05 April 2015

Risen indeed!

Your weekly Dose of Spurgeon
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 19, sermon number 1,106, "The Lord is risen indeed."
"Is it not true that a clearer understanding of the rising again of our Lord is, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the very surest means of bringing our minds into peace?"

When he rose he did not bring away the costly aromatics in which his body had been wrapped, but he left them there. Joseph brought about one hundred pounds weight of myrrh and aloes, and the odour remaineth still. In the sweetest spiritual sense, our Lord Jesus has filled the grave with fragrance. It no longer smells of corruption and foul decay, but we can sing with the poet of the sanctuary—

“Why should we tremble to convey 
These bodies to the tomb? 
There the dear flesh of Jesus lay, 
And left a long perfume.” 

Yonder lowly bed in the earth is now perfumed with costly spices and decked with sweet flowers, for on its pillow the truest Friend we have once laid his holy head. We will not start back with horror from the chambers of the dead, for the Lord himself has traversed them, and where he goes, no terror abides.

The Master also left his grave clothes behind him. He did not come from the tomb wrapped about with a winding-sheet; he did not wear the cerements of the tomb as the habiliments of life, but when Peter went into the sepulchre he saw the grave-clothes lying carefully folded by themselves.

What if I say he left them to be the hangings of the royal bed-chamber wherein his saints fall asleep? See how he has curtained our last bed! Our dormitory is no longer bare and drear, like a prison cell, but hung around with fair white linen and comely arras—a chamber fit for the repose of princes of the blood!

We will go to our last bed-chamber in peace, because Christ has furnished it for us. Or if we change the metaphor, I may say that our Lord has left those grave-clothes for us to look upon as pledges of his fellowship with us in our low estate, and reminders that as he has cast aside the death garments, even so shall we.

 He has risen from his couch and left his sleeping robes behind him, in token that at our waking there are other vestures ready for us also. What if I again change the figure, and say that as we have seen old tattered flags hung up in cathedrals and other national buildings, as the memorials of defeated enemies and victories won, so in the crypt where Jesus vanquished death his grave clothes are hung up as the trophies of his victory over death, and as assurances to us that all his people shall be more than conquerors through him that hath loved them.

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

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