2522. “After Two Days Is The Passover.”

by on
Share:

No. 2522-43:289. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, November 1, 1885, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, June 20, 1897.

You know that after two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. {Mt 26:2}

1. One likes to know how a great commander feels before a battle. What is his state of mind, and how does he look forward to tomorrow’s struggle? While the balances are still trembling, how does he act? How does he bear himself? One likes to know the condition of heart of one’s fellow in the prospect of a great trial. There is a serious operation to be performed; how is the sufferer supported in the prospect of the surgeon’s knife and of the danger that will attend it? Or, perhaps, death itself is rapidly approaching; in what condition of heart is our departing friend? How does he anticipate the great change? I take it that it is sometimes much harder to anticipate a battle than to fight one, — more difficult to foresee an ill than it is to bear it; and, perhaps, the foresight even of death is much more trying than death itself ever proves to be for a Christian man. Can we be confident before the battle begins? Can we be calm before the clouds burst in the time of storm? Can we rest in God before the iron gate is opened, and we pass through it into the unknown world? These are questions well worth asking.

2. I thought that it would be very profitable for us if we tried to look at our Master in this condition, — the great Captain of our salvation before the battle, — the great Sacrifice led to the altar where his blood is about to be shed. How does he behave himself? May there not be something especially instructive in this last word of his, when he seems, as it were, to take off the robes of the teacher and prophet, and to put on his priestly garments? May there not be something for us to learn from the state of his mind and spirit, and from his language, just before his Passion? It is a small window, but a great deal of light may come through it. The Master said to his disciples, “You know that after two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”

3. I. The first thing I would say on these words to you, beloved in Christ Jesus, is, ADMIRE YOUR SAVIOUR. Hear him speak, and regard him in holy contemplation, so that admiration of him may be greatly aroused.

4. Admire his calmness. There is no sign of any disturbance of mind, there are no evidences of dismay, there is not even a quiver of fear, nor the least degree of anxiety about him. He does not speak boastfully; otherwise we would suspect that he was not brave. He speaks very solemnly, for it was a terrible ordeal that lay before him, look at it as he might; but still, with what true peace of mind, in what tones of quiet serenity, does he say to his little band of followers, “You know that after two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”

5. This calmness is very wonderful, because there was so much that was bitter and cruel about his approaching death: “The Son of man is betrayed.” The Saviour felt that betrayal most keenly; it was a very bitter part of the deadly potion which he had to drink. “He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me,” was a venomous drop that went right into his soul. David, in his great sorrow, had to say, “For it was not an enemy who reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he who hated me who magnified himself against me; then I would have hidden myself from him; but it was you, a man my equal, my guide, and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked into the house of God in company.” And it was a very, very, very bitter thing for Christ to be betrayed by Judas; yet he talks about it calmly, and speaks of it when it was not absolutely necessary, one would think, to mention that incidental circumstance. He might have said, “In two days I shall be crucified”; but he said, “In two days the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”

6. Do not forget, also, the extraordinary bitterness that is concentrated in that word “crucified.” Somehow, we have become accustomed to the cross, and the glory which surrounds our Lord has taken away from our minds much of the shame which is and should always be associated with the gibbet. The cross was the hangman’s gibbet of those days, it implied all the shame that the gallows could imply with us today, and more, for a freeman may be hanged, but crucifixion was a death reserved for slaves. Nor was it merely the shame of crucifixion, but it was the great pain of it. It was an exquisitely cruel death, in which the body was tormented for a considerable length of time to the very highest degree, and the nails passing through the flesh just where the nerves are most plentiful, and tearing and rending through those parts of the body by the weight which had to be sustained on hands and feet, caused torture of a kind which I will not attempt to describe. Besides that, remember, veiled beneath the words “to be crucified” lay our Saviour’s inward and spiritual crucifixion, for his Father’s forsaking of him was the essence, the extreme gall, of the bitterness that he endured. He meant that he had to die on the accursed tree, deserted even by his Father; yet he talked about it, truly with all solemnity, but yet without the slightest trace of trembling. “You know,” he said to his disciples, “that in two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”

7. Admire, then, the calm, brave heart of your Divine Lord, conscious — far more conscious than you and I can be, — of what was meant by being betrayed and being crucified, cognizant of every pang that should ever happen to him, — the bloody sweat, the scourge, the thorn-crown, the fevered thirst, the tongue cleaving to the roof of his mouth, and all the dust of death that would surround and choke him; yet he speaks of it as though it were no more an unusual event than the passover itself: “You know that after two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”

