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Seeking the Living Among the Dead

(9)

Sermon shared by A. B. Simpson

October 2009
Summary: How often since have men sought for Christ where He could not be found! A classic sermon by A. B. Simpson.
Denomination: *Other
Audience: General adults
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of many a church with a dead man in the pulpit and dead men in the pews and the entire ritual that of a solemn funeral. The tasks and fasts and penances and ceremonial rites which constitute the religion of many people are but the cerements of the dead, the grave clothes which the Master threw away that morning when He rose. This is not Christianity. The true religion of Jesus robes itself in garments of love and liberty and joy and goes forth to live for others and to bless the world.

It is remarkable that no mention is made of the Lord’s apparel after His resurrection. We read of His seamless robe left behind Him when they nailed Him to the cross, and of the linen which they wrapped about Him at His burial and which they found, after His resurrection, neatly folded and laid away in the tomb; but nothing is said about His raiment as He appeared again and again to them. It is not probably true that the robes He wore were part of His very flesh, a living drapery that grew as naturally as the flowers of Spring and the tints of the rainbow our of the glorified life that was springing within Him? These will be no doubt the garments our resurrection bodies will take on as part of our very organism, the beauty and glory of our inner life, and, like the sunlit clouds of heaven, will change every moment with new attractions and splendors. So true Christianity does not need to be dressed in the cowl of the monk and the vestments of the choir and the elaborate ceremonial of Ritualism and Romanism. Its appropriate dress is the garment of praise, the mantle of love and the girdle of service as it goes forth in the glory of resurrection life and heavenly love to represent the Master in this world of sin and sorrow, and stands like the ancient vision of Solomon, bright "as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners." God give us this true Christian adorning and heavenly vestments compared with which our Easter fashions are but as "filthy rags."

Dead Souls

The question of our text might be asked of those who are seeking for spiritual life among the dry bones of our fallen human nature. Oh, ye that are trying to improve yourselves, to reform your lives, to build up your characters and to cultivate the fruits and grace of higher ethics and calling this religion, "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" Human nature is dead and beyond the power of self-improvement. God has simply provided for its burial and its resurrection life through the risen Christ. That is the meaning of this Easter day: the sentence of death has passed upon all man’s best endeavors and the only hope of our fallen race is the new birth and the resurrection life through Jesus Christ. It is interesting to trace through the Scriptures the manifest truth that the first generation has always been a failure, and that it is the second birth that triumphs and remains. The first Adam fell, the second Adam achieved the destiny of humanity. The first Eden was lost forever, but the new heavens and the new earth shall bring back paradise restored. Eve’s first son cruelly disappointed her; the second born and the third became the seed of promise. The old world passed out in the flood and the new world emerged under the arch of the rainbow on Mt. Ararat as a type of the great resurrection which Christ was to bring. Abraham’s first born, Ishmael,
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