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after they had heard Joanna's report, and Peter's, on his second return. Cleophas was, by affinity, a kinsman of Christ, and therefore deeply interested in his death and resurrection, which therefore naturally formed the subject of their discourse, Luke xxiv. 13, 14.
While they were conversing and debating together on all these late occurrences, slowly, by the way, Jesus himself, soon after they left the city, drew near, and overtook them, but he appeared to them under another form, and their eyes also were withholden from knowing him. Then he asked, What arguments are these which ye are debating with each other, as ye walk ? and (why) are your countenances sad? Then Cleophas answered, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and knowest not what happened there, during these days? And he said unto them, Of what kind ? They answered, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who slike Moses) was a Prophet, mighty in deed and in word, before God and all the people ; and how, (notwithstanding] our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to capital punishment, and crucified him : But we hoped that it was He who was to redeem the Israel (of God.) No wonder then that our countenances are sad. And beside all these, this is the third day now passing since these things happened, and we have been moreover amazed by the report of some women of our company, who went early to the sepulchre, and not finding his body there, returned, saying also, that they had seen a vision of angels, who said that He was living. Whereupon, some men of our company went to the sepulchre, and found as the women had said, [that his body was not there,] but himself they saw not, as they might have expected from the angels' report to the
You will not wonder then at our perplexity and debates about what credit is due to the women's testimony. For that this was the chief subject of debate between these disciples, we may infer from the reception it met from the Apostles themselves, Luke xxiv. 15—24.
Then Jesus blamed them for their disbelief. Oye inconsiderate and slow hearted to believe in all the sayings of the Prophets on this subject! Ought not THE CHRIST to have
trance of the mountains to Jerusalem as bad beyond description, and rocky, and so narrow, that only one horse could pass at a time-"a most dreadful road” in the neighbourhood
of the city.
suffered thus, and then to enter into his glory? After this gentle rebuke, in order to inform their ignorance, beginning from Moses and all the succeeding Prophets, to whom they had tacitly referred in their character of himself, as “ mighty in deed and in word,” in miracles and doctrine, he thoroughly expounded to them, in all the Scripture prophecies, the circumstances concerning himself, Luke xxiv. 25–27.
During this most interesting conversation, while their heart was burning within them, glowing with rapture and delight, as he spake unto them by the way, and as he thoroughly opened to them the Scripture prophecies, (so they afterwards declared, wondering at their own stupidity in not knowing Him sooner, who spake as never man spake,) they drew nigh to Emmaus, about the third hour after noon, or the first evening, when the sun had declined. Compare Luke ix. 12, with Mark vi. 35, Matt. xiv. 15. And he made a shew of going further, but they pressed him to stay with them, and take some refreshment, on account of the lateness of the day; so he consented. And as they reclined at table, he resumed his own appearance and manner, at the institution of the Lord's Supper, for he took the bread and blessed, and brake, and distributed to them. This significant action thoroughly opened their eyes, and they knew him, but he became invisible to them.
And they arose, the same hour, and returned towards Jerusalem, to communicate the joyful intelligence to the Apostles and Disciples, Luke xxiv. 28–33.
Jesus kindly shewed himself to Peter, singly, the first of all his Apostles, to assure him of perfect reconciliation and restoration to favour, by this mark of regard and distinction; and considerately, also, after Peter had been properly prepared for an interview, which he must have dreaded as much as he desired, by the reports of the women, growing successively stronger, and perhaps, by conversation with his friend John, to whom Christ's appearance was unnecessary. The appearance only, without any particulars, is noticed by Luke, xxiv. 34, and by Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 5.
It is remarkable, that the first credence of the resurrection, given by the Apostles and the rest of the disciples, was to Peter's testimony: declaring to Cleophas and his companion on their return, “THE LORD is really risen, and hath appeared unto Simon !” They thought he had risen spiritually indeed, but they disbelieved his bodily resurrection, Luke xxiii. 33, 34, Mark xvi. 13.