8. I want you to admire, next, your Saviour’s strong resolve, his resolute purpose to go through all this suffering so that he might accomplish our redemption. If he had willed it, he might have paused, he might have gone back, he might have given up the enterprise. You know how the flesh, in sight of all that pain and grief, cried, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me”; but here we see, before the Passion came, that strong and firm and brave resolve which, when the Passion did come, would not, could not, and did not flinch or hesitate, much less turn back. He could sweat great drops of blood, but he could not give up the work he came to do. He could bow his head to death, but he could not, and would not, cease to love his people whom he loved so much as to end his life for their sakes on the accursed tree. Here are no regrets, and no faltering. Our Lord speaks as you and I would speak of something about which our mind is quite made up, concerning which there is no room for argument or debate: “You know that after two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” If he had said, “After two years,” I could understand something of his purpose concerning an event that was so distant; but within two days to be betrayed, within forty-eight hours to be betrayed for crucifixion, and yet to talk of it so, oh my Lord, truly your love for us is strong as death, your jealousy overcomes even the grave itself!

9. Admire him, then, dear friends; let your innermost heart adore and love him. But I want you to notice also how absorbed he was in his approaching betrayal and death; that truth comes out in the words of our text: “You know that after two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” Ah, dear Lord, you spoke the truth! They knew it, and yet you spoke to them with loving partiality, for they did not really know it. They did not as yet understand that their Master must die, and that he would rise again from the dead. He had often repeated to them the assurance that it would be so; but, somehow, they had not truly believed it, understood it, or grasped it. Ah, but he had! He had; and, you know, it is the way of men who have understood a great truth to talk to others as if it was as real to them as to themselves. You remember how the spouse asks the watchmen of the city, “Did you see him whom my soul loves?” She does not tell them any name, but she talks about her Beloved as if there were no other “him” in all the world; and the Lord here so well knew, and was so totally absorbed in the great work before him, that he said to these forgetful, these ignorant disciples, “You know that after two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” Why, they had only a little while before walked with him through the streets of Jerusalem! The people had strewn the road with their garments and with branches of palm trees; scarcely had the sound of their hosannas died away out of the disciples’ ears, yet Jesus says to them, “You know that after two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified; you have not forgotten that, have you?” Ah, but they had! They were still dreaming of an earthly sovereignty, and he was dreaming of nothing, but sternly, solemnly setting his face like a flint to go to prison and to death for their redemption, and for yours, and for mine, sacredly resolved to go through with it, and even “constrained” until his baptism of blood should be accomplished, and he would be immersed in unknown depths of grief and suffering. Having all his thought taken up with that subject, our Lord therefore talked to his disciples as if they were taken up with it too. This is the language of One who is altogether absorbed with this gigantic enterprise which he has made to be the very summit of his ambition, though he knows that it will involve him in shame and death. Admire him, brothers and sisters, that he should be so taken up with the passion of winning souls as to forget everything else, and have only this on his mind, and on his lips: “After two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”

10. I cannot help adding one other thing in which I admire the Saviour; and that is, how wise he was to tell his disciples this! You see, all he cared for was their good. He was not mentioning his suffering so that he might ask for their sympathy. There is no trace of his crying, like Job, “Have pity on me, have pity on me, oh you my friends; for the hand of God has touched me.” No, our Lord told his disciples this for their sakes; first, that they might not be surprised when it happened, as though some strange thing had happened to them, — that, when he was betrayed and crucified, it might not be quite so dire a blighting of all their hopes since he had prepared them for it beforehand. And, moreover, it was intended to strengthen them when they should come into the trial, so that they should say, “It is all just as he told us it would be; how true he is! He told us about this sorrow beforehand; and, therefore, if he spoke the truth then, we will believe that all the rest that he said is also true. And did he not say that he would rise again from the dead? Then, depend on it, he will do so. He died when he said he would die, and he will rise again when he said he would rise again.” This saying of our Lord was well and wisely uttered, so that the crucifixion should not come on them as a thing unknown to him; but that, when they were in the midst of the trial, they should remember that he told them all about it, and so they would be comforted.

11. I ask you, then, dear friends, to think with reverent affection of this calm speech of your divine Master, this resolved and determined utterance, this all-absorbing thought of his concerning the purchase of his people by his blood, and this generous wisdom of his in making it all known beforehand to those who were all around him, and who truly loved him. I do not like to turn from that thought until you have in your own heart felt this intense admiration of your Lord.

12. II. But, secondly, I want to take your thoughts a little way — not from the text, — but from that particular line of meditation, and now to ask you to CONSIDER YOUR SACRIFICE.

