Closing remarks to the message -
The Stone Rolled Away
DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY
MORNING,MARCH 28TH, 1869,BY
C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
Then the angel went on to say, "Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified." There was room for comfort here. They were seeking Jesus, though the world had crucified him. Though the many had turned aside and left him, they were clinging to him in loving loyalty. Now, is there any one here who can say, "Though I am unworthy to be a follower of Christ, and often think that he will reject me, yet there is one thing I am sure of—I would not be afraid of the fear of man for his sake.
My sins make me fear, but no man could do it. I would stand at his side if all the world were against him. I would count it my highest honour that the crucified One of the world should be the adored One of my heart. Let all the world cast him out, if he would but take me in, poor unworthy worm as I am, I would never be ashamed to own his blessed and gracious name"? Ah! then, do not fear, for if that is how you feel towards Christ, he will own you in the last great day.
If you are willing to own him now, " Fear not ye." I am sure I sometimes feel, when I am looking into my own heart, as if I had neither part nor lot in the matter, and could claim no interest in the Beloved at all; but, then, I do know this, I am not ashamed to be put to shame for him; and if I should be charged with being a fanatic and an enthusiast in his cause, I would count it the highest honour to plead guilty to so blessed an impeachment for his dear sake. If this be truly the language of our hearts, we may take courage. "Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified."
Then he adds, "He is not here: for he is risen." Here is the instruction which the angel gives. After giving comfort, he gives instruction. Your great ground and reason for consolation, seeker, is that you do not seek a dead Christ, and you do not pray to a buried Saviour; he is really alive.
To-day he is as able to relieve you, if you go to your closet and pray to him, as he was to help the poor blind man when he was on earth. He is as willing to-day to accept and bless you as he was to bless the leper, or to heal the paralytic. Go to him then at once, poor seeker; go to him with holy confidence, for he is not here, he would be dead if he were—he is risen, living, and reigning, to answer your request.
The angel bade the holy women investigate the empty tomb, but, almost immediately after, he gave them a commission to perform on their Lord's behalf. Now, if any seeker here has been comforted by the thought that Christ lives to save, let him do as the angel said, let him go and tell to others of the good news that he has heard. It is the great means for propagating our holy faith, that all who have learned it should teach it. We have not some ministers set apart, to whom is reserved the sole right of teaching in the Christian church we have no belief in a clergy and a laity. Believers, ye are all God's cleros—all of you. As many of you as believe in Christ are God’s clergy, and bound to serve him according to your abilities.
Many members there are in the body, but every member has its office; and there is no member in the body of Christ which is to be idle, because forsooth, it cannot do what the Head can do. The foot has its place, and the hand its duty, as well as the tongue and the eye. O you who have learned of Jesus, keep not the blessed secret to yourselves. To-day, in some way or other, I pray you make known that Jesus Christ is risen. Pass the watchword round, as the ancient Christians did. On the first day of the week they said to one another, "The Lord is risen indeed"
If any ask you what you mean by it, you will then be able to tell them the whole of the gospel, for this is the essence of the gospel, that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures—died the substitute for us criminals, rose the representative of us pardoned sinners-died that our sins might die, and lives again that our souls may live.
Diligently invite others to come and trust Jesus. Tell them that there is life for the dead in a look at Jesus crucified; tell them that that look is a matter of the soul, it is a simple confidence; tell them that none ever did confide in Christ and were cast away; tell them what you have felt as the result of your trusting Jesus, and who can tell, many disciples will be added to his church, a risen Saviour will be glorified, and you will be comforted by what you have seen !
The Lord follow these feeble words with his own blessing, for Christ's sake. Amen.