1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning [when it was yet dark - Jn 20:1], they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others [ and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were v10], with them.

Shortly after the soldiers left the garden, just before sunrise, a party of a very different character arrived -- a party of timid, defenceless women, who were apparently unaware that the grave had been in military charge. These were the two Marys and Salome and the other women who had followed the Lord out of Galilee. The several accounts of their proceedings at the sepulchre appear on a rough comparison to be inconsistent with one another, but a careful sifting of the details yield a connected and harmonious narrative

...they were coming before daylight, as the best time to carry out their purpose undisturbed

Nazareth Revisited Ch 59

3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

...they entered the sepulchre -- doubtless with lit lamps, for it was "yet dark."

...These details, though trifling in themselves, have some value in the circumstances. They prove the body had not been taken away; for the removal of the body, either in the way alleged by the chief priests, or in the way supposed at first by Mary and the two disciples, would have involved the removal of the wrappings; as no one taking the body away, for whatever purpose, could be supposed to have taken time to undo the wrappings.

They also show the practical nature of the whole transaction of the resurrection. The Lord, awaking from his short death slumber, would find himself like Lazarus, whom he raised from the dead, enswathed with cerements of the tomb, "bound hand and foot"; these he would gently undo and lay neatly aside, in the position in which John saw them lie.

His angelic liberators would provide him with the garments in which he appeared to his disciples, arraying himself in which, he would step forth into the fresh morning air with a glad feeling of healing and relief.

And he [John] stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself - Jn 20: 5-7.

These details, though trifling in themselves, have some value in the circumstances. They prove the body had not been taken away; for the removal of the body, either in the way alleged by the chief priests, or in the way supposed at first by Mary and the two disciples, would have involved the removal of the wrappings; as no one taking the body away, for whatever purpose, could be supposed to have taken time to undo the wrappings.

They also show the practical nature of the whole transaction of the resurrection. The Lord, awaking from his short death slumber, would find himself like Lazarus, whom he raised from the dead, enswathed with cerements of the tomb, "bound hand and foot"; these he would gently undo and lay neatly aside, in the position in which John saw them lie.

His angelic liberators would provide him with the garments in which he appeared to his disciples, arraying himself in which, he would step forth into the fresh morning air with a glad feeling of healing and relief.*

12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

From John's outrunning of Peter, we seem to catch a glimpse of the personal peculiarity of the two men -- John, spare and agile, and Peter, thick set and full-bodied; and, corresponding with the mental difference of the two -- John arriving first, peeped into the sepulchre, but did not enter.*

13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

Emmaus is a walking distance of seven or eight miles from Jerusalem, and the road to it lies through the hilly approaches to Jerusalem on the road from Jaffa on the seacoast. *

16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

In their eyes, he appeared an ordinary fellow-traveller on the road. In their depressed state of mind, they might have allowed him to pass without notice; but he did not allow himself to be thus ignored. We may imagine the delicious feeling with which he broke in upon their melancholy talk, knowing that his own death was the subject of it, and that he had such a delightful disclosure to make at the right moment. *

21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

They then proceeded to relate the circumstances connected with Christ's condemnation and death, in a tone that indicated their inability to understand such occurrences, and the shattering their faith had received. *

25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

(Men are glad to be charged even with folly when it means that some pressing fear is groundless.) *

Slow of heart to believe

Ignorance of "all that the prophets have spoken" is the clue to the astonishment manifested by the present generation at God's silence; Christ's long absence; the narrowness of the road to eternal life, and the infinitessimal proportion of every age that will attain thereto; that there should be so many earnest and sincere people out of the way of salvation, and that their worship should be unacceptable, the frequent bitter experience of the saints; the heresies that appear every now and again, and the divisions consequent thereupon.

All these are matters of revelation, and prove no cause of stumbling to those who know the word..

