“Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel.”
2 Timothy 2:8
Within the compass of this verse several facts are recorded: and, first, there is here the great truth that Jesus, the Son of the Highest, was anointed of God; the apostle calls him “Jesus Christ,” that is, the anointed one, the Messiah, the sent of God. He calls him also “Jesus,” which signifies a Savior, and it is a grand truth that he who was born of Mary, he who was laid in the manger at Bethlehem, he who loved and lived and died for us, is the ordained and anointed Savior of men. We have not a moment’s doubt about the mission, office, and design of our Lord Jesus; in fact, we hang our soul’s salvation upon his being anointed of the Lord to be the Savior of men.
This Jesus Christ was really and truly man; for Paul says he was “of the seed of David.” True he was divine, and his birth was not after the ordinary manner of men, but still he was in all respects partaker of our human nature, and came of the stock of David. This also we do believe. We are not among those who spiritualize the incarnation, and suppose that God was here as a phantom, or that the whole story is but an instructive legend. Nay, in very flesh and blood did the Son of God abide among men: bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh was he in the days of his sojourn here below. We know and believe that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. We love the incarnate God, and in him we fix our trust.
It is implied, too, in the text that Jesus died; for he could not be raised from the dead if he had not first gone down among the dead, and been one of them. Yes, Jesus died: the crucifixion was no delusion, the piercing of his side with a spear was most clear and evident proof that he was dead: his heart was pierced, and the blood and water flowed from there. As a dead man he was taken down from the cross and carried by gentle hands, and laid in Joseph’s virgin tomb. I think I see that pale corpse, white as a lily. Mark how it is distained with the blood of his five wounds, which make him red as the rose. See how the holy women tenderly wrap him in fine linen with sweet spices, and leave him to spend his Sabbath all alone in the rock hewn sepulcher. No man in this world was ever more surely dead than he. “He made his grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death.” As dead they laid him in the place of the dead, with napkin and grave clothes, and habiliments fit for a grave then they rolled the great stone at the grave’s mouth and left him, knowing that he was dead.
Then comes the grand truth, that as soon as ever the third sun commenced his shining circuit Jesus rose again. His body had not decayed, for it was not possible for that holy thing to see corruption; but still it had been dead; and by the power of God by his own power, by the Father’s power, by the power of the Spirit for it is attributed to each of these in turn, before the sun had risen his dead body was quickened. The silent heart began again to beat, and through the stagnant canals of the veins the lifeblood began to circulate. The soul of the Redeemer again took possession of the body, and it lived once more. There he was within the sepulcher, as truly living as to all parts of him as he had ever been. He literally and truly, in a material body, came forth from the tomb to live among men till the hour of his ascension into heaven. This is the truth which is still to be taught, refine it who may, spiritualize it who dare. This is the historical fact which the apostles witnessed; this is the truth for which the confessors bled and died. This is the doctrine which is the keystone of the arch of Christianity, and they that hold it not have cast aside the essential truth of God. How can they hope for salvation for their souls if they do not believe that “the Lord is risen indeed”?
Excerpt of sermon “The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus” delivered on April 9, 1882