GREAT EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST
by Dr. Wesley A. Swift - 2-10-63
Around this Resurrection day we seek to remember the great events in the life of Christ. And this event we think upon. It is important that we keep alive in our life time, the great pageantry of that hour, the mighty and majestic events which transpired. It is more than a discussion of theology. It is a matter of history. This it is an understanding of the events which had taken place. Last Friday evening, we discussed the places for the coronation of Christ which had preceded by one week the day we now celebrate. The organization of the many who wanted to crown Christ, King, from the forces of Barabbas who had formed this army of Christ, to the Essene Priesthood who had prepared this crown of Christ as well. They had received from John the Baptist, as he came from Spiritual plains . . . he had told them that Christ would take the Chalice and the Cup.
It is here in our thinking on ‘Good Friday,’ of the events which surrounded this hour in the Garden of Gethsemane. For one moment I would have you go back to these events in the Garden. Except you understand the events in the Garden, you have not caught the vastness or the joy of this day.
When Christ said HE would accept the Chalice which had been prepared at the insistence of Joseph of Arimathea, which had held the Cup for Christ and HIS disciples because there was this understanding that HE might take the Chalice instead of the Crown. The words HE spoke that day, when they offered HIM the Crown:-- ‘Altho I am your King, I will not reign over an Empire of slaves . . . a people bound and have not freedom. But I must keep My Covenant and My promises which I made, that I would be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the ages. But I shall take the Cup of My Priesthood and your deliverance. But the day shall come when I shall take the Crown. And in that day, the Kingdom shall not be delivered to the Jews.’
Those words were to become historic. Life for Jesus, being the events of the next few days and weeks. For when Jesus took that Cup and then handed it to Andrew, many thought that the hope of the hour---the reclaiming of the Kingdom---was just being postponed. What would be HIS decision? What will HE do? In those hours after HE had shared the ‘Last Supper’ with HIS disciples in the ‘Upper Room’ . . . HE had used that Chalice and Cup as HE ‘break the bread’ with them, and shared the wine. The unction of HIS Spirit consecrated with them saying, ‘This it is My body, this is My blood,’--and HE gave unto them the fellowship of HIS suffering.
A great number of people had really not understood the greatness of what Paul said when he recorded:... ‘If we partake of the fellowship of HIS suffering, we shall know the power of HIS Resurrection.’ There were men within that room who could not take the fellowship of HIS suffering if they had to endure HIS Cross. For there are none who could have taken the Cup which just preceded it. But having under the symbol of HIS own communion, consecrated by the unction of HIS own Spirit--we have many times received the fellowship of HIS suffering and have observed the Cup with HIM and witnessed the power of HIS Resurrection. When the disciples put their hands with HIM unto the cup, believing in HIS visiting of the earth---HE thus, identified that one of them would betray HIM and each asked with that emotion now touching their lives, ‘LORD, it is it I?’ But HE turned to Judas of Iscariot, knowing by the presence of Omniscience, of who HE had asked that question . . . then turned to him and said, ‘Now go and do what you must do.’ And Judas of Iscariot then left. It was only a few hours after this, when Jesus and the disciples went into the Garden of Gethsemane. And there, the disciples, weary from the pressures of the week, under weight of the conditions of the hour, and not knowing or understanding the fullness of what was ahead, had one by one dropped off to sleep, while God, embodied in the body of a man, who had taken that body, as the Apostle Paul tells us in the book of Hebrews, because of all of HIS treasures out of the heavens were passing thru the bodies of flesh, and were now residing in bodies of flesh . . . HE then took upon Himself a body of flesh . . . a part of that same flesh . . . that HE might be like unto HIS own kinsmen.
Now He moved unto the great final drama and the tremendous incidence of HIS Messiahship---the restoration of HIS children---without fear---to a life of freedom and liberty. To lift them out of the great concept of condemnation and fear to set them free for all time.