13. The Master says, “You know that after two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” I cannot help reading it like this, — “You know that after two days is THE Passover. All the other passovers have been passovers only in name, passovers in type, passovers in emblem, passovers foreshadowing the Passover; but after two days is the real Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” At any rate, I want you to notice how true it is that our Lord Jesus Christ is our Passover: “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” What the paschal lamb was to Israel in Egypt, that the Lord Jesus Christ is to us. Let us think of that for a few minutes. Put the passover and the cross together, for indeed they are one.

14. And, first, here is a lamb. Was there another man who ever lived who was so worthy to be called a lamb, as was Jesus Christ? I have never heard or read of any character that so fully represented what must be meant by “the Lamb of God.” Other men have been like lambs, but there is a touch of the tiger about all of us at times. There was nothing of that about him; he was the Lamb of all lambs, — the Lamb of God, the most lamb-like of all men who ever lived or died, for there was no trace of anything about him that was contrary to tenderness, and love, and gentleness. There were other qualities, of course, but none that were contrary to these; there were some that were as necessary for a complete character as even gentleness was, and he failed in nothing; but, still, if you only view him from that one side of his gentleness, there was no one so worthy to be called a Lamb as he was.

15. The lamb of the passover, however, had to be perfect; it must be without spot or blemish. And where can you find the equal of Jesus for spotlessness and perfection in every respect? There is nothing redundant in him, there is nothing deficient in him; the character of the Christ is absolutely perfect, insomuch that his very enemies, who have denied his deity, have been charmed with his humanity; and those who have even tried to undermine his teaching, have, nevertheless, reverently bowed before his example. He is the Lamb of God “without blemish and without spot.”

16. The paschal lamb also had to be slain. You know how Christ was slain; there is no need to dwell on the sufferings and death of our Well-Beloved. The lamb had to be roasted with fire. That was the method by which it was prepared; and, truly, Christ our Passover was roasted with fire. Through what fiery sufferings, through what consuming griefs, did he pass! There was nothing about him that was sodden at all with water; but every bit of him was roasted with the fire of human hatred, and also with the divine and righteous ire of the thrice-holy God.

17. You remember, too, that in the paschal lamb not a bone was to be broken. Our Lord stood in imminent jeopardy of having his bones broken, for with iron bars the Roman soldiers went to break the legs of the three crucified people, so that they might die all the more quickly; but John tells us, “When they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they did not break his legs: but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he who saw it bore record, and his record is true: and he knows what he says is true, so that you might believe. For those things were done, so that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘A bone of him shall not be broken.’ And again another Scripture says, ‘They shall look on him whom they pierced.’ ” {Joh 19:32-37} In all this Christ is our true Paschal Lamb.

18. But you know, dear friends, that the chief point about the paschal lamb lay in the sprinkling of the blood. The blood of the lamb was caught in a basin; and then, the father of the family took a bunch of hyssop, dipped it in the blood, and struck the lintel and the two side-posts of the house, outside the door; then, when the destroying angel flew through the land of Egypt to strike the firstborn of men and of cattle, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who was on the throne to the firstborn of one who was in the dungeon, he passed by every house that was sprinkled with the blood; and these are the Lord’s memorable words concerning that ordinance, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” God’s sight of the blood was the reason for his passing over his people, and not striking them. And you know, beloved, that the reason why God does not strike you on account of sin is that he sees the sprinkled blood of Jesus under which you are sheltering. That blood is sprinkled on you; and when God sees it, he knows that expiation has been made, the substitutionary sacrifice has been slain, and he passes by you. So Christ is the true Passover, accepted in your place, and you are saved through him.

19. Remember, too, that the paschal lamb furnished food for a supper. It was both a security and a feast for the people. The whole family stood around the table that night, and ate the roasted lamb. With bitter herbs they ate it, as if to remind them of the bitterness of their bondage in Egypt; with their loins girt, and with their walking staves in their hands, as men who were about to leave their homes, and go on a long journey never to return, — so they stood and ate the paschal lamb. They all ate it, and they ate all of it; for not a piece of it must be left until the morning. If there was too much for one family, then others must come in to share it; and if any was left, it must be destroyed by fire. Is this not, dear friends, just what Christ is to us, — our spiritual food, the food of our souls? We receive a whole Christ, and feed on a whole Christ, — often with bitter herbs of repentance and humiliation; but still we feed on him, and we all eat the same spiritual food, even as we are all sprinkled with the one precious blood, if indeed we are the true Israel of God.

