"Voice In The Desert"
HE IS NOT HERE
By John A. Hubbard, Senior Bible Instructor
. . ."He is not here!" These words were spoken at the empty tomb of the Lord by two ,men, angels in human form (Luke 14:6 and John 20:12). They were addressed to the women who had come to perform the burial rites ofor the body lf the Lord. Then were added three more words, "But is risen." Seven simple words -- twenty-one letters! But their full significance will be realized only in eternity!
. . . Suppose He had been there, had not risen, what then? There would have been many dire consequences. In the first place, Jesus would have been a falsifier; for He had repeatedly said that, after His had been killed, He would rise again the third day.
. . . For further light on the tremendous significance of these words, let us turn to I Corinthians 15:14-19 in which we have the following facts stated: "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching ain,: that is, it is void, empty, a delusion, the faith of believers is also vain, void, empty, and a delusion; and preachers of the resurrection are "false witnesses," that is liars with reference to what God is said to have done. Furthermore, if Christ be not risen, then the saints of the past are still in their sins, and have perished. They have died in their sins and are lost. Also, believers are "most miserable," most pitiable, or as one translator puts it, "....are more to be pitied than all the rest of the world."
. . .Now comes the glad assurance of verse 20, "But now is Christ risen", and all the foregoing doleful, disheartening, hope-devastating propositions are negated, -- in other words, they are utterly false. The preaching of the Gospel, the inspired definition of which is given in I Corinthians 15:1-4, is not a vain, empty thing; the believer's faith is not a delusion; those who preach the resurrection are not false witnesses; the living believers are not in their sins, and those who have died in Christ have not perished -- they are "at home" with Him (II Cor. 5:8, R.V.) In I Cor.15:20 we also have the guarantee of the future resurrection of believers and their being caught up to meet the Lord in the air (I Thess. 4:16, 17). They will see Him, they will be transformed into His blessed likeness, they will have bodies like unto His glorious body! (Philippians 3:20, 21).
. . . In the words "He is not here, He is risen," there is given to us the positive assurance that God has put His stamp of approval upon the amazing claims of Jesus (amazing if made by a merely human being) as to His Deity (see Rom. 1:4). For example, in John 5:17, 18 Jesus makes Himself equal with God, and in verse 23 He states that the same honor that is accorded God the Father is to be rendered to Himself, the Son; again, in verses 25, 28, and 29 He claims the prerogative that belongs only to God, that is, raising the dead. In John 10:30-33 He claims that He and the Father "Are one," thus making Himself God. By raising Jesus from the dead, God validated these and all the other claims that Jesus made.
. . . In closing, let us remind ourselves that the great doctrinal truths taught in the Bible not only afford a sure foundation for our faith, they also have a practical bearing on our daily lives. This is true of the precious doctrine of the resurrection. For example, we are told in Eph. 1:19-21 that in His resurrection and exaltation we have a "sample" of the greatness of God's power which He is waiting to exercise in behalf of believers, so that there is no excuse for our not living lives of continual victory. Also, the truth of the resurrection has a practical bearing on our service, for in closing the great classical chapter on the resurrection, the inspired apostle says, "Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." (I Cor. 15:58).
. . .Then let us, 'beloved', greatly rejoice at this Easter season, as we hear again the angelic pronouncement, "He is not here, but is risen."
. . . "Where is He now?" In heaven interceding.":