Jesus filled the Cup from the small stream in Gethsemane. Then following one of the legal acts of the Kingdom, known back in the days of Enoch and in the time of Seth, as this act of the Cup of ‘clear water’---Jesus, in all the element of HIS humanities, realizing HE had now come to the point when HE must consummate the hardest thing for God to do---even harder than the Cross. For upon this being, there had been no transgressions and no death. HE was the ‘Lamb without spot or blemish.’ From the hour of HIS birth to this point in HIS ministry, there had been no transgression. Thru all things, HE had been triumphant. For God had in all things, triumphed up to this experience. Tho HE was God . . . in the body of a man . . . still, HE had laid aside HIS Glory. Had this not been so, this hour could not have taken place.
Now, what the disciples did not understand and what Christendom must understand, concerning that hour, is that HE, the Almighty God, without transgression with full Omniscience, knowing the pattern and all the catastrophe which it had caused, knowing all the pain and suffering that had swept the Universe--knowing the earth with all that was involved in the pain--and the ways of every man---the greatest moment had arrived. Unknown to those who were not familiar with the scriptures and the Patriarchs and those who were devout . . . Christ, then lifted that Cup.
And then in HIS humanity, HE cried out for the spirit within HIM. And in HIS humanity, HE faced the imperfection with understanding. HE would push ‘that Cup’ away. Yet it was not fear of that Cup. Nor was it fear of the destiny which was ahead. Not the will of the flesh. But the will of the spirit should now be done. For upon this body with the water of legality, HE said. ‘I assume all the guilt of every violation of law . . . in every era since the beginning of sin. With this Cup I now take all this error upon Myself.’ And in that one moment, there in the Garden of Gethsemane, Almighty God, in the body of a man, assumed upon Himself, all the transgressions and all the guilt from the day when Lucifer went out of HIS presence in the heavens---unto the day when Lucifer will bow the knee.
In that moment, HE said, ‘I assume all this upon Myself.’ And HE drank that Cup to the last drop that it contained. And in that moment, a perfect and immaculate man had assumed upon Himself all these transgressions and had consummated under HIS own Holy Law, the necessity of HIS death.
That is why when the soldiers came to seize HIM, when Judas of Iscariot betrayed HIM with a kiss, when the disciples arose to defend HIM and HE told Peter to sheath thy sword. This was told without anger. ‘If this was the hour when I was to assume My Kingdom, I could summon whole fleets of Angels and the Kingdom would not be left with the Jews.’
In that moment a great feeling of despair came over the disciples. For they could not understand what was taking place. They followed afar off as HE was now taken as a prisoner into the presence of the Court of the Temple. Peter, who stood outside of the Court of the Temple, would, even in his fear, deny that he was one of HIS disciples. Andrew, Peter and James had picked up the Cup which had been dropped beside the rock in the Garden where God stood. And Peter then took the Cup to the home of Joseph of Arimathea to awaken him to the fact that the Christ had been captured in the night.
These were some of the events which surrounded HIS Crucifixion. And we discussed others on Good Friday. And we’ll discuss further tonight, on this panorama of the Christ’s ministry, the trial, and consummated with the mighty victory of Resurrection.
But the significance of this picture is that Christ took upon Himself, every portion of your guilt . . . for all time . . . for all errors, and all mistakes. Every transgression was in that Cup. That Cup of clear water had become more weighty upon the shoulders of God than any other experience that God could assume. For that which all righteousness had taken upon Himself, as all deity the accountability for your Deliverance. We know of the intensity of that hour. For in the agony of that moment, knowing what HE had assumed, we are told that from HIS pores came great drops of blood.
When Christ was led to Golgotha’s Hill, when there they drove the spikes thru HIS hands and feet, then lifted that Cross and ‘dropped’ it into that hole in the rock, they placed on either side of HIM, two of the soldiers from the Army of Barabbas--known as thieves by Rome--but known as patriots by Israel and enemies of the temple by the usurpers. One looking to the Christ, surprised HIM with the cry, ’Why it is there no resistance? Why don’t you save Thyself and us?’ The other one, having been taught the same as the disciples, now even in this moment understood the event taking place---and he said, ‘Master, remember me when Thou cometh into Thy Kingdom.’ Jesus looked at him and said, ‘This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.’