Cleophas did not return till after supper, to the assembled company of the Apostles and Disciples, and while he and his companion were relating to them the transactions on the way, and at Emmaus, where THE LORD had discovered himself; during the conversation, JESUS himself stood suddenly in the midst of them, although the doors had been shut for fear of the Jews, and said unto them, Peace be unto you! his usual mode of salutation. But they were terrified and affrighted, supposing that they saw a spirit, and not his bodily presence; for they could not conceive how he entered *, Luke xxiv. 35—37, John xx. 19.
Then he kindly condescended to remove their prejudices; and said to them, Why are ye alarmed, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me and see t, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye behold me hare. And when he had so said, he shewed them his hands and his feet, and his side, in which were the marks of the nails, and of the spear, Luke xxiv. 38– 40, John xx. 20.
Still further to remove their doubts, while they distrusted for joy I, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye any eatable
The doors might have opened and shut again of their own accord, as on other occasions of celestial apparitions, Acts v. 19, xii. 10, xvi. 26, &c. But it is not for puny and presumptuous mortals to limit OMNIPOTENCE, Psalm lxxviii. 41.
† It appears from the stupendous occurrences of this day, that our LORD and his holy angels can assume to themselves bodily organs, and vary their forms at pleasure ; that they can perform animal functions, eat and drink, &c. But all these were nothing more than occur in the OLD TESTAMENT. The Lord and his two angels appeared in human form to Abraham, and ate and dr with him, and with Lot, Gen. xviii. 1-8, xix. 1–3. The incredulity, therefore, of the disciples, shewed ignorance or disbelief of their own Scriptures, in which such instances were familiar. How Peter, in particular, who had witnessed the raising of Lazarus, and others, from the dead, could doubt what became of his body at the tomb, is really surprising, especially after Christ's declaration that he had authority from the Father, to lay down his life, and to resume it again, of his own accord. The disciples certainly were exceedingly dull of apprehension, all except John, who shewed another instance of his sagacity, John xxi. 7.
The disciples distrusting for joy, is an admirable trait of human nature. Nothing is more common than to doubt an intelligence that we most earnestly desire and long for. When Jacob was told that his darling son Joseph was not only “ alive,” but “ governor over all the land of Egypt," or a mighty prince, “ his heart fainted, for he believed it not." And it was not until he was told of his conversation with his brethren, and that he actually “saw the waggons which Joseph had sent to carry him, that “the spirit of
here ? and they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of a honey comb, the remains of their supper ; which ascertains the time of this appearance. And he took, and ate before them; and probably, on this occasion also, he drank before them, (Acts x. 41,) to give them the fullest information of their senses*. Then were the disciples rejoiced, when they were satisfied that they saw THE LORD himself, Luke xxiv. 41-43, John xx. 20.
And now our gracious LORD proceeded to convince their reason also; resuming the conversation which he had with the two disciples going to Emmaus, as a further proof of his iden
and he addressed it to them in common with the disciples. “ These are the sayings which I spake unto you, while I was still with you in the flesh,] namely, that all things written concerning Me in the law of Moses and the Prophets, and the Psalms, [or in the OLD TESTAMENT, of which these were the three divisions,] must needs be fulfilled, (Luke xxi. 37, Matt. xxvi. 53, 54.) Then he thoroughly opened their mind also, [as he did before of the two disciples, ver. 32,] to understand the Scripture prophecies t. And He said unto them, Thus it is
Jacob their father revived;" and with transport and delight: “And Israel said, it is proof enough : Joseph my son is still alive ; I will go and see him before I die ;" anxious to set off instantly, lest death should arrest him! Gen. xlv. 26–28. There is no history, indeed, equal to the Bible, for portraying, in their native colours, and just dimensions, the various passions and emotions of the human heart, adapted to all the vicissitudes of human life. It furnishes the most philosophical history of " man, the proper study of mankind." Pope.