Bro AT Jannaway

The Christadelphian, Nov 1886

27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded (in a cursory way) unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

The book of Genesis represents the birth of the present terrestrial order of things and the beginning of the human race. It is pre-eminently a book of covenants and generations; in it is laid the "strong foundations" of the future age; its life and land covenant could only be purged by the blood of Christ.

This book can never be abrogated or become obsolete: its covenants of promise can never become old or vanish away. The gospel proclaimed by the apostles is but the oath-confirmed testament of this book, ratified by the death of the Messianic testator and mediator.

Genesis is the terra firma of the rest of the Bible: it represents the faith of Abraham and his spiritual posterity in all ages; the "hope of Israel" disclosed in its pages can never be superseded or made void.

It represents the birth of sin and the origin of death; also the first promise of a Deliverer. In its stable promises also it further introduces us to another glorious genesis, yet future, when all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in Abraham and his seed.

Historically it comprehends the period of time referred to by the apostles in the phrases "before the foundation of the world" (Mosaic), and "before the world began." The woman's seed was then under a patriarchal constitution of things.

The Christadelphian, Mar 1873

The cogency of his arguments struck home with healing power upon their grieved and bewildered minds. To use their own expression, their

"hearts burned within them while he talked to them by the way."

Their acquaintance with the Scriptures would enable them to recognise the appositeness of his quotations, and to feel a joyful rekindling of all the hopes and love that had grown and centred in Christ during the three and a half years of their association with him.*

28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

In such pleasant occupation, the road quickly slipped under their feet, and they found themselves in Emmaus, and at the house to which their business took them. Jesus proposed to take leave of them, but they would not hear of it. Such a roadside companion at such a time was altogether too precious to part with in the ordinary way; and there lacked not arguments to press him to stay.*

29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

Jesus yielded. He went in as if to stay with them. A meal was ordered. They sat down together to partake. They would naturally ask such a guest (though as yet ignorant of who he really was) to give thanks. Jesus complied. He gave thanks. At that moment, he removed the optical interference by which he had prevented them recognising him.

How overpowering the discovery that it was Christ himself! But no sooner had they tasted of the healing delight than the Lord withdrew it -- well, not exactly -- withdrew it only in a sense. He renewed that interference with their sight which had caused him to appear a stranger, but renewed it in a more powerful form; for now "he ceased to be seen of them" at all. He seemed to "vanish out of their sight."*

31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

In point of fact, having closed their eyes, he withdrew, and departed to Jerusalem to present himself to the whole assembly of the Apostles, when he should have given these two time to join them. These lost no time.*

32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

An exposition of Moses and the Prophets set their heart on fire-a fire which continues to burn so long as the believing mind retains, or "keeps in memory," and dwells upon the things of the Spirit revealed to them...

... Setting the heart on fire by a narrative of facts unconnected with the scriptural exhibition of the glory that shall follow, is impossible, being contrary to the nature of the human mind as God has constituted it. Cleopas was well acquainted with all the sufferings of Jesus, for he had witnessed them; yet did his Lord address him as a "Fool, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken." He "trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel."

The baptism of Jesus in suffering produced no glowing of his heart so long as he perceived no prospect of redemption for the nation through Jesus. His heart was perplexed. The disciples of Jesus looked to him as Yahweh's representative, by whom "He would put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalt them of low degree," when he would "fill the hungry with good things, and send the rich empty away;" and "help his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spake to their fathers, to Abraham and his seed for ever."

The father of John the Baptist expressed their hope in Christ when he said, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, ... . . for he hath raised up a Horn of Salvation for us (Israel) in the house of his servant David, ... that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand (power) of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life."

But when Cleopas and the rest saw only the triumph of the Serpent power over the Woman's seed, there was no burning of the heart, no "joy unspeakable and full of glory" through the crucified Nazarene. He had cast down no thrones of the mighty; he had failed to help Israel, who was still in the hand of the enemy; he had not accomplished the things promised to Abraham and his Seed; those of low degree were still in degradation, hungering after the good things denied to the rich; and he himself was to all appearance overcome. He had "drunk of the brook by the way," and had not as yet "lifted up the head," or been exalted. Could he be the king "of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write?"