I think the most significant events we must look upon today are what then transpired at that moment upon Calvary. Here upon Calvary, Jesus assigned the care of Mary, HIS mother, into the care of John. As HE had out of the Spirit, given the forgiveness to the Roman soldiers, for they did not know what they were doing, and to the people who had listened to the priesthood of Jewry, in a mob, said ‘Crucify Him,’ for they had no part in this matter.
Then when HE said, ‘It is FINISHED,’---HIS head dropped down upon HIS chest and death came upon this body of God. The wind increased and started to screech relentlessly. And the earth rocked under the impact of a great earthquake. And events started to happen from that moment on which brought some of the most unusual events ever recorded in history. And because of those events, you and I are free.
I turn to the 27th chapter of Matthew:... ‘When Jesus cried out in a loud voice and yielded up HIS Spirit’--at that very moment, lightening descended upon the temple and it ripped the veil form top to bottom. And then went up in flames. Then, now even the Jews of Jerusalem could no longer call that a holy place, for it was now open to the gaze of all.
But let us point to one great fact to be revealed. The earthquake had moved and caused the very earth to open up. And we are told that with the earthquake, the rocks were rent and torn and the graves started to open up. And we read in Matthew chapter 28:52, that the bodies of ‘Saints’ came out of the graves in droves. And then we find out what transpired. For two men came out of their graves and began to walk the streets of Jerusalem. These two men were well known in Jerusalem. Both of them were sons of the High Priest of Israel who had served in the past and had been sent to the Temple in Bethlehem. These young men had died in the early part of Christ’s ministry and were now walking the streets of Jerusalem. And they were immediately ceased upon by those that were nearby, who said, ‘Tell us, what has happened and where have you been, and how it is it you can walk in the streets of Jerusalem?’ And each of the two men were given a tablet. They each went into separate rooms and wrote, ‘We cannot speak, but we can still write.’ And each one of these men wrote of their experience from the time of their deaths until they had now returned to walk the streets of Jerusalem.
And we have that record. The early church prized it highly. It is incorporated also in the writings of Nicodemus. It is incorporated again within the writings of antiquity of the early church fathers. It is a matter of Roman records and it is among the records of Rome today in the Vatican where they have retained all of the ancient Roman records.
The majesty of those events as these men described it, were to tell of passages of scripture that now came to their fulfillment. For now Christ--HIS Spirit freed from the body, but carrying upon it with HIS soul consciousness resident . . . the right to now plunge into the Netherworld. The world of the Netherworld was the inner-earth. It was the area which the sons and daughters of Adam had their conscience bound. From the day of their death in the earth, they had been bound under the control of Lucifer. He couldn’t touch them. There wasn’t any flaming perdition in this involvement. But they were within the prison chamber of the Netherworld. They could not immediately move into the plains of spirit from whence they had come. They could not participate in the vast panorama of the events because they were under the bondage of Adam’s fall. There was a great gap in the inner-earth. There was a portion of it that has been called Paradise. It was separated from this prison chamber. It had been in this portion called Paradise that the original Eden had existed. It had been in this portion that the original life had come out upon the earth. But strangely enough, it had been from this place that Adam and Eve had been driven in the very hours of their transgression.
Now in this instance, we are to note that there it is another vast portion of the inner-earth. This portion of the Netherworld is governed, ruled over, and dwelt in by Angels that didn’t keep their first estate . . . and also by a people that had served Lucifer from the days of his rebellion. And thus it was, that this makes up the concept of the inner-earth. It had been known by the ancients even in the days of Enoch and Job. They knew also that a promise had been made. A promise of deliverance. They knew the day was going to come when they would not be bound in the seat of their thinking or in their soul. Nor by any process would Lucifer hold them captive in the inner-earth. We know that it is for this reason that Christ had promised one of the things HE was going to do was to set HIS people free. Isaiah had said, ‘The people that are in darkness shall behold a great light.’ The confirmation concerning the events that happened was that the priests had recorded, how after their death, they had gone into the Netherworld. There they had beheld the Patriarchs from Adam, on down to their time, and countless thousands upon thousands that dwelled within. They would like to be free. They would have like to be in the full light of the Shekinah Glory. They wanted to get out of this area. They wanted to be enveloped in the full radiancy of their Celestial nature in power. But they were under a bondage in waiting for the Messiah. And this day, they had waited for. As each event transpired in the life of Christ, or any news of it reached the Netherworld, they rejoiced that their deliverance was near. In fact when the day when Jesus stood before the tomb of Lazarus and said, ‘Lazarus, come forth,’ this was the first time they had experience anything like this in many, many ages. For they could not hold the spirit of Lazarus, nor his soul consciousness. And it went forth from them. Beelzebub and the princes of the Netherworld cried out and called for help. And Lucifer had not the strength to hold Lazarus.
