Mark 16* Christ's resurrection made known the women. (1-8) Christappears to Mary Magdalene and other disciples. (9-13) Hiscommission to the apostles. (14-18) Christ's ascension. (19,20)1-8 Nicodemus brought a large quantity of spices, but thesegood women did not think that enough. The respect others show toChrist, should not hinder us from showing our respect. And thosewho are carried by holy zeal, to seek Christ diligently, willfind the difficulties in their way speedily vanish. When we putourselves to trouble and expense, from love to Christ, we shallbe accepted, though our endeavours are not successful. The sightof the angel might justly have encouraged them, but they wereaffrighted. Thus many times that which should be matter ofcomfort to us, through our own mistake, proves a terror to us.He was crucified, but he is glorified. He is risen, he is nothere, not dead, but alive again; hereafter you will see him, butyou may here see the place where he was laid. Thus seasonablecomforts will be sent to those that lament after the Lord Jesus.Peter is particularly named, Tell Peter; it will be most welcometo him, for he is in sorrow for sin. A sight of Christ will bevery welcome to a true penitent, and a true penitent is verywelcome to a sight of Christ. The men ran with all the hastethey could to the disciples; but disquieting fears often hinderus from doing that service to Christ and to the souls of men,which, if faith and the joy of faith were strong, we might do. 9-13 Better news cannot be brought to disciples in tears, thanto tell them of Christ's resurrection. And we should study tocomfort disciples that are mourners, by telling them whatever wehave seen of Christ. It was a wise providence that the proofs ofChrist's resurrection were given gradually, and admittedcautiously, that the assurance with which the apostles preachedthis doctrine afterwards might the more satisfy. Yet how slowlydo we admit the consolations which the word of God holds forth!Therefore while Christ comforts his people, he often sees itneedful to rebuke and correct them for hardness of heart indistrusting his promise, as well as in not obeying his holyprecepts. 14-18 The evidences of the truth of the gospel are so full,that those who receive it not, may justly be upbraided withtheir unbelief. Our blessed Lord renewed his choice of theeleven as his apostles, and commissioned them to go into all theworld, to preach his gospel to every creature. Only he that is atrue Christian shall be saved through Christ. Simon Magusprofessed to believe, and was baptized, yet he was declared tobe in the bonds of iniquity: see his history in #Ac 8:13-25|.Doubtless this is a solemn declaration of that true faith whichreceives Christ in all his characters and offices, and for allthe purposes of salvation, and which produces its right effecton the heart and life; not a mere assent, which is a dead faith,and cannot profit. The commission of Christ's ministers extendsto every creature throughout the world, and the declarations ofthe gospel contain not only truths, encouragements, andprecepts, but also most awful warnings. Observe what power theapostles should be endued with, for confirming the doctrine theywere to preach. These were miracles to confirm the truth of thegospel, and means of spreading the gospel among nations that hadnot heard it. 19,20 After the Lord had spoken he went up into heaven. Sittingis a posture of rest, he had finished his work; and a posture ofrule, he took possession of his kingdom. He sat at the righthand of God, which denotes his sovereign dignity and universalpower. Whatever God does concerning us, gives to us, or acceptsfrom us, it is by his Son. Now he is glorified with the glory hehad before the world. The apostles went forth, and preachedevery where, far and near. Though the doctrine they preached wasspiritual and heavenly, and directly contrary to the spirit andtemper of the world; though it met with much opposition, and waswholly destitute of all worldly supports and advantages; yet ina few years the sound went forth unto the ends of the earth.Christ's ministers do not now need to work miracles to provetheir message; the Scriptures are proved to be of Divine origin,and this renders those without excuse who reject or neglectthem. The effects of the gospel, when faithfully preached, andtruly believed, in changing the tempers and characters ofmankind, form a constant proof, a miraculous proof, that thegospel is the power of God unto salvation, of all who believe.
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