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Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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Here is a word of words! The doctrine of which, and the eventful consequence of which, involves in it all our high hopes and expectations of happiness for the life that now is, and that which is to come. The resurrection is the key-stone in the arch of the Christian faith: so that as the apostle Paul strongly and unanswerably reasons, "if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and our faith is also vain." Yea, saith the apostle, (as if he had said, and that is not the worst consequence if the doctrine be not true, for then) "we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not; for if the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised; and if Christ be not raised your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins; and then all they that are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." (1 Corinthians 15:14-18)

The subject therefore, is infinitely important and the apostle hath placed the doctrine in the clearest light possible. It is reduced to this single point—if Christ be not risen, then there is no resurrection of the dead; but if Christ be himself risen, then is he become "the first-fruits of them that slept." For by his own resurrection he gives full proof to all the doctrines he taught; and as he declared himself to be the resurrection and the life, and promised that whosoever lived and believed in him he would raise up at the last day, and in confirmation of it arose himself; hence it must undeniably follow that our resurrection is involved and secured in his. He said himself, "be cause I live, ye shall live also." (See John 11:25-26 etc; John 5:21-29; Joh 14:19)

Concerning the fact itself of our Lord's resurrection I do not think it necessary to enlarge. The New Testament is so full of the interesting: particulars, and the truth of it is so strongly confirmed by the in numerable witnesses both of the living and the dead, yea, God himself giving his testimony to the truth of it, that in a work of this kind I consider it a superfluous service to bring forward any proof. I rather assume it as a thing granted, and set it down as one of the plainest matters of fact the world ever knew, that Christ is risen from the dead. I shall therefore only subjoin under this article the observations which naturally arise out of this glorious truth, in proof also that as Christ is indeed risen from the dead, he arose not as a private per son, but the public Head of his church, which is his body, and thereby became the first fruits of them that slept.

The first view of Christ's resurrection, as connecting our resurrection with it, is the full assurance it brought with it that the debt of sin Christ under took, as our Surety, to pay, was discharged. For never surely would the prison-doors of the grave have been thrown open, and Christ let out, had not the law of God, and the justice of God both been satisfied. In that glorious moment when Christ arose from the dead, he proved the whole truth of what he had taught. "Destroy this temple;" (he said, and he spake of the temple of his body) "and in three days I will raise it up." (See John 2:18-22) And hence God the Father on this occasion is called "the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ," because by the blood of the everlasting covenant he had now fulfilled the contract on his part and God now fulfilled it in his, and in confirmation is here called the God of peace. (Hebrews 13:20)

The next view of Christ's resurrection, as including in it ours, is that as the man Christ Jesus arose, so assuredly must the bodies of all his redeemed. And as it was said by Moses to Pharaoh concerning Israel's deliverance from Egypt, "not an hoof shall be left behind," (Exodus 10:26) so it may be said of Israel's seed, not an hair of their head shall perish, much less the humblest and least of Christ's mystical body shall be lost in the ruins of the world, which at the resurrection is then to be burnt. And this resurrection of the bodies of Christ's members is secured by virtue of their union and oneness with their glorious Head; for so the character of the covenant runs—"If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:11) Sweet thought to the believer! He may truly say, I shall arise, not simply by the sovereign power of that voice that raiseth the dead, but by his Spirit which unites me to himself now, and will then quicken me to the new life in him forever. And this is the meaning of that blessed promise of God the Father to the Son—"Thy dead men shall live;"yea, saith the Lord Jesus, in answer as it were, and in a way of confirmation, "together with my dead body shall they arise." And then comes the call—"Awake and sing ye that dwell in the dust, for thy dew [the warm, reanimating, life-giving dew of Jesus in resurrection power to glory, as in regenerating power first in grace from the womb of the morning, in which Christ had the dew from his youth; Psalms 110:3] is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead." (Isaiah 26:19) Beautiful figure! the dew of herbs revives those plants which appear through the winter like dry sticks, and not the least view of herbage remains. Son of man! can these sticks live? Such will be Christ's dew to the bodies of his people. Oh, precious, precious Jesus!

One thought more on this subject of Christ's resurrection, and of his church so highly interested in it, and that is, that as Jesus's resurrection is the cause of ours, and he himself accomplisheth ours by his Spirit as a germ dwelling in us, so the blessedness of our resurrection is, that as Christ's identical body arose, so shall ours. "He will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body." Changed it will be from what it was sown in weakness, because it will be raised in power but its identity, consciousness, reality, will be the same. Here again we feel constrained to cry out, Oh, precious, precious Lord Jesus! and to say with Job, "I know that my Redeemer (or, as the words are, my kinsman Redeemer) liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, (for myself) and not another for me." (Job 19:25-27)

So much for the doctrine of the resurrection, and the unanswerable testimonies on which it is founded. The Lord strengthen all his people in the faith of it, seeing that by the resurrection of their Lord they are begotten "to this lively hope in Jesus, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for them who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." (1 Peter 1:3-5)

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Resurrection'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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