The word went out that God was now upon the earth. Messiahship had come. And Isaiah was to continually quote scripture of prophecy that he had written when he was on the earth. And David also, was to quote scriptures of promise that ‘thou can’t leave my soul in the Netherworld or my body in the grave.’ For these were promises and these were covenants.
And the two men writing, told their story:... ‘Suddenly there was a cry ‘Open up ye endless gates of time; roll back your doors; the King of Glory shall come in.’ Who it is the King of Glory? The LORD strong and mighty, HE it is the King of Glory. The Lord mighty in battle it is the King of Glory. Open up ye everlasting gates and the King of Glory shall come in.’
This cry penetrated the Netherworld. This cry reached the very heart of the prisoners of the Netherworld. And the result was that they lifted up their hope and their expectation. They knew what was transpiring.
And then we are given this panorama. And I will read these words of the Psalmist to show you that the Psalmist envisioned what was to transpire:... ‘Lift up your heads oh ye gates; be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in. Who it is that King of Glory? He it is the LORD, strong and mighty. The LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, oh ye gates--even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in.’ Who is the King of Glory? He it is ‘YAHWEH OF HOSTS.’ HE it is the KING OF GLORY.
And this it is the cry that David had written in the 24th Psalm 7th to 10th verses. And when he heard the cry, he sounded forth by even the Angels, demanding admission for Christ. His heart leaped and he said this it is the thing which I heard from my soul as witness that this it is the hour.
And we are told, that suddenly those who were in darkness in the Netherworld, saw a great light. Illumination filled the place. Beelzebub cried out to Lucifer--What is it you have brought here? How is it now you dare to bring YAHSHUA of Nazareth into these realms? We could not stop HIM when HE called forth Lazarus upon the earth. HE has taken from us by the force of HIS power, that which we had held captive. How then shall we hold our captives if HE comes hither? How can we bind HIM? What charge have ye against us? Lucifer said, ‘HE it is HIS own will take upon Himself all the transgressions of all the peoples of the earth that we shall hold, because the wages of sin is death by HIS Law, and we cannot hold HIM.’ And then even the prince of perdition spoke forth to Lucifer, ‘Know ye not that this it is very God and thus HE assumed to break it by HIS power for all time,---now we are undone.’
And the Light filled the place. And Jesus walked into the Netherworld. And HE started proclaiming the great truths of Destiny and bringing back to remembrance the endless promises HE had made before the foundation of the world and unveiled the majesty of HIS Glory. And HE told them HE had come to emancipate them. HE had paid the price. They were absolutely free. For he that is dead, is free from sin.
And God had assumed all the transgressions upon Himself. And because HE died, they lived. And because HE was God, HE could never die. For three days, these instances of declarations were made to them. All the powers of the Netherworld had to listen to the power of the ministry of Christ. And as the Apostle Paul said, HE went down and HE preached of the captivity. And HE led those that were captive out of their captivity, and brought HIS many sons into Glory. Oh, what an hour it was. Christ was not inside the Netherworld but for a very short time . . . and the first hour, HE started sending some of them out. HE said, now you go out, then you . . . for they remember you in this generation and you shall also be witnesses before them.’ You can imagine what happened as consciousness after consciousness went forth, as the enveloping spirit even resurrected the body that was in the grave.
And so the men wrote about what had transpired. They wrote of the fact that there was in that preaching and in that message, an assurance that when HE would go forth out of that grave and arise on the first day of the week, that not one single soul consciousness of the children of Adam, on down to HIS time, would be left in the Netherworld. That they could enlarge the perdition and then enlarge the quarters of Lucifer because they were never to be occupied again by the sons and daughters of Adam.
