There are those who mocked Christ in His humiliation. With thrilling power
come to their minds the Sufferer's words, when, adjured by the high
priest, He solemnly declared: "Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man
sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."
Matthew 26:64. Now they behold Him in His glory, and they are yet to see
Him sitting on the right hand of power.
Those who derided His claim to be the Son of God are speechless now. There
is the haughty Herod who jeered at His royal title and bade the mocking
soldiers crown Him king. There are the very men who with impious hands
placed upon His form the purple robe, upon His sacred brow the thorny
crown, and in His unresisting hand the mimic scepter, and bowed before Him
in blasphemous mockery. The men who smote and spit upon the Prince of life
now turn from His piercing gaze and seek to flee from the overpowering
glory of His presence. Those who drove the nails through His hands and
feet, the soldier who pierced His side, behold these marks with terror and
With awful distinctness do priests and rulers recall the events of
Calvary. With shuddering horror they remember how, wagging their heads in
satanic exultation, they exclaimed: "He saved others; Himself He cannot
save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross,
and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He
will have Him." Matthew 27:42, 43.
Vividly they recall the Saviour's parable of the husbandmen who refused to
render to their lord the fruit of the vineyard, who abused his servants
and slew his son.
They remember, too, the sentence which they themselves pronounced: The
lord of the vineyard "will miserably destroy those wicked men." In the sin
and punishment of those unfaithful men the priests and elders see their
own course and their own just doom. And now there rises a cry of mortal
agony. Louder than the shout, "Crucify Him, crucify Him," which rang
through the streets of Jerusalem, swells the awful, despairing wail, "He
is the Son of God! He is the true Messiah!" They seek to flee from the
presence of the King of kings. In the deep caverns of the earth, rent
asunder by the warring of the elements, they vainly attempt to hide.
In the lives of all who reject truth there are moments when conscience
awakens, when memory presents the torturing recollection of a life of
hypocrisy and the soul is harassed with vain regrets. But what are these
compared with the remorse of that day when "fear cometh as desolation,"
when "destruction cometh as a whirlwind"! Proverbs 1:27. Those who would
have destroyed Christ and His faithful people now witness the glory which
rests upon them. In the midst of their terror they hear the voices of the
saints in joyful strains exclaiming: "Lo, this is our God; we have waited
for Him, and He will save us." Isaiah 25:9.
Amid the reeling of the earth, the flash of lightning, and the roar of
thunder, the voice of the Son of God calls forth the sleeping saints. He
looks upon the graves of the righteous, then, raising His hands to heaven,
He cries: "Awake, awake, awake, ye that sleep in the dust, and arise!"
Throughout the length and breadth of the earth the dead shall hear that
voice, and they that hear shall live. And the whole earth shall ring with
the tread of the exceeding great army of every nation, kindred, tongue,
From the prison house of death they come, clothed with immortal glory,
crying: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 1
Corinthians 15:55. And the living righteous and the risen saints unite
their voices in a long, glad shout of victory. All come forth from
their graves the same in stature as when they entered the tomb. Adam, who
stands among the risen throng, is of lofty height and majestic form, in
stature but little below the Son of God.
He presents a marked contrast to the people of later generations; in this
one respect is shown the great degeneracy of the race. But all arise with
the freshness and vigor of eternal youth. In the beginning, man was
created in the likeness of God, not only in character, but in form and
feature. Sin defaced and almost obliterated the divine image; but Christ
came to restore that which had been lost. He will change our vile bodies
and fashion them like unto His glorious body.
The mortal, corruptible form, devoid of comeliness, once polluted with
sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal. All blemishes and
deformities are left in the grave. Restored to the tree of life in the
long-lost Eden, the redeemed will "grow up" (Malachi 4:2) to the full
stature of the race in its primeval glory. The last lingering traces of
the curse of sin will be removed, and Christ's faithful ones will appear
in "the beauty of the Lord our God," in mind and soul and body reflecting
the perfect image of their Lord. Oh, wonderful redemption! long talked of,
long hoped for, contemplated with eager anticipation, but never fully
The living righteous are changed "in a moment, in the twinkling of an
eye." At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal
and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air.
Angels "gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of
heaven to the other." Little children are borne by holy angels to their
mothers' arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to
part, and with songs of gladness ascend together
On each side of the cloudy chariot are wings, and beneath it are living
wheels; and as the chariot rolls upward, the wheels cry, "Holy," and the
wings, as they move, cry, "Holy," and the retinue of angels cry, "Holy,
holy, holy, Lord God Almighty." And the redeemed shout, "Alleluia!" as the
chariot moves onward toward the New Jerusalem.
Before entering the City of God, the Saviour bestows upon His followers
the emblems of victory and invests them with the insignia of their royal
The glittering ranks are drawn up in the form of a hollow square about
their King, whose form rises in majesty high above saint and angel, whose
countenance beams upon them full of benignant love. Throughout the
unnumbered host of the redeemed every glance is fixed upon Him, every eye
beholds His glory whose "visage was so marred more than any man, and His
form more than the sons of men."
Upon the heads of the overcomers, Jesus with His own right hand places the
crown of glory. For each there is a crown, bearing his own "new name"
(Revelation 2:17), and the inscription, "Holiness to the Lord." In every
hand are placed the victor's palm and the shining harp. Then, as the
commanding angels strike the note, every hand sweeps the harp strings with
skillful touch, awaking sweet music in rich, melodious strains.
Rapture unutterable thrills every heart, and each voice is raised in
grateful praise: "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in
His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father;
to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever." Revelation 1:5, 6.