20. Oh beloved, let us bless our Lord for the true Passover! It was a night to be remembered when Israel came out of Egypt; but it is a night to be remembered even more when you and I, by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus, are once and for all passed over by the angel of avenging justice, and we live when others die; — a night to be remembered when our eager lips begin to feed on him whose flesh is food indeed, and we eat and live for ever. Is that not the teaching of this text? Did not the Saviour mean this when he said, “You know that after two days is the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified?” These two things are bracketed together; as in mathematics, there is an “equal sign” put between them to indicate that the one is equal to the other, — the feast of the Passover, and the fact that the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

21. III. Now I turn to a third point, and I think I shall have your earnest attention on that, because there is something in it which very deeply interests all of us who belong to Christ. I have already asked you to admire your Saviour, and to consider your sacrifice; now, dear friends, ADORE YOUR LORD.

22. I ask you to adore your Lord, first, for his foresight. “After two days …… the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” We cannot prophesy concerning the future. The man who can tell me what will happen in two days must be something more than a man. As for many events, it is as difficult to foresee two minutes as to foresee two centuries, unless there are some causes operating which must produce certain effects. In our Lord’s case, the influences seemed all to point away from betrayal and crucifixion. He was extremely popular; to all appearance he was beloved by most of the people; and even the scribes and Pharisees, who sought his death, were thoroughly afraid of him; yet, with that clear foresight of the eye which shines in no head but what is divine, Jesus says, “After two days the Son of man is betrayed.” He sees it all as if it had already happened; he does not say, “shall be, ” but he so fully sees it, he is such a true Seer, that he says, “The Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.”

23. Now, beloved, if he foresaw his own betrayal and death like this, let us adore him, for he can foresee our trials and death. He knows all that is going to happen to us; he knows what will happen to me within two days. I bless him that I do not; I would far rather that the eyes which see into the future should be in his head than in mine, they are safer there. But, brother, if within two days, or two months, or two years, you are to pass through some bitter agony, some scourging and buffering, which looks very improbable now, you may not see that it may be so, but there is One who sees it. The sheep’s best eyes are in the shepherd’s head, the sheep will do well enough if he can see what is just before him, especially if he can see his shepherd; that is all he needs to see. But the shepherd can see into the cold winter, the shepherd can see into the wild woods where the wolf lurks, the shepherd can see everything. And I want you, dear friends, to adore your Lord because, if in his humiliation he foresaw his betrayal and death, from the vantage-ground of his glory he can now see your griefs and your woes that are yet to come; and it ought to be enough for you that he knows all about you. He knows what your difficulty will be, and he will pray for you that your faith does not fail. Adore your Lord, then, for his foresight.

24. I want you next to adore him for his wonderful providence. There was a providence which surrounded the Christ of God at that time; it was according to the divine purpose and will that he should die at the passover, and at that particular passover, and that he should die by being betrayed, and by being crucified. Without entering into the question of the responsibility and free will of men, I am sure that the providence of their Lord and Master worked this all out. I wonder that they did not take up stones to stone him; but they could not, for he must be crucified. I wonder that they did not hire an assassin, for there were plenty in those days who would have stabbed him for a shilling. But no; he must be crucified. I marvel that they had not killed him long ago, for they did take up stones again and again to stone him; but his hour was not then come. There was a providence working all the while, and shaping his end as it shapes ours. He was immortal until his work was done. But when the two days of which he spoke should be over, he must die. With cruel and wicked hands, and of their own voluntary and evil will, they crucified and slew the Christ; yet it was all according to “the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.” I never yet pretended to explain how free-agency and absolute predestination can both be true; but I am sure that they are both true, both written in Scripture, and both facts. To reconcile them, is no business of mine or yours; but to admire how they are reconciled in fact, is a business of yours and mine, and therefore let us do so now.