To set the heart on fire we must have a comprehensive view of "all that the prophets have spoken" concerning Christ. The want of this was the weakness of Cleopas, and the cause of ours. Jesus strengthened him by showing that Moses and the prophets taught that the Christ's path to glory was through suffering. The connection between suffering and glory was the point illustrated in the conversation. Had the Christ not suffered, Yahweh's holy covenant confirmed to Abraham would have remained without force; and so no right to blessings, spiritual or political, by individuals or nations, could have been obtained.

No exaltation without trial is a principle of the divine economy which cannot be evaded by those who would attain to glory. The disciples were slow of heart to perceive this until it was so strikingly illustrated in the sufferings of Christ. These were great, but greater still the glory which absorbs the less. Paul thought nothing of them, esteeming them as mere light afflictions that were but for a moment; because they worked out for him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. In this, he followed Jesus; and exhorts us to do the same in imitating him.

But, if we would be exalted to this indomitability of mind, we must familiarize ourselves with "the glory to be revealed." This will make us invincible. The darts of the enemy will fall ineffective from our shield; and though "a spectacle by reproaches," we shall be strengthened by the might of truth, which is God's power, in the inner man, to obtain the crown of righteousness at last. Jesus "opened to them the Scriptures," that they might obtain a view of the glory to which they had been called. How inestimable a blessing is the Bible open to the understanding!

Gold and silver cannot purchase it; therefore the world is destitute of it: to the wise and learned it is sealed. Money cannot repay our debt of obligation to him who opens to us the book. Cleopas and his companion could not have recompensed Jesus for setting their hearts on fire; for the understanding of "the word of the kingdom" is life, and honour, and glory for evermore.


Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, June 1854

33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

Finishing their meal in a hurry, and exchanging excited thoughts on what had happened, they returned to Jerusalem, and made straight for the house where the eleven were gathered. *

37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

Orthodox religion - Ghostism

According to this religion, it is a matter of impossibility that Christ should drink wine again. Its idea of Christ excludes it. This idea perhaps is not very definite. So far as it can be defined, it may be expressed in the phrase, a spectral Christ-a bright "shade," a luminous form of human shape without substance or tangibility-a something that could not drink wine.

The wine should fall through it, as through a sunbeam. This idea of Christ is totally foreign to the Scriptures. It is part of the ghostism of popular theology. Popular theology makes man an immortal ghost to be saved, and therefore conceives of its saviour after the same manner.

But the Scriptures show us man a body, as we find him to be, and they give us in Christ a real Christ, a Christ of flesh and bones, who can be handled, who can exhibit marks of bodily identity, and who can eat (Luke 24:38-43)-all this after his resurrection; a Christ as real as he with whom the disciples walked and talked and kept company for three years and a half-yea more real, for as Christ was then, he was a weak and a mortal Christ, a Christ who was of the seed of David according to the flesh, made in all points like unto his brethren (Rom. 1:3; Heb. 2:16).

But as he now is, he is an immortal strong man, in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Col. 2:9), one in whose substance is focally condensed the power from which creation has sprung.

Seasons 1.93.

The disciples were thunderstruck at his presence. It was not as if he had entered in an ordinary way. The door of the room where they were assembled was "shut" in the sense of being locked, for fear of molestation from the Jews. They had not seen him open the door and come in, though it is probable he did this while holding their eyes. It was therefore a great shock to see him suddenly standing in their midst.

They were fairly overpowered for a few moments with fright. Their first thought was he must be an apparition. He spoke soothing words to them*

38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

Under his kindly words their excited feelings calmed down. They began to realise that it was really the Lord himself, and not an illusion that stood before them; and that all the rumours of his resurrection that had been flying about during the day were true. Still their doubts would struggle with their glad senses. Could it be true that the agony of that terrible crucifixion day was thus wiped out for ever? *

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

What stronger proof can we need of the substantial and tangible nature of the Spiritual body? It is the animal body purified, not evaporated into gas, or vapour.

