Lord Is Risen"
Ellen G. White
night of the first day of the week had worn slowly away. The darkest hour, just
before daybreak, had come. Christ was still a prisoner in His narrow tomb. The
great stone was in its place; the Roman seal was unbroken; the Roman guards were
keeping their watch. And there were unseen watchers. Hosts of evil angels were
gathered about the place. Had it been possible, the prince of darkness with his
apostate army would have kept forever sealed the tomb that held the Son of God.
But a heavenly host surrounded the sepulcher. Angels that excel in strength were
guarding the tomb, and waiting to welcome the Prince of life.
behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from
heaven." Clothed with the panoply of God, this angel left the heavenly courts.
The bright beams of God's glory went before him, and illuminated his pathway.
"His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: and for
fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men."
priests and rulers, where is the power of your guard? Brave soldiers that have
never been afraid of human power are now as captives taken without sword or spear.
The face they look upon is not the face of mortal warrior; it is the face of the
mightiest of the Lord's host. This messenger is he who fills the position from
which Satan fell. It is he who on the hills of Bethlehem proclaimed Christ's birth.
The earth trembles at his approach, the hosts of darkness flee, and as he rolls
away the stone, heaven seems to come down to the earth. The soldiers see him removing
the stone as he would a pebble, and hear him cry, Son of God, come forth; Thy
Father calls Thee. They see Jesus come forth from the grave, and hear Him proclaim
over the rent sepulcher, "I am the resurrection, and the life." As He
comes forth in majesty and glory, the angel host bow low in adoration before the
Redeemer, and welcome Him with songs of praise.
earthquake marked the hour when Christ laid down His life, and another earthquake
witnessed the moment when He took it up in triumph. He who had vanquished death
and the grave came forth from the tomb with the tread of a conqueror, amid the
reeling of the earth, the flashing of lightning, and the roaring of thunder. When
He shall come to the earth again, He will shake "not the earth only, but
also heaven." "The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and
shall be removed like a cottage." "The heavens shall be rolled together
as a scroll;" "the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth
also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." But "the Lord
will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel."
Heb. 12:26; Isa. 24:20; 34:4; 2 Peter 3:10; Joel 3:16.
the death of Jesus the soldiers had beheld the earth wrapped in darkness at midday;
but at the resurrection they saw the brightness of the angels illuminate the night,
and heard the inhabitants of heaven singing with great joy and triumph: Thou hast
vanquished Satan and the powers of darkness; Thou hast swallowed up death in victory!
came forth from the tomb glorified, and the Roman guard beheld Him. Their eyes
were riveted upon the face of Him whom they had so recently mocked and derided.
In this glorified Being they beheld the prisoner whom they had seen in the judgment
hall, the one for whom they had plaited a crown of thorns. This was the One who
had stood unresisting before Pilate and Herod, His form lacerated by the cruel
scourge. This was He who had been nailed to the cross, at whom the priests and
rulers, full of self-satisfaction, had wagged their heads, saying, "He saved
others; Himself He cannot save." Matt. 27:42. This was He who had been laid
in Joseph's new tomb. The decree of heaven had loosed the captive. Mountains piled
upon mountains over His sepulcher could not have prevented Him from coming forth.
. . .
the voice of the mighty angel was heard at Christ's tomb, saying, Thy Father calls
Thee, the Saviour came forth from the grave by the life that was in Himself. Now
was proved the truth of His words, "I lay down My life, that I might take
it again. . . . I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."
Now was fulfilled the prophecy He had spoken to the priests and rulers, "Destroy
this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." John 10:17, 18; 2:19.
the rent sepulcher of Joseph, Christ had proclaimed in triumph, "I am the
resurrection, and the life." These words could be spoken only by the Deity.
All created beings live by the will and power of God. They are dependent recipients
of the life of God. From the highest seraph to the humblest animate being, all
are replenished from the Source of life. Only He who is one with God could say,
I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again. In His divinity,
Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death.
arose from the dead as the first fruits of those that slept. He was the antitype
of the wave sheaf, and His resurrection took place on the very day when the wave
sheaf was to be presented before the Lord. For more than a thousand years this
symbolic ceremony had been performed. From the harvest fields the first heads
of ripened grain were gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem to the
Passover, the sheaf of first fruits was waved as a thank offering before the Lord.
Not until this was presented could the sickle be put to the grain, and it be gathered
into sheaves. The sheaf dedicated to God represented the harvest. So Christ the
first fruits represented the great spiritual harvest to be gathered for the kingdom
of God. His resurrection is the type and pledge of the resurrection of all the
righteous dead. "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so
them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him." 1 Thess. 4:14. .
the believer, Christ is the resurrection and the life. In our Saviour the life
that was lost through sin is restored; for He has life in Himself to quicken whom
He will. He is invested with the right to give immortality. The life that He laid
down in humanity, He takes up again, and gives to humanity. "I am come,"
He said, "that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
"Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst;
but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing
up into everlasting life." "Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood,
hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." John 10:10;
the believer, death is but a small matter. Christ speaks of it as if it were of
little moment. "If a man keep My saying, he shall never see death,"
"he shall never taste of death." To the Christian, death is but a sleep,
a moment of silence and darkness. The life is hid with Christ in God, and "when
Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory."
John 8:51, 52; Col. 3:4.
voice that cried from the cross, "It is finished," was heard among the
dead. It pierced the walls of sepulchers, and summoned the sleepers to arise.
Thus will it be when the voice of Christ shall be heard from heaven. That voice
will penetrate the graves and unbar the tombs, and the dead in Christ shall arise.
At the Saviour's resurrection a few graves were opened, but at His second coming
all the precious dead shall hear His voice, and shall come forth to glorious,
immortal life. The same power that raised Christ from the dead will raise His
church, and glorify it with Him, above all principalities, above all powers, above
every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come.
The Desire of Ages, pp. 779-787.