You say, ‘What does that mean?’ It means, my friends, that when Christ paid the price for transgression, broke the bondage that Lucifer had over the souls and spirit of men; that never again will Lucifer be able to hold them by any process in bondage from that time onward.
Now there are men who are in bondage because their minds have not been set free in the world. There are even theologies in bondage and churches who preach it in bondage. And many, actually anticipate that many people are going into some perdition that Lucifer can control. But I want you to know that since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, that Lucifer or all the imps of perdition have no power over you. I want you to know that when HE came forth out of that grave, that a great and mighty company followed HIM forth. I want you to know that their Celestial natures and their soul consciousness moved with Christ. They did not all raise their bodies at that time. Only those that Christ sent forth while HE, Himself, was within the Netherworld, were in resurrected bodies, walking and talking to the people. There were some that came forth out of the grave with HIM---a company which had been selected for this task. But the rest of them whose soul consciousness resident in their Celestial bodies, were now free from the control of Lucifer. And that great and mighty host went into the plains of spirit. Never again will they be in bondage to Satan’s Satanic power. Never again, for all the eternities to come, shall Satan rule over them. And they were among that company, who with those had passed on since that day, shall return in mighty triumph in the day when Christ shall once again place HIS feet upon the earth and HIS Kingdom shall rule with the mighty victory that will surely come.
Now I want you to think for one moment. All the powers of evil, all the forces of darkness, all that sought to wage a war and hold captive the children of God (and they had held captive many, outside of Moses and Elias and Enoch and a few that had never tasted of death and have gone into the ‘plains of spirit’---such as Jesus had introduced them to, on the Mount of Transfiguration),--that very day we are told also, that Jesus led great numbers of these whose spirits were in prison, into Paradise within the earth. And when they moved into Paradise with HIM, they found waiting there,---the ‘thief on the Cross.’ He was the one who said, ‘Remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom.’ For he had passed instantly into Paradise and they met him as they went in. And Jesus told them that this ‘Faith’ was on the Cross dying with Me, and this ‘Faith’ had eternal life all the time.’
There is no question of the magnitude of that event. For when we consider what transpired inside Jerusalem, when we recognize the Priests when they felt the earth shaking---they had reviled HIM, they had sneered at HIM, they who said, ‘if you be the Christ, now come down from the Cross’; they who jeered at the disciples also---were not sneering in these intervals of these days before HIS Resurrection. They were frightened of the events--the terrible impact upon the earth--of the body of God---how it surrendered to Light that it might cleanse it of Transgression. That, my friends, is the Mighty Victory. And were it not for that event, the Resurrection would not have its significance today.
Without any doubt, the disciples were going thru one of the hardest experiences of their lives. For three years, they had walked with God. For three years, they had witnessed the tremendous healing power that emanated from it. They had watched HIM still the wind and the waves. They had watched HIM open the eyes of the blind. They had watched HIM lay HIS hands on the crippled children. They had watched HIM open the ears of the deaf. They had watched HIM give strength back to those who had been seriously ill. They had even watched HIM restore a son to the mother in the midst of a funeral. They had felt . . . here was unlimited power. They knew that never a man spoke as this man spoke. Strangely, the aura of HIS own Spirit cleansed their lives. No. They had no question that soon they would see triumph. They had no fear that the day would come in which they would crown HIM, King . . . that HE would rule and that Kingdom would be forever. But . . . that had also dwindled when they saw HIM crucified.
When they heard the words ‘It is finished,’---when the soldier plunged the spear into HIS side and blood and water from the broken heart poured out . . . immediately, they said, ‘It’s all over, HE is dead.’ They had half expected some miracle. They had watched that face contort in the agony of the Cross. They had watched the painful death and had thought at any moment, ‘He’ll step down from this Cross---HIS heavenly armies will come---we’ll raise the standard---the Kingdom will be born in a day.’ When HE said, ‘It is finished’, and they saw that head drop down upon that chest . . . And when later, they were to see Joseph of Arimathea who had given a ‘pearl of great price’ to Pontius Pilate, and had asked for permission to bury the body in his own grave . . . and they put HIM in the sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea, . . . when that had happened . . . great fear had come upon them. Some of them were listless. Peter and John had given up much hope. The second day, Peter said, I’m going fishing. Everything is done. Let’s get out on the water and think about it.--What are we going to do next?’ Other disciples dispersed, starting to go to various parts of Palestine. A few remained in Jerusalem. ‘Now what shall we do? We thought we had walked with God. Now we have watched a man die like a God, but HE is dead.’ Probably nothing was more final to them than death. Nothing, my friends, holds more fear over those who don’t understand, than death.