It is a bloodless body; for in the case of Jesus He had poured out His blood upon the cross. The life of the animal body is in the blood; but not so that of the Spiritual body: the life of this resides in that mighty power which suspends "the earth upon nothing," and is diffused through the immensity of space.

When the Lord Jesus said, "a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have," He did not mean to say that a spiritual body had not; but a Spirit such as they thought they saw. "They supposed they had seen a spirit." In the received reading the same word, pneuma, is used here as in the text which speaks of Jesus as "the Lord the Spirit;" but, evidently, not in the same sense. Indeed, the reading in Griesbach's edition of the original text is clearly the correct one.

The word rendered spirit is properly fantasma, a phantom or mere optical illusion; and not pneuma, spirit. When Jesus walked upon the sea both Matthew (Matt. 14:26) and Mark j (Mark 6:49) make use of the same phrase as Luke, and say that the disciples when they saw Him, "supposed they had seen a spirit, and they cried out for fear." In both these places the word is phantasma, and not pneuma.

Having affirmed that man stands related to two kinds of body, the apostle gives us to understand, that in the arrangements of God the spiritual system of things is elaborated out of the animal, and not the animal out of the spiritual. The natural world is the raw material, as it were of the spiritual; the bricks and mortar, so to speak, of the mansion which is to endure for ever. In relation to human nature, two men are presented as its types in the two phases it is to assume.

These Paul styles "the First Adam," and "the Last Adam," or "the first man," and "the second man." The former, he terms "earthly;" because he came from the ground, and goes thither again, and, the latter, "the Lord from heaven;" because, being "known no more after the flesh," He is expected from heaven as the place of His final manifestation in "the body of His glory." Then, says John, we shall be like Him."

If, therefore, we have been successful in depicting the Lord as He is now, while seated at the right hand of God; namely, an incorruptible, honourable, powerful, living person, substantial and tangible, shining as the sun, and able to eat and drink, and to display all mental and other phenomena in perfection: if the reader be able, to comprehend such an "Image of the invisible God," he can understand what they are to be, who are accounted worthy to inherit His kingdom. Therefore, says Paul, "as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1 Cor. 15:49), or, Lord from heaven.

This corporeal change of those, who have first been morally "renewed by knowledge after the image of Him that hath created them" (Col. 3:10) -- from "sinful flesh" into spirit, is an absolute necessity, before they can inherit the kingdom of God... "That which is corruptible cannot inherit incorruptibility," says the apostle. This is the reason why animal men must die, or be transformed. Our animal nature is corruptible; but the kingdom of God is indestructible, as the prophet testifies, saying, "it shall never be destroyed, nor left to other people; but shall stand for ever" (Dan. 2:44).

Because, therefore, of the nature of this kingdom, "flesh and blood can not inherit it;" and hence the necessity of a man being "born of the spirit," or "he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5-6; 1 Cor. 15:50). He must be "changed into spirit," put on incorruptibility and immortality of body, or he will be physically incapable of retaining the honour, glory, and power of the kingdom for ever, or even for a thousand years.

Elpis Israel 1.2.

Pneumatic Phantoms

The Greek word pneuma comes from the Greek verb pneo, to blow or breathe, and therefore signifies, first, that energy or power which is breathed forth from the Creator and styled "spirit," or, that which is breathed (for spirit itself is a word of Latin origin, signifying a breathing, from spiro to breathe); second, breath, air, wind, life, mind, and all ideas arising out of these meanings.

The word translated "spirit" in Luke 24:39 ("A spirit hath not flesh and bones") is pneuma in most of the original MSS;, but Griesbach says some copies have phantasma, which is the word in a corresponding passage in Mark 6:49: "they supposed they had seen a spirit" (phantasma), that is, a phantom.