The Apostles had the fullest evidence of all their senses for the personal appearance of Christ among them. And the complete conviction thereof, is thus expressed by the beloved disciple, 1 John i. 1-4, more closely rendered.
“What occurred from the beginning, concerning the ORACLE OF LIFE, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld, and our hands have handled ;—what we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye may participate with us : - and these write we unto you, that your joy may be completed."
Hence it appears, that the Apostles actually handled the body of Christ :-“ they saw and handled,”--they touched, and were convinced.
+ The Scripture prophecies thoroughly expounded, or thoroughly interpreted by OUR LORD, on this occasion, probably related, 1. to his passion, 2. to his resurrection, 3. on the third day after his death. 1. The principal prophecies, relating to his passion, including his death and burial, in the
Law, or Pentateuch, were,
1. The bruising of the heel of the blessed Seed of the woman, by the old Serpent, Gen. iii. 15, fulfilled on the cross.
2. The intended sacrifice of Isaac, that type of Christ, Gen. xxii. 2. And the same place, Calvary, Gen. xxii. 14.
written, and thus it behoved CHRIST to suffer, and to rise again from the dead the third day. And also, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached unto all the Gentiles, beginning from Jerusalem, with the Jews. And ye are witnesses of these things-the chosen witnesses of my resurrection to the world, Luke xxiv. 44–48, 1 Cor. xv. 3, 4, Acts 8. 41.
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be with you! And now, by the authority vested in him, he also commissioned them to proclaim, or publish THE GOSPEL. AS THE FATHER sent me forth, or delegated me as his REPRESENTATIVE, even so send I you, or depute you as my heralds, or ambassadors. And as at the creation, “ He had breathed into the nostrils of the first
3. The suspension of the Christian sacrifice, during the Jewish economy; intimated by the ram offered up in the stead of Isaac, Gen. xxii. 13.
4. The institution of the rite of the passover, typical of Christ our passover, Exod. xii. 14–17.
5. The brazen serpent in the wilderness, Numb. xxi. 6-9; applied, John iii. 14. In THE PROPHETS.
1. Isaiah's prediction of Christ's passion, death, and burial, chap. liii. throughout, applied, John xii. 38, Acts viii. 30—35.
2. Daniel's prediction of Christ's cutting off, by a violent death, Dan. ix. 26.
3. Zechariah's prediction, that he should be pierced with the spear on the cross, Zech. xii. 10. Applied, John xix. 37, Rev. i. 7.
In THE PSALMS.
1. The description of Christ's rejection and sufferings, by the Jews, Pilate, and Herod, Psalm ii. 1-3. Applied, Acts iv. 25—28.
2. The circumstances of his crucifixion, Psalm xxii, 1–18. Applied by our LORD himself on the cross.
3. His death and interment, Psalm xvi. 10. Applied, Acts ii. 26, xiii. 35. II. His resurrection on the third day.
In The Law.
1. Isaac's figurative restoration to life, was on the third day, after his sacrifice was appointed, Gen. xxii. 2—4. Applied, Heh. xi. 17-19.
2. The law requiring the voluntary offerings to be eaten before the third day; on the third day they were to be burnt or destroyed, Levit. vii. 15-18.
In THE PROPHETS.
1. Jonah's entombment in the great fish's belly for three days, Jonah i. 17. Applied by our LORD to himself, Matt. xii. 40, xvi. 4, compare John ii. 19.
In The Psalms.
1. His resurrection without seeing corruption, and therefore, not later than the third day, Psalm xvi. 10, as collected from the state of Lazarus, on the fourth day, John xi. 39.
Hence in apoplexies, persons are not allowed to be buried till seventy-two hours be past, lest they should revis within th: time; of which there have been instances. It was within forty hours from our LORD's death, on Friday, at the first afternoon, till his resurrection, before sun rise, on Sunday; not two entire days. See Mede's excellent Discourse, 13th, p. 49. VOL. III.