Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Christ With Us in Death and Resurrection; Genesis 23:2-4
The subject of this chapter is that common place subject which belongs to our nature universally, and forms a part in the history of all persons and families.
Death (here we are told) makes an inroad into the house of Abraham, and takes away Sarah, the desire of his eyes, with a stroke.
"And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same [is] Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. 3 And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying, 4 I [am] a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight" (Genesis 24:3-4).
How sweetly David made use of the same expression, and converted it into a motive for prayer.
Reader! while we behold Abraham parting with his beloved Sarah, and desiring to bury her remains out of his sight; think what a blessed relief it is to consider that the covenant relationship with Jesus rots not in the grave.
When the comeliness of His people is turned to corruption, their ashes are equally precious to Him as when their bodies were animated.
Yes, Thou dearest Redeemer, the covenant of redemption holds good as ever in the grave; by Thy death Thou hast slain the enmity of the grave: and by Thy resurrection secured the resurrection of Thy people.
Death as well as life is ours, if Jesus be ours; 1 Corinthians 3:22-23.
I detain the reader but with two reflections on this chapter. May the Holy Ghost increase them largely, and profitably, to his mind!
• The one is, that in the confirmation of God's promises to Abraham, to give him Canaan for an everlasting possession, the first spot of it which he could truly call his own was his burying-place.
This was indeed possessing it, until the glorious morning of a resurrection.
• The other is, from hence the first sound of that sweet declaration was made, which John in after ages heard more distinctly: Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.
These all died in faith, said the Apostle.
They fell asleep in Jesus.
Lord, grant me the same faith. May it be my portion that, wherever the Machpelah for my earthly house may be, Jesus may receive my soul: and may it be found in that hour that I have a building with God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.