After two days will He revive us (or quicken us, give us life,) in the third day He will raise us up - The Resurrection of Christ, and our resurrection in Him and in His Resurrection, could not be more plainly foretold. The prophet expressly mentions “two days,” after which life should be given, and a “third day, on” which the resurrection should take place. What else can this be than the two days in which the Body of Christ lay in the tomb, and the third day, on which He rose again, as “the Resurrection and the life” John 11:25, “the first fruits of them that slept” 1 Corinthians 15:20, the source and earnest and pledge of our resurrection and of life eternal? The Apostle, in speaking of our resurrection in Christ, uses these self-same words of the prophet; “God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us - hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up and made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” Ephesians 2:4-6.
The Apostle, like the prophet, speaks of that which took place in Christ our Head, as having already taken place in us, His members. : “If we unhesitatingly believe in our heart,” says a father, “what we profess with our mouth, we were crucified in Christ, “we” died, “we” were buried, “we” also were raised again on that very third day. Whence the Apostle saith, “If ye rose again with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God” Colossians 3:1. “As Christ died for us, so He also rose for us. “Our old man was nailed to the wood, in the flesh of our Head, and the new man was formed in that same Head, rising glorious from the tomb.” What Christ, our Head, did, He did, not for Himself, but for His redeemed, that the benefits of His Life, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, might redound to all. life did it for them; they partook of what He did.
In no other way, could our participation of Christ be foretold. It was not the prophet’s object here, nor was it so direct a comfort to Israel, to speak of Christ’s Resurrection in itself. He took a nearer way to their hearts. He told them, “all we who turn to the Lord, putting our whole trust in Him, and committing ourselves wholly to Him, to be healed of our wounds and to have our griefs bound up, shall receive life from Him, shall be raised up by Him.” They could not understand “then,” how He would do this. The “after two days” and, “in the third day,” remained a mystery, to be explained by the event. But the promise itself was not the less distinct, nor the less full of hope, nor did it less fulfill all cravings for life eternal and the sight of God, because they did not understand, “how shall these things be.” Faith is unconcerned about the “how.” Faith believes what God says, because He says it, and leaves Him to fulfill it, “how” He wills and knows. The words of the promise which faith had to believe, were plain. The life of which the prophet spoke, could only be life from death, whether of the body or the soul or both. For God is said to “give life,” only in contrast with such death. Whence the Jews too have ever looked and do look, that this should be fulfilled in the Christ, though they know not that it has been fulfilled in Him. They too explain it ; “He will quicken us in the days of consolation which shall come; in the day of the quickening of the dead; he will raise us up, and we shall live before Him.”
In shadow, the prophecy was never fulfilled to Israel at all. The ten tribes were never restored; they never, as a whole, received any favor from God, after He gave them up to captivity. And unto the two tribes, (of whom, apart from the ten, no mention is made here) what a mere shadow was the restoration from Babylon, that it should be spoken of as the gift of life or of resurrection, whereby we should live before Him! The strictest explanation is the truest. The “two days” and “the third day” have nothing in history to correspond with them, except that in which they were fulfilled, when Christ, “rising on the third day from the grave, raised with Him the whole human race” .
And we shall live in His sight - Literally, “before His Face.” In the face, we see the will, and mind, the love, the pleasure or displeasure of a human being whom we love. In the holy or loving face of man, there may be read fresh depths of devotion or of love. The face is turned away in sorrowful displeasure; it is turned full upon the face it loves. Hence, it is so very expressive an image of the relation of the soul to God, and the Psalmists so often pray, “Lord lift up the light of Thy countenance upon us; make Thy Face to shine upon Thy servant; God bless us, and cause His Face to shine upon us; cast me not away from Thy presence or Face; look Thou upon me and be merciful unto me; look upon the Face of thine anointed; how long wilt Thou hide Thy Face from me? hide not Thy Face from Thy servant” (Psalms 4:6; Psalms 31:16 (from Numbers 6:25); Psalms 67:1; Psalms 80:7; Psalms 119:135; Psalms 51:11; Psalms 119:132; Psalms 84:9; Psalms 13:1; Psalms 69:17, etc.); or they profess, “Thy Face, Lord, will I seek” (Psalms 27:8; see Psalms 24:6; Psalms 105:4); or they declare that the bliss of eternity is in “the Face of God” Psalms 11:7; Psalms 16:11; Psalms 17:15.
God had just said, that He would withdraw His presence, until they should “seek” His “Face;” now He says, they should “live before His Face.” To Abraham He had said, “Walk before Me” Genesis 17:1, literally, “before My Face, and be thou perfect.” Bliss from the Creator, and duty from the creature, answer to one another. We “live in His sight,” in the way of duty, when we refer ourselves and our whole being, our courses of action, our thoughts, our love, to Him, remembering that we are ever in His presence, and ever seeking to please Him. “We live in His sight,” in the bliss of His presence, when we enjoy the sense of His favor, and know that His Eye rests on us in love, that He cares for us, guides us, guards us; and have some sweetness in contemplating Him. Much more fully shall we live in His sight, when, in Him, we shall be partakers of His Eternal Life and Bliss, and shall behold Him “face to face,” and “see Him as He is,” and the sight of Him shall be our bliss, “and in His light we shall see light” Psalms 36:9.
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