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“And he said unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: He is risen; He is not here: behold the place where they laid Him.” ―

MARK 16:6

It is true that Paul determined with himself not to know anything among the churches, but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. However, the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ would not be the topic of so much joy and true gladness were it not for the fact that the crucified Lord was risen the third day. Without the joy of Easter because of the fact of the resurrection, the Cross on that Friday would be an enigma, a terrible symbol of abject failure. 

But now we rejoice, for our Lord arose the third day, according to the Scriptures! 

For He is risen! 

That shall be the glad shout of the Gospel! 

And that shout shall be repeated from mouth to mouth, from clime to clime, from people to people, until the whole world shall have heard the glad story of Easter, and time ended. For when the whole world shall have heard that story, then shall be revealed the second coming of that Lord of glory. 

For He is risen! 

Oh, God’s ways are higher-than our ways. 

When the Godhead, in the depths of eternity, before the world was decided and counseled who should hear the first edition of that glorious Gospel, their choice fell on Mary the Magdalene out of whom the Lord cast seven devils. 

How differently we would have done that. 

I think that the majority would have counseled to gather the body of the Apostles of the Lord for the promulgation of the first edition of Easter. Were they not the representatives of the entire New Testament Church? 

But Mary, the Magdalene? 

Oh yes, unto all eternity she shall be pointed out to you as the happy soul whose eyes first saw the foundation of the new heavens and the new earth: the Lord Jesus Christ in glory! 

Last year we pointed you to that wonderful story in Holy Writ. 

At this time we will hear the same Gospel: He is risen! But now as it was given to the women! 

Again we are startled. 

What? First to a woman who was known for the awful condition that seven devils dwelled in her? 

And now we hear that the second edition of Easter will be given to women? 

But, Lord, men are the leaders of women, are they not? And what about the government of the church? When shall, when will that body of office-bearers hear the story from Thy own mouth? 

But the Lord does not answer us with respect to His deeds. No one has heard it. We must guess. 

The Lord is risen! 

As told to the women.

And yet, it is true to the style of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Thus He acted always. 

He went to Galilee, not so much to Judea. 

He called sinners, not the righteous to repentance. 

He chose His sojourn with the humble, the meek, the lowly, the publicans and sinners. 

He stretched His holy hands to the little children, taking them as an example for the strong, big men to follow, or to bless them, to bless them . . . . 

His ways are higher than our ways. 

Fittingly so, for He came to reveal the Father. 

And the Father? He chose the lowly, the meek, the little ones, the simple, the ignoble, those who had no power in order to put to shame all that arises before Him in arrogance, in deep consciousness of their vaunted power, ability, nobility, riches. 

He chose that which was not, in order to shame the things that are. . . . 

And therefore, I think, the Lord shewed Himself in the second instance to a group of simple women. 

Simple women? 

Yes, and I can prove it. 

They were even simple in their sinning. 

Do you realize that we have but a few words of this company of women? 

I have in mind the attempt of James and John to assure for themselves the seats on the right and on the left of the Lord when He should arrive in His glory of the Kingdom. And they used a woman for this proud gesture, their mother, the wife of Zebedee. 

Do you know any other utterance of these women? 

Well, they had come all the way from Galilee, not to talk, to converse, to talk theology with Jesus and their kinsmen, the disciples, but to minister to the wants of the men folks, especially the Lord. They had gone along on the way to Judea to minister especially to Jesus’ wants. They would wash His clothes, they would prepare the food by the wayside, and they would gently remind Him when it was time to rest. Oh yes, and they would take their little ones to Jesus, so that He would bless them. 

Yes, I think they were simple women, and with the word, simple, I mean lowly minded, not given to mannishness, quietness. 

But how these women loved Him! 

Note how they wept at the cross, how they prepared spices for His burial, how early they were at the sepulcher! Oh yes, they loved Jesus in their simplicity. And Jesus knew it. And God knew it. And God determined them and their loving hearts from all eternity. And at the same time He determined their reward. They would be chosen as the party of the second part to see the risen Lord. 

For He is risen! 

Hear, ye women that love and seek Jesus! 

He is risen indeed! He is not here.

For He is risen! 

Yes, they sought the Lord, but it was the crucified Lord whom they sought. 

Attend to what the angel tells them: I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified! 

But that crucified Jesus is risen from the dead! 

In these words I have penned down the contents of the everlasting Gospel. 

He was crucified. 

That means that He was dead. Later, much later, He said as much to John: I am He that liveth, and was dead! 

Yes, He arose from the dead. And that has wonderful significance. 

It means for Jesus that He had the victory. 

First, over all His enemies. Oh, how they had harassed Him. The whole world was arrayed against Him. Jew, Roman, and Greek reared their heads against Him, and it was the Jew first. Shades of Caiaphas and Judas. 

Second, the devil with his devils are conquered. The whole of this foul world of devils were against Him. John on Patmos has given us the whole astounding story in the Revelation of Jesus Christ. There was a great red dragon standing before the woman for four thousand years to devour the little manchild as soon as it should be born. But when it was born, God snatched it away from his jaws. Jesus crushed the head of the devil on the accursed tree. 

Third, the curse of the law is conquered. That curse clung to Him. It clung to Him so thoroughly and so tenaciously that the Holy Ghost, looking upon Him in the state of His humiliation, called Him a curse. Imagine it if you can: One of Jesus’ names is the Curse! But Jesus suffered to be the curse, and He suffered so much and so intensely that all that curse is gone, annihilated. And in its place came blessing. His name is now Blessing of God. 

Fourth, He overcame the grave, death and hell. He entered into them, and swallowed them unto victory. We have the attestation of that tremendous truth on every page of Holy Scripture, either in prophecy or as historical fact. 

And note that this is the Gospel. 

We are world, under the dominion of devils, under the rightful curse of God, because of our sin, and therefore on the way to the grave, death and hell. 

But Jesus conquered them all, annihilated them all, never to return. 

We are taken out of the world by regeneration and conversion; we are made enemies of the devil because God put enmity between us and him; we are saved from the curse of the law, and ever since such liberation the law is our great friend, our, rule and norm of a glorious life of love; and we see through the grave a new way to heaven, we arose from death, and we do not have to go to hell anymore. Instead, we may go to heaven! 

Is that not a glorious Gospel? 

For He is risen! 

He is not here!

For He is risen! 

What does that mean? 

It means that Jesus is entirely changed now. He is not the same Jesus anymore. 

He is completely changed. He is now heavenly, spiritual, glorious, eternal. First He was, even as we are, earthly, flesh and blood, miserable, temporal, and mortal. 

Jesus has received a life that is different from any life ever before manifested. He is different from the glorious Adam. His resurrection is different from the resurrection of Lazarus and others. 

He is the very Personification of Eternal Life. 

And that means that He is ever turning to the Father, approximating that Father unto all eternity. 

For He is risen! 

That glorious chant has even deeper significance: it means that the Triune God approved of the work He did. It means that God accepted the price He paid for His own. It means that God was even now taking this Holy Child to His bosom. It means that He would receive a Name that is above all that is named in this world and in the world to come. 

For He is risen! 

It is the chant that shall be repeated from age to age, until time is no more. And then it shall be translated in perfect language, song and music, and the same chant shall make heaven musical forever! 

Oh yes, Jesus is risen, is risen indeed! 

And the women saw Him!