It seems probable that Luke wrote phantasma. However, apparition or phantom is one of the meanings of pneuma—that which is windy, airy, nothing, an appearance. When the disciples saw Jesus, they supposed he was a spectre and not the real Jesus. Hence, their fright. Not yet taught in all things, they possibly shared popular superstitions on the subject.

The Christadelphian, June 1874

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

While in this delicious chaos of mind, Jesus sought to establish absolute conviction; for this was now a necessity for them in the work they had by and bye to do.*

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

Taking these articles of food, he stood and ate them before them. Nothing could have been more effectually contrived for conviction as to the reality of his appearance to them. An illusion, however vivid, when ended, would leave everything as it was before; but how could that be an illusion which consumed food that could no more be found in the house when the transaction was at an end? The effect was conclusive. The disciples yielded to the evidence, and no more hesitated to indulge in the feelings of unspeakable relief and gladness brought to them by the Lord's appearance in their midst.*

*Nazareth Revisited Ch 59

We know that spirit-being can eat, as shown by the angels and the Lord Jesus after resurrection (Gen. 19:1-3; Luke 24:39-43), but we know nothing of how the food is utilised when taken into spirit-organisation. Nevertheless, we may safely draw certain conclusions.

There will be no corruption or corruptibility in the process of digestion, because of the power of the organisation. It is a law of physiology now that the assimilation of food is proportionate to the power of the organisation. Weak bodily machinery performs the process very imperfectly and passes much nutritive aliment unappropriated.

In healthy, powerful organisations, the proportion of rejected matter is much smaller. We should be justified in reasoning how small it must be in an immortal organisation, upon the analogy of this natural principle. But may we not go a step further: nay, must we not go a step further, and say, there will be no residuum at all in the digestive operations of the spirit-body, but that every atom will be consumed in the spirit-combustion at work in the body of every glorified saint?

All substances are spirit at the base, and it is probable--shall we not say inevitable--that a spirit-body has the power of assimilating spirit to spirit without natural residue? If so, there is this pleasing thought before us in the prospect of immortality, that while food may not be--cannot be--necessary for the sustenance of life in the spirit-body as it is in the natural body, yet pleasure and refreshment will be found in the partaking of food and its re-conversion into spirit without any remnant of corruption such as belongs to the present body of our dishonour?

Law of Moses Ch 31

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

The apostles who listened to the discourses of Jesus remembered little, and understood less; but the Eternal Spirit, who discoursed through Jesus, remedied this defect by afterwards bringing all things to their remembrance, opening their understandings and guiding them into all the truth (Luke 24:45; John 14:26; 16:13).

In this operation, their consciousness of what Jesus really taught, was stamped or written upon the fleshy tablets of their hearts. What they had forgotten and did not understand, was not lost. It was retained in the Spirit's, in the Father's own mind, Who afterwards photographed in their foreheads what he had said.

Eureka 14.4.

46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Three things were to be preached in the name of Jesus Christ to them who believed in the promises made of God to the fathers, These were first, repentance; secondly, remission of sins; and third, eternal life (Luke 24:44-47; John 20:31). To preach the kingdom in the name of Jesus Christ was to expound the things concerning it; and to offer them to all who would become the subjects of repentance and remission of sins in his name. Neither "flesh and blood," nor "sinners," can inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 15:50).

These are fixed principles. But, why not? Because "the kingdom shall not be left to other people," and because those, who inherit it are to possess it for ever. Now "flesh and blood" is mortal; how then can mortality inherit immortality? It is a physical impossibility. In other words, a man who only lives seventy years, cannot hold office for a thousand years; he must be made deathless before he can retain it for ever.

Again, it is a moral impossibility for sinners to possess the kingdom, because the law of the kingdom is that "he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." It is the inheritance of saints, to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Two things are therefore indispensable before Jew or Gentile can inherit the kingdom -- first, a moral purification; and secondly, a physical, or corporeal, purification. The first is compassed in obeying the truth; the last, by a resurrection unto life.

Elpis Israel 2.5.