“The resurrection is the most essentially and entirely divine of all Christ’s works. It stands out forever as at once the mightiest miracle and deepest mystery connected with His redeeming work. The significance of its power is beyond all human conception or measure. For, if it be not true, the whole claim and promise of grace is confounded. But if it be true that Jesus burst the bands of death and revealed Himself as Death’s conqueror, then all the claim He ever put forth is substantiated, and all the promise He ever made is confirmed. When we view its simple and stupendous action in the Gospel records, we are face face with supreme revelation and measure of the divine power. Victory over sin and death, and a living hope for the sons of men, are its clarion notes of triumph. God in all His might is seen without any veiling medium. and we are at the same time uplifted in His greatness and humbled in our own littleness.
“Yet its story of triumphant power is wonderfully interwoven with some of the most tender and human stories which the whole history of God’s ways withn men contains. For example, what could be more beautiful than the account of that sabbath evening walk to Emmaus? And how often, indeed, has it been repeated in actual fact in this our own day, as disciples of Christ have walked together after worship on sabbath evenings? Many a time has the Risen Lord walk with them just as of old, intertwining His friendship with theirs, and affording them indubitable proofs that He is alive from the dead! Or what more simple than the record of His appearance to the eleven in the upper room, hallowed by such precious memory! Or what more heartening than His reassuring talk with the sorely puzzled Thomas? Or what could bring His tenderness nearer to the hearts of His people than His persuasive questioning of the downcast Peter, or His kindly care for the hungry fishermen in the preparation with His own hands of breakfast for them?
“All these simple and beautifully human stories are given to us as parts of the first Easter story, as though to emphasize the fact that the precious jewel of truth is to be set in the common and ordinary circumstances which go to make up the life of us all, that its beauties may be realized and reflected.”
by J. Stuart Holden (1874-1934), Vicar of St. Paul’s Church, Portman Square, London
from his message “The Unrecognized Victory” in Classic Sermons on the Resurrection of Christ