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whom the chief was "Joanna," wife of Chuza, Herod's steward; whom, therefore, in the enumeration of the women, he names next after “ Mary Magdalene," the head of the former party; then he names "the other Mary," the companion of Mary Magdalene; and after her, the rest of the women that accompanied Joanna, Luke xxiv. 10. His arrangement remarkably corresponds here to the two different parties, whom he indirectly noticed, on the evening of the crucifixion, Luke xxiii. 55, 56, as shewn in a foregoing note.
The later arrival of Joanna's party at the sepulchre, though they set out about the same time with the former, may naturally be accounted for, by the delay incident to collecting a large party of women, in different quarters of the city, who were to compose the public procession, probably from Herod's palace *, in the northern quarter, which was at least twice as far from the holy sepulchre as the houses of Peter and John, in the southern quarter, and of procuring some assistants for rolling away the stone, embalming the body, &c. Luke xxiv. 1. We may, therefore, safely conclude, that they did not reach the sepulchre before the third hour, or nine in the morning.
When they arrived, they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but they expressed no surprise thereat, concluding, probably, that it had been done by the earlier party, of whose intentions of going before them they might have been apprised, Luke xxiv. 2.
But when they entered into the tomb, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus, nor any of their friends there to explain the matter, and were much perplexed thereat. During their perplexity, lo, the two angels, who at first had held themselves invisible, now suddenly stood in human form beside them, in shining apparel. And when they were afraid, and bowed down their face to the earth, the angels said to them, Why seek ye THE LIVING One among the dead? thus gently reproving them t. He is not here, but is risen, according to his own predictions. Remember how he told you, while he was yet in Galilee, saying, THE SON OF MAN must needs be delivered
• Pilate's palace, according to Sandys, p. 152, was eight hundred paces from Mount Calvary; Herod's, which was further off, might be about a thousand paces, or nine hundred yards.
+ Non tam mansuete, ut prius; sed objurgandi modo. Euthymius.
into the hands of sinners, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his sayings, (Matt. xvi. 21, xx. 18, 19,) Luke xxiv. 3-8.
Then withdrawing, in perfect composure, from the`sepulchre, unlike the former party in this respect also, they related "all these things" to the eleven Apostles, and to all the rest of the disciples, Luke xxiv. 9.
This seems to have been the first general report of "Joanna's" party to the Apostles and disciples, and prior in point of time to the second, by the two women, the other "Mary" and Salome; and to the third, by "Mary Magdalene" singly; each growing more full and circumstantial than the preceding; but notwithstanding this, the joint reports of the women stating "these things" appeared, even to the Apostles, as idle tales, and they disbelieved them*, Luke xxiv. 10, Mark xvi. 10, 11.
This incredulity, however, of the Apostles is not to be understood too rigidly, as if it included all, without exception; John we know believed, and Peter rather distrusted than disbelieved; for upon the report of Joanna's party, as we may collect from Luke, Peter arose and ran back again to the sepulchre, hoping to see the angels at least, but he was disappointed; for stooping down to look into the tomb, he saw only the linen swathes lying as before. And he went home wondering what had happened to the body, Luke xxiv. 12. And then, probably, received the angel's message by the two women, to lessen his wonder, and afterwards Mary Magdalene's report. Luke now proceeds, according to his plan, to record the succeeding occurrences of the day.
About noon, we may suppose, two of the disciples, Cleophas or Alpheus, the husband of the other Mary, as generally supposed, and another disciple, whose name is not mentioned, set out for Emmaus, a village about threescore stadia, or seven miles from Jerusalem, westwards, by a very mountainous and rocky road †,
• The sagacity of Townson, one of the latest and best Harmonists of the resurrection, discovered a distinction between таνта жаνтa, of the 9th verse, and raura singly, of the 10th. Luke, by the former, intimating "all the circumstances" related by Joanna's 's party; by the latter, "the circumstances" related by the women in general. See his Harmony, p. 153–157. For the latter, citing John xxi. 24, Luke x. 21, as similar.
↑ See Sandys' account, p. 135, and Lieutenant Hillier's, of the Tigre, Journal of an Excursion from Acre to Jerusalem, in June 1800, who represents the road from the en
after they had heard Joanna's report, and Peter's, on his second return. Cleophas was, by affinity, a kinsman of CHRIST, and therefore deeply interested in his death and resurrection, which therefore naturally formed the subject of their discourse, Luke xxiv. 13, 14.
While they were conversing and debating together on all these late occurrences, slowly, by the way, JESUS himself, soon after they left the city, drew near, and overtook them, but he appeared to them under another form, and their eyes also were withholden from knowing him. Then he asked, What arguments are these which ye are debating with each other, as ye walk? and [why] are your countenances sad? Then Cleophas answered, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and knowest not what happened there, during these days? And he said unto them, of what kind? They answered, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who [like Moses] was a Prophet, mighty in deed and in word, before GOD and all the people; and how, [notwithstanding] our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to capital punishment, and crucified him: But we hoped that it was He who was to redeem the Israel [of GOD.] No wonder then that our countenances are sad. And beside all these, this is the third day now passing since these things happened, and we have been moreover amazed by the report of some women of our company, who went early to the sepulchre, and not finding his body there, returned, saying also, that they had seen a vision of angels, who said that He was living. Whereupon, some men of our company went to the sepulchre, and found as the women had said, [that his body was not there,] but himself they saw not, as they might have expected from the angels' report to the women. You will not wonder then at our perplexity and debates about what credit is due to the women's testimony. For that this was the chief subject of debate between these disciples, we may infer from the reception it met from the Apostles themselves, Luke xxiv. 15-24.
