xxiv. 34.
4. To two disciples as they were going to Emmaus, Mark xvi. 12, 13. Luke xxiv. 13-32.
5. The same day at evening, to the apostles, in the absence of Thomas, 1 Cor. xv. 5. Mark xvi. 14. Luke xxiv. 36. John xx. 19-24.
6. To the apostles when Thomas was present, John xx. 26-29. 7. In Galilee, at the sea of Tiberias, to Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, and John, and two others, John xxi. 1-14. This is said to be the third time that he showed himself to the discipies, that is, to the apostles, when they were assembled together, John
8. To the disciples on a mountain in Galilee, Matt. xxviii. 16. 9. To more than five hundred brethren at once, 1 Cor. xv. 6. 10. To James, one of the apostles, 1 Cor. xv. 7.
11. To all the apostles assembled together, 1 Cor. xv. 7. He was seen by them forty days after he rose-probably conversing with them familiarly.
12. To the apostles at his ascension, Luke xxiv. 50, 51. Acts i. 9, 10.
13. To Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 8. Acts ix. 3-5; xxii. 8.
111. THE ASCENSION.
1. It was forty days after his resurrection, Acts i. 3.
He ascended from the mount of Olives, near Bethany, Luke xxiv. 50. Acts i. 12.
3. It was in the presence of all the apostles, Luke xxiv. 50. Acts i. 9, 10.
4. He was received into a cloud, and ascended to heaven, Acts i. 9-11. Luke xxiv. 51. Eph. i. 20-22.
The following extract from the 'Commentary from Henry and Scott,' published by the Religious Tract Society, differs in some particulars from Barnes, and our readers will derive benefit from comparing the two accounts together:
THE RESURRECTION AND EVENTS CONNECTED THEREWITH.
ON THE DAY OF THE CRUCIFIXION.-Friday evening, when Joseph of Arimathea had obtained permission to bury the body of Jesus, the women, both those who had approached the cross, John xix. 25, and those who stood afar off, Matt. xv. 40, followed his remains to the sepulchre. This was similar to many burial places among the Jews, a small room about six feet by nine feet, hewn out in the rock, the door being closed with a stone slab, and having a small enclosed court before it. There the body was left, after it had been hastily wrapped in linen bandages with the spices brought by Nicodemus. Most of the women then returned