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From Heaven With Love

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    Many Turn to Bible Study

    From the crucifixion to the resurrection many sleepless eyes were searching the prophecies, some to find evidence that Jesus was not what He claimed to be, and others searching for proofs that He was the true Messiah. Though searching with different objects in view, all were convicted of the same truth—prophecy had been fulfilled; the Crucified One was the world's Redeemer. Many never again took part in the paschal rites. Many even of the priests searched the prophecies and after His resurrection acknowledged Him as the Son of God.HLv 516.4

    Nicodemus remembered Jesus’ words spoken by night in the Mount of Olives: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:14, 15. The words Jesus had spoken to him were no longer mysterious. He felt that he had lost much by not connecting himself with the Saviour during His life. The prayer of Christ for His murderers and His answer to the dying thief spoke to the heart of the learned councilor. Again he heard that last cry, “It is finished,” spoken like the words of a conqueror. His faith was forever established. The event that destroyed the hopes of the disciples convinced Joseph and Nicodemus of the divinity of Jesus.HLv 517.1

    Never had Christ attracted the attention of the multitude as now that He was in the tomb. People brought their sick to the temple courts. On every side was heard the cry, We want Christ the Healer! The friendly hands of Jesus that never refused to touch with healing the loathsome leper, were folded on His breast. The lips that had answered his petition, “I will; be thou clean” (Matthew 8:3), were now silent. Many were determined to have the living Christ among them again. With persistent earnestness they asked for Him. But they were driven from the temple courts, and soldiers were stationed to keep back the multitude with their sick and dying.HLv 517.2

    The sufferers sank under their disappointment. The sick were dying for want of the healing touch of Jesus. Physicians were consulted in vain; there was no skill like that of Him who lay in Joseph's tomb.HLv 517.3

    To thousands of minds came the conviction that a great light had gone out of the world. Without Christ, the earth was darkness. Many whose voices had swelled the cry, “Crucify Him, crucify Him,” now realized the calamity that had fallen upon them.HLv 517.4

    When the people learned that Jesus had been put to death by the priests, inquiries were made. The particulars of His trial were kept as private as possible, but reports of the inhumanity of the priests and rulers were circulated everywhere. Men of intellect called on these priests and rulers to explain the prophecies concerning the Messiah. While trying to frame some falsehood in reply, they became like men insane. The prophecies that pointed to Christ's sufferings and death they could not explain.HLv 518.1

    The priests knew they were meeting the severe censure of the people. The ones they had influenced against Jesus were now horrified by their own shameful work. These priests trembled for fear that Christ would Himself rise from the dead and again appear before them. They remembered that He had said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19. Judas had told them the words spoken by Jesus on the last journey to Jerusalem: “The Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles ... to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again.” Matthew 20:18, 19. They remembered that Christ's predictions had so far been fulfilled. Who could say that this also would not come to pass?HLv 518.2

    They longed to shut out these thoughts, but they could not. The image of Christ would intrude on their minds, serene and uncomplaining before His enemies, suffering without a murmur their taunts and abuse. An overpowering conviction came to them that He was the Son of God. He might at any time stand before them, the accused to become the accuser, the slain to demand justice in the death of His murderers.HLv 518.3

    Though they would not step over a Gentile's threshold for fear of defilement, on the Sabbath they held a council concerning the body of Christ. “The chief priests and the Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night, and steal Him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error will be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.” Matthew 27:62-65.HLv 518.4

    The priests gave directions for securing the sepulcher. A great stone had been placed before the opening. Across this stone they placed cords, sealing them with the Roman seal. A guard of one hundred soldiers was then stationed around the sepulcher to prevent it from being tampered with. Jesus was sealed as securely in His tomb as if He were to remain there through all time.HLv 519.1

    But the efforts made to prevent Christ's resurrection are the most convincing arguments in its proof. The greater the number of soldiers placed around the tomb, the stronger would be the testimony that He had risen. Roman arms were powerless to confine the Lord of life within the tomb. The hour of His release was near.HLv 519.2

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