Then JESUS blamed them for their disbelief. O ye inconsiderate and slow hearted to believe in all the sayings of the Prophets on this subject! Ought not THE CHRIST to have
trance of the mountains to Jerusalem as bad beyond description, and rocky, and so narrow, that only one horse could pass at a time-" a most dreadful road" in the neighbourhood of the city,
suffered thus, and then to enter into his glory? After this gentle rebuke, in order to inform their ignorance, beginning from Moses and all the succeeding Prophets, to whom they had tacitly referred in their character of himself, as "mighty in deed and in word," in miracles and doctrine, he thoroughly expounded to them, in all the Scripture prophecies, the circumstances concerning himself, Luke xxiv. 25-27.
During this most interesting conversation, while their heart was burning within them, glowing with rapture and delight, as he spake unto them by the way, and as he thoroughly opened to them the Scripture prophecies, (so they afterwards declared, wondering at their own stupidity in not knowing Him sooner, who spake as never man spake,) they drew nigh to Emmaus, about the third hour after noon, or the first evening, when the sun had declined. Compare Luke ix. 12, with Mark vi. 35, Matt. xiv. 15. And he made a shew of going further, but they pressed him to stay with them, and take some refreshment, on account of the lateness of the day; so he consented. And as they reclined at table, he resumed his own appearance and manner, at the institution of the Lord's Supper, for he took the bread and blessed, and brake, and distributed to them. This significant action thoroughly opened their eyes, and they knew him, but he became invisible to them.
And they arose, the same hour, and returned towards Jerusalem, to communicate the joyful intelligence to the Apostles and Disciples, Luke xxiv. 28-33.
JESUS kindly shewed himself to Peter, singly, the first of all his Apostles, to assure him of perfect reconciliation and restoration to favour, by this mark of regard and distinction; and considerately, also, after Peter had been properly prepared for an interview, which he must have dreaded as much as he desired, by the reports of the women, growing successively stronger, and perhaps, by conversation with his friend John, to whom CHRIST'S appearance was unnecessary. The appearance only, without any particulars, is noticed by Luke, xxiv. 34, and by Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 5.
It is remarkable, that the first credence of the resurrection, given by the Apostles and the rest of the disciples, was to Peter's testimony: declaring to Cleophas and his companion on their return, "THE LORD is really risen, and hath appeared unto Simon!" They thought he had risen spiritually indeed, but
they disbelieved his bodily resurrection, Luke xxiii. 33, 34, Mark xvi. 13.
Cleophas did not return till after supper, to the assembled company of the Apostles and Disciples, and while he and his companion were relating to them the transactions on the way, and at Emmaus, where THE LORD had discovered himself; during the conversation, JESUS himself stood suddenly in the midst of them, although the doors had been shut for fear of the Jews, and said unto them, Peace be unto you! his usual mode of salutation. But they were terrified and affrighted, supposing that they saw a spirit, and not his bodily presence; for they could not conceive how he entered*, Luke xxiv. 35-37, John xx. 19.
Then he kindly condescended to remove their prejudices; and said to them, Why are ye alarmed, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me and see †, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye behold me have. And when he had so said, he shewed them his hands and his feet, and his side, in which were the marks of the nails, and of the spear, Luke xxiv. 3840, John xx. 20.
Still further to remove their doubts, while they distrusted for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye any eatable
The doors might have opened and shut again of their own accord, as on other occasions of celestial apparitions, Acts v. 19, xii. 10, xvi. 26, &c. But it is not for puny and presumptuous mortals to limit OMNIPOTENCE, Psalm lxxviii. 41.
+ It appears from the stupendous occurrences of this day, that OUR LORD and his holy angels can assume to themselves bodily organs, and vary their forms at pleasure; that they can perform animal functions, eat and drink, &c. But all these were nothing more than occur in THE OLD TESTAMENT. THE LORD and his two angels appeared in human form to Abraham, and ate and drank with him, and with Lot, Gen. xviii. 1—8, xix. 1-3. The incredulity, therefore, of the disciples, shewed ignorance or disbelief of their own Scriptures, in which such instances were familiar. How Peter, in particular, who had witnessed the raising of Lazarus, and others, from the dead, could doubt what became of his body at the tomb, is really surprising, especially after CHRIST's declaration that he had authority from THE FATHER, to lay down his life, and to resume it again, of his own accord. The disciples certainly were exceedingly dull of apprehension, all except John, who shewed another instance of his sagacity, John xxi. 7.
The disciples distrusting for joy, is an admirable trait of human nature. Nothing is more common than to doubt an intelligence that we most earnestly desire and long for. When Jacob was told that his darling son Joseph was not only "alive," but " governor over all the land of Egypt," or a mighty prince, "his heart fainted, for he believed it not." And it was not until he was told of his conversation with his brethren, and that he actually "saw the waggons which Joseph had sent to carry him, that "the spirit of