GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
The Resurrection Of Christianity
By Keith L. Estes
Jesus had foretold His sufferings, death and resurrection. But his disciples never understood these sayings; they forgot them or thought them allegorical; and, when He was actually dead, these yielded them no comfort whatever. The women came to the sepulcher on the first Christian Sabbath, not to see it empty, but to embalm His body, for its long sleep. Mary ran to tell the disciples, not that He was risen, but that the body had been taken away and laid she knew not where. When the women told the other disciples how He had met them, "their words seemed to them as idle tales and they believed them not." Peter and John, as John himself informs us, "knew not the Scripture, that He should rise from the dead." Could anything be more pathetic than the words of the two travelers to Emmaus, "We trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel?"
When the disciples met together, "they mourned and wept." There never were men more utterly disappointed and dispirited.
But we can now be glad that they were so sad. They doubted that we might believe. For how is it to be accounted for, that in a few days afterwards these very men were full of confidence and joy, their faith in Jesus had revived, and the enterprise of Christianity was again in motion with a far vaster vitality than it had ever before possessed? They say the reason of this was that Jesus had risen, and they had seen Him. They tell us about their visits to the empty tomb, and how He appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the other women, to Peter, to the two on the way to Emmaus, to ten of them at once, to eleven of them at once, to James, to the five hundred, and so forth. Are these stories credible?
They might not be, if they stood alone. But the alleged resurrection of Christ was
Accompanied by the indisputable RESURRECTION OF CHRISTIANITY. And how is the latter to be accounted for except by the former. It might, indeed, be said that Jesus had filled their minds with imperial dreams, which He failed to realize; and that, having once caught sight of so magnificent a career, they were unable to return to their fishing nets, and so invented this story, in order to carry on the scheme on their own account. Or it might be said that they only fancied they saw what they tell about the Risen One. But the remarkable thing is that, when they resumed their faith in Him, they were found to be no longer pursuing worldly ends, but intensely spiritual ones; they were no longer expecting thrones, but persecution and death; yet they addressed themselves to their new work with a breadth of intelligence, an ardor of devotion, and a faith in results which they had never shown before. As Christ rose from the dead in a transfigured body, so did CHRISTIANITY. It had put off its carnality. What effected this change? They say it was the resurrection and the sight of the risen Christ.
The incontestable proof is the change itself-the fact that suddenly they had become courageous, hopeful, believing, wise, possessed with noble and reasonable views of the world's future, and equipped with resources sufficient to found the Church, convert the world, and establish Christianity in its purity among men...THE RESURRECTION OF CHRISTIANITY accompanied THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST. If Christ be not risen our faith is in vain.
Ref: The Gospels - The Holy Bible. Stalker's Life of Christ, Pub. By Fleming H. Revell