And the disciples were filled with grief. The blackest days, the darkest hours that men could know. The wonder was that the Jews, also fearful, and knowing that something was about to happen, thought that the organization that would have crowned HIM King, might come and steal HIS body away. So they said to Pontius Pilate, ‘We not only want this grave sealed, we want these soldiers to stand over it. We fear lest HIS disciples will take the body away.’ So Marcus the Centurion was placed over the Garden which the grave was with a hundred centurions. And the temple priests sent down several of their Jewish temple soldiers to make sure that nothing transpired. And they then seized Joseph of Arimathea and locked him up too. Because he being a member of the Sanhedrin, they said, had turned against and supported and buried the body of a blasphemer and ‘we must take action.’ So they had Joseph locked up. They were going to try him on the first day of the week for they couldn’t try him on the Sabbath as they called it, or they couldn’t try him on a feast day.
Strange as it might seem, in the hour when the Resurrection came to pass, there was witness even by the Chief Centurion who had to give his testimony before Pontius Pilate. And that testimony is in Rome today, on what had transpired that morning, because of a Roman Centurion. And the company of a hundred Roman soldiers---would anyone take anything without fighting with all the strength of their lives until assistance comes or until they die----they would be assured they would be given a death sentence. Only in the fields of battle, out maneuvered, and out commanded, under command of an officer---that would be a Tribunal or greater---could they retreat on the field of battle.
So it was that when suddenly that Resurrection took place and the Glory of God filled that Garden and the stone rolled back and the Light of God shone out upon them . . . they were stricken as dead men. It was only a matter of a few hours after this the Jews were pounding on the door of Pontius Pilate. They said, ‘HIS body has been stolen. The disciples came and took the body away and your soldiers are lying about this matter.’ The soldiers said, ‘No, do you think we would lie and lose our lives? We could do nothing. We were powerless.’ But then the chief Centurion turned to the Jews and said, ‘I have a question to ask you. We know where Jesus is? Do you tell us where Joseph of Arimathea, which you locked up to try this day before your judgement courts?’ ‘Oh,’ they said, ‘Joseph is in jail.’ ‘No’, they said, ‘he is not in jail, because we saw him join this Son of Glory as HE came forth out of the Garden and they left together.’
Messengers were sent to their temple jail and they found Joseph was gone. And they returned back to Pilate and they said, ‘Something strange has happened here. Somebody has let him out. But where could he be?’ Then others spoke up, ‘Joseph has gone to Bethany.’ And then the Roman soldiers said, ‘And Jesus has gone to Galilee.’ For they had heard HIM say unto one who stood before him--- ‘I go before My brethren in Galilee.’ And the Jews took out their golden prices and tried to pay the soldiers with a special permission from Pilate who received also a sack of gold that they might tell the story that the disciples had stolen away Jesus body. But Roman records have all of this. The archive volumes contain it. The most ancient records we have of the history, not only of our faith, but of conditions that surrounded those days. Unimpeachable evidence. Roman records tell the story. In the incidents that were to follow, we are to capture the impact of this day, for coming down early in the morning to anoint the body was Mary and the women with her. And when they came, they saw the stone was rolled away. The angels seated there said, ‘He is not here. He is risen.’ They couldn’t understand this. Their grief was too much for them to perceive the greatness of this message for HE was dead to them. Just dead. Mary, in her tears, turns and walks thru the Garden. Seeing one, she thought was the gardener, HE said to her, ‘Why weepist thou woman?’ And she said, ‘They have taken away my LORD and I don’t know where they have laid HIM.’ HE said unto her, ‘Mary.’ She said, ‘Rabboni.’ (Master). For no one could say Mary as Jesus could say it. When those words were declared. She knew instantly when she looked upon HIM. She reached out to touch HIM, but HE said, ‘Don’t touch Me. Flesh and blood could not stand it. And until this Glory leaves, don’t try to touch My body. But you go tell My brethren and tell them I have risen.’ And Mary went forth to tell them this and Peter and John and others, said, ‘Can this be true?’ And they rushed into the Garden to see whether or not this was so.
