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voice and shout of triumph, as an everlasting evidence that sin is pardoned, peace procured, God's justice reconciled, and heaven 'opened: so that, believers, ye may well shout, “ The Lord is risen.” And as you survey what has been deliyered in the light of faith, ye may, view yourselves in Christ, with pleasure and make your boast of him, for he has left you no room nor cause to have a single doubt respecting his love to you: his salvation as finished, and his complete victories. And it is sweet to view death as spoiled of its sting by Christ: to. consider death, as it respects believers, is but sleeping in Jesus, it is but a being “absent from the body, and being present with the Lord.” Death doth not dissolve the union between Christ and his, therefore, believers that are already departed, are said:“ to sleep in Jesus.” (1. Thess. iv. 14.) To be “the Lord's.” (Rom. xiv. 8.) To he“ the dead which die in the Lord.” (Rev. xiv. 13.) The everlasting covenant of grace extends unto the bodies as well as the souls of believers. God is said to be the God of Abraham,Isaac, and Jacob, after their death, and
that not only in regard of their souls, but of their bodies also ; (Matt. xxii. 31, 32.) otherwise how can that place be argumentative of the resurrection? and Christ being risen as the surety, common head, and public representative of all his, so we shall be raised by virtue of our union to him, as the fruit of his resurrection for us, in a divine conformity to him, wearing his image, bearing his likeness. “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Our bodies and souls, in every faculty and part will be fitted for Christ, to take in and receive glory from him. And as Christ's resurrection was his first step of advancement to glory; so will it be to us. As he being raised, lived forty days here below; so will the elect live and reign with Christ a thousand years in the kingdom-state. As he was advanced from hence to heaven and primordial glory, to sit at the right hand of the Majesty on high; so the bride, the Lamb's wife, the queen of heaven, will, in conformity to Christ her head, be advanced from the New Jerusalem state, to that of the ultimate glory.
But I pass on, and proceed, thirdly, to shew that this very act of God's, his raising up Jesus from the dead, is our security of his performing all his promises to us, as his elect, even all the blessings of the everlasting covenant.
God by raising Christ from the dead, in and by that act fulfilled his past promises, as all his promises were virtually contained therein, and gave security for the full accomplishment, and performance of future ones, which gives virtue and being to them. For as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no inore to return to corruption, he saith on this wise, “ I will give you the sure mer. cies of David.” When Christ arose, then said God of him,“ This day have I begotten thee.” Now thou appearest and lookest like that Son of mine, I rejoiced in from everlasting; and now first thou hast recovered that primitive glory, thou hadst in repute with me, as God-man be. fore the world was. It was impossible for Christ to be holden of death, not only in respect of his power, but in respect of justice, for having borne the sorrows of death, death could not hold him; the law of God, the justice of God, said, “ Deliver the prisoner, for he hath satisfied,” and being raised up from the pit of corruption, no more to return unto it, “all the sure mercies of David,” are confirmed and made sure. God performs those promises, and bestows those blessings, which out of his free grace, and in faithfulness he promised to David, (Psalm Ixxxix. 4, 19.) concerning the Messiah, his not seeing corruption, and his eternal throne and kingdom, by raising first from the dead; and Christ was raised to convey to us“ the sure mercies of David,” to bestow, and apply all mercies to us, for he arose for our justification, for our sanctification, and for our resurrection, and to give us the highest security for all new-covenant mercies, which security was intended by God in the very act of raising Christ. If it be asked, What were those sure mercies of David ? the answer is, the promise of an everlasting covenant, as appears from the 55th of Isaiah, from whence the words in our text are cited.
again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant." The shedding of Christ's blood established, ratified, confirmed, and sealed every article of it for ever, and makes it everlasting ; upon this the God and Father of Christ, as the God of peace, brought him back from the dead, evidencing hereby the efficacy of Christ's blood-shedding and death; and has ensured to the elect, that he will give and bestow upon them all the mercies, blessings and benefits which Christ obtained by his sacrifice. These mercies are styled in the margin, holy, or just things, others render it the covenanted things of David. All those blessings of healing, cleansing, peace, pardon, justification, yea, all which belong unto, and flow from, the covenant of
grace, were given to Christ for us, are safe in his hands; he hath by his work of mediation opened a way whereby these are conveyed to us, consistent with all the glory of the divine perfections. And as his death was necessary to the intent that we might receive these sure mercies according to the divine council and cove