The Resurrection And Ascension Of Our Lord -- By: E. Robinson
BSac 2:5 (Feb 1845) p. 162
The Resurrection And Ascension Of Our Lord
Prof, in Union Theol. Sem., New York.
The great fact of the resurrection of our Lord from the dead, by which “he was declared to be the Son of God with power,”1 and in which “God fulfilled unto the children the promise made unto their fathers,”2 stands out everywhere prominently on the pages of the New Testament, as one of the cardinal doctrines of the Christian’s faith, and the earnest of his own future resurrection. The burden of Paul’s preaching was, “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”3 The apostle goes on likewise strongly to affirm, that “if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and 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.” 4
Yet with all this certainty as to the great fact itself, it is no less true, that in respect to the circumstances connected with this important event, difficulties are presented to the mind even
BSac 2:5 (Feb 1845) p. 163
of the sincere inquirer, by the different manner in which the four Evangelists have placed these circumstances on record. Not that the facts recorded by them are in a single instance inconsistent with each other; but the main difficulty lies in harmonizing the four accounts in such a way as to bring out a full and complete order and sequence of the events, so natural and consistent as to commend itself to the understanding of all. To do this in any good degree there must,, be introduced something of hypothesis. Certain things must be assumed as links, to connect facts otherwise isolated. Now there is of course, just here, room for difference of taste and of judgment, as also some scope for fancy; and it has therefore come to pass, that while few, if any, honest minds have ever been driven into unbelief by these alleged difficulties, yet on the other hand hardly any two interpreters have ever followed precisely the same track in harmonizing the four narratives of the sacred writers. It is also true, that more of these apparent difficulties are found in this short section of the Gospel history, than in almost all the rest.
One fruitful source of apparent or alleged difficulty in the case before us, is the proneness of the reader to take it for granted, that each evangelist would natura...
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