The soldiers were gone, the tomb was open. There were men seated there with the Glory of heaven to be seen on their faces. And they said, ‘HE is not here. HE is risen.’ And as they gathered together to discuss this, then Jesus appeared unto them. And HE told them go and tell all thy brethren. For I have risen and I am going down into Galilee and there we shall meet again.
Two men of the disciples who followed after, were on the way to Emmaus. HE was dead. To them, all their hopes were gone. The perimeter of their expectations had crumbled. They had no vision left, for God was dead. With the death of their Messiah, their hope was gone. Now unless another messenger came out of heaven, and this was not the Messiah, there was nothing to hope for. And how then could deliverance be at hand? And they walked and they talked in their sorrow. Then they met a stranger. And as HE spoke to them, HE said, ‘I see you men are sorrowing. You are weeping tears, you’re crushed. What is the matter with you?’ They said, ‘You truly must be a stranger. You do not know that the Jews have taken YAHSHUA of Nazareth and they have crucified HIM and put HIM to death, HE who we thought was Messiah? Whose miracles affected all the lands and all the words of hope and you do not know this? Why truly, all hope is gone, for now HE is dead. The hands that stilled the fever and opened the eyes of the blind and unstopped ears, is dead.’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘Don’t you think that when God came to earth as Messiah that HE also would have this? Don’t you think that HE, God, could alone assume accounts to take the burdens of all HIS children? Don’t you think that God should have taken all the transgressions on Himself? Don’t you think that HE should have hung on the Cross if that was the way and there leave behind for all time judgement? Don’t you think that HE should have gone into the Netherworld to keep HIS Covenant? Don’t you know that HE would raise form the dead? Come, here is an inn. Let us go in and eat.’ And as they listened to HIM, and HE talked with them, HE had challenged their thinking. And as HE broke the bread and handed it to them, the Glory of HIS majesty and aura came off of HIM. They saw the radiance and looked at HIS hands and saw the prints of the nails in HIS hands. They cried, ‘Our LORD and our God.’ Then HE was gone from their presence.
HE said to them these words, ‘Ought not God to have done just what HE did? Could God, embodied, do any less than this?’ Our hearts burn strangely within us as HE talked with us. Back to Jerusalem . . . back to the disciples and back into the circulation of peoples from whence they had gone. And with message on their lips, ‘We saw HIM, we talked with HIM. HE is alive. HE is risen.’
The disciples gathered together in Galilee. And Thomas was with them. They told Thomas what had transpired. Thomas said, ‘I would have to see and I would have to take my fingers and put it into the imprints of the nails. I would have to thrust my hand into HIS side, before I would believe this. For I saw HIM die. The Messiah is dead.’ ‘Yes, but Thomas, we have beheld HIM. HE is not dead. HE is not only alive, but HE is alive forever more and HE has declared this. We have been HIS witnesses. The Jews had bribed the soldiers. The soldiers saw HIM. Rome records it. HE is alive.’
Then just at that moment, Christ came thru the wall into their room. And as Christ came thru the wall and spoke to them, HE said, ‘Thomas, come hither. I am not a spirit just because I just passed thru the wall. I am flesh and bone. Come here. Put your finger into the prints of the nails. Feel this. This is a real hand. Put your hand into the hole in My side as you have said you wanted to do and know that I have risen. I am alive and this is flesh and bone.’ Well, that wasn’t necessary. For Thomas just dropped down and said, ‘My LORD and my God.’ And Jesus said unto him, ‘Blessed are those who are coming long after thee who are going to believe even tho they have not seen.’
And that is where the blessing of God falls on you this Resurrection Day, that now every one of HIS children, all the greatness of HIS church, and all the vastness of HIS nation, for your heraldry, your singing, your plays, your faith, your assembly from one end of all Christendom to the other . . . is the assurance that they assemble because they believe tho they have not seen.
Let me assure you this. One of the great victories today---there are choirs singing today in churches, ‘Hallelujah, Christ is risen,’ in churches where the ministers don’t so much even know HE was the Messiah. But you see, we have got the victory today anyhow. All Christendom sings because of the history of this event---one of the most unchallengeable facts of history. Five hundred to seven hundred numbers of people saw Christ after HIS Resurrection. Disciples on the sea fishing, and as they approach the shore, they see the figure of one by the fire,--after HIS Resurrection. Jesus asked them if they had any fish. And Jesus told them that HE had some already broiling on the fire and HE breaks bread with them and HE ate fish. Now let me get this clear in your minds. The resurrected body of Christ could eat fish and break bread. There is reality in this Resurrection.
Someone says, ‘How did HE pass thru the wall?’ HE did that before the Crucifixion. HE did that when the Jews were going to kill HIM in the treasury of the temple. It was a knowledge HE possessed and had never left aside. That is a knowledge related to the whole organization of a physical universe in the field of electronics. Positive and negative units of electricity--wave lengths of energy and power. The day is going to come when these things will come back to your remembrance. And there will be no substance that will be a barrier to your passing thru. The speed of acceleration of electrons will be at the command of your conscious spirit. I want you to know that in this hour, that the disciples were filled with wonder. They were filled with amazement. But they were testimony to the Glorious spectacle of Christ Resurrection.
There can be no doubt now, that all fear should have passed from you and from each and every Christian throughout the world. Theology continued sometimes, to obscure this from the formation of new theologies in Rome into the developing history that follows. Even with the Protestant Reformation---there have been some things that were not carried thru in the fullness of truth. And they have not caught the fullness of God’s promises. For in the hour you live in, knowledge is to be increased and all things are to be brought to our remembrance. And God’s spirit is going to make every secret thing known. And you are going to know that the last enemy to be put down is death. And no longer will it have power over you. It is already powerless to hold your soul within any confine. It is actually powerless over you today if the spirit comprehends the fullness and the completion of what Christ had set. For the wages of sin was death. And he that is dead, is free from sin. HE, at one moment and in one incident, destroyed that power for all time. Only as you continue to give assent, has death power over you.
There is an hour of great spiritual transition. In the twinkling of an eye, we are going to see mortals put on immortality. We are going to see the same enveloping Glory that surrounded Christ on the morning of HIS Resurrection surround you. And that day is just as historic today as was the 4th of July 1776, when we became a nation. It is just as important today. And the most important day, in the history of your race when all of your race is going to be enveloped with the Glory of God. And death will be swallowed up for all time in victory. I want you to know today, that you can say with the Apostle Paul, ‘absent from this body is to be present with the LORD in the plain of spirit and not to be held prisoner anywhere at anytime.’ And don’t let anyone come along ever again, and try to frighten you with perdition or try to tell you that there is Satanic power that can hold your soul in prison while you have been set free for all time. Don’t let anybody put condemnation back upon you. For Jesus who set you free, does not condemn. HE paid the price for all time and calls you to the marvelous walk of Sonship and the majesty of the Glory of HIS Grace, that you might in saying, ‘Our Father who art in heaven,’ be able to lift your face heavenward without fear. For you can look God in the face this afternoon, because HE said, ‘I paid it full. I finished it. I set you free.’
You please God better by accepting the imputations of HIS righteousness than if you walked cast down after so great a victory. And out of this comes the mighty triumph of HIS church. HIS enemies still would like to crucify Christian civilization again. They would like to destroy this great pattern of life and hope, this great civilizing influence on the earth. I am going to tell you that there will never be a consummated crucifixion of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is going to be empowered with greater Light and greater Glory than the world has ever seen. That Light is going to outshine the darkness. It is going to sweep Communism from the face of the earth. It is going to overthrow all the powers of evil. It is going to watch the elimination from the earth, the forces of darkness who shall be taken out to their own area. And the world shall know. And they shall all behold the voices of the peoples of earth singing one great mighty anthem to the MOST HIGH. For the day is going to come when each one of you is going to see it. And they are going to sing in the heavens above and in the earth and in the outermost world---the praises of Christ the King.
(End of message)