25. I want you, next, to admire your Lord by recognising his extraordinary correctness as a Prophet. Let me read on beyond our text: “You know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, into the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. But they said, ‘Not on the feast day,” — notice that, — “Not on the feast day, lest there is an uproar among the people.’ ” Now, note this. It must be on the feast day, and it shall be on the feast day; yet they said, “not on the feast day.” But what does it matter what they say? Do you not observe how they were checkmated on all sides, how their purpose was like the whistling wind, and the eternal purpose stood firm in every detail? They said, “We will take him by subtilty, and kill him”; but they did not, they took him by force. They said, “We will kill him”; but they did not, for he died by the hands of the Romans. They meant to kill him privately, but they could not, for he must be hung up before high noon in the midst of the people. And, above all, they said, “Not on the feast day. Not on the feast day.” I think I hear old Caiaphas there, with all his wisdom and all his cunning, saying, “Not on the feast day,” and Annas and all the priests join in the chorus, “Not on the feast day. Postpone it a little until the million have departed, the common throng who, perhaps, would make a riot in his favour.” There they stood with their broad-bordered garments and their phylacteries, and they were of the opinion that what Caiaphas had proposed, and Annas had seconded, should be carried unanimously: “Not on the feast day.” But Christ had said, “After two days is the feast day, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” We do not know how it all came to be hurried on against their deliberate will; but Judas ran to them in hot haste, and said, “What will you give me?” and they were so eager for Christ’s death that they were beside themselves. “We will give you thirty pieces of silver,” they said; and they weighed them out to him, little thinking how quick he would be about his accursed business. Soon he comes back, and says, “He is in the garden; you can easily take him there while he is in prayer with a few of his disciples; I will conduct you there”; and before long the deed of darkness is done. These crafty, cruel men had said, “Not on the feast day”; but it was on the feast day, as Jesus had foretold that it would be.

26. Now, beloved, when our Lord tells us anything, let us always believe it. Whatever may appear to be against his statements, let us make nothing of it at all. A man in Jerusalem at that time might have said, “The Christ cannot be put to death unless these scribes and elders of the people agree to it; and you can see that they have resolved not to have it on the feast day. He will not be crucified on the passover, the whole type will break down, and it will be shown that he is not what he professed to be.” Ah, but they may say, “Not on the feast day,” until they are hoarse; but he has said, “After two days is the feast day, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified”; and so it came to pass.

27. Our Lord has said that he will come again; yet men ask, “Where is the promise of his coming?” Brothers, be sure that he will come. He has always kept his word, and he will come, as he said. Ah, but they say that he will not come to punish the ungodly who have defied him; but he will! The Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations; he shall separate them from each other as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will say to those on his left hand, “Depart, you cursed,” as surely as he will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you blessed.” Every jot and tittle that has ever fallen from the lips of Christ is sure to come to pass, for you know that he said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Rest on the eternal purpose of God, and the faithful promise of Christ, which shall never fail; for not one of Christ’s words shall fall to the ground unfulfilled. Let us adore him, then, as our true Prophet. “Very God of very God,” “the faithful and true Witness,” “the Prince of the kings of the earth,” we adore you this very hour!

28. IV. Now, fourthly, and lastly, dear friends, I want you to IMITATE YOUR EXEMPLAR.

29. I will not detain you more than a minute or two on this point; but I want you, as far as your Lord is imitable, to imitate him in the spirit of this verse. I have told you that there was no boasting in him, but that there was a deep calm and a firm resolve even in the immediate prospect of a cruel and shameful death; and I think that you should imitate your Lord in this respect. Suppose that, in two days, there shall come a “post” from the New Jerusalem to tell you that the silver cord is about to be released, and the golden bowl to be broken, and that your spirit must return to God who gave it. In such a case, it behoves you, dear follower of Christ, to receive that message with as much calmness as Christ delivered his own death-warrant, though it had to be spoken in such language as this: “You know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” It will not run like that with you; but it may be that in two days consumption will end in haemorrhage, or that old age will bring down the frail tent of your mortality, or that the disease which is now in you will drag you to the grave. Well, if it is so in two days, — ah, if it were so in two hours, or two minutes! — it is for the child of God to say, “Your will be done,” just as the Master did. Happy was that woman who said, “Every morning, before I come downstairs, I dip my foot in the river of death, and I shall not be afraid to plunge into it for the last time.” Those who die daily, as we all should, are always ready to die. I like Bengel’s notion concerning death. He says, “I do not think that a Christian should make any fuss about dying. When I am in company, and someone comes to the door, and says, ‘Mr. Bengel is wanted,’ I let the company go on with their talk, and I just slip out, and I am gone. Perhaps, after a little while, they say, ‘Mr. Bengel is gone.’ Yes, that is all; and that is how I would like to die, for God to knock at my door, and for me to be gone, without making any ado about it.”

    Strangers into life we come,
    And dying is but going home.

30. I do not think that there ought to be any jerk on the rails when we arrive at the heavenly terminus; we just run straight on into the shed where the engine stops, — indeed, into glory, where we shall rest for ever and ever. I think I have heard of a captain, who was so skilled that, when he had arranged all the steering gear, he did not have to alter a point {a} for thousands of miles; and when he came to the harbour, he had so guided the vessel that he sailed straight in. {b} If you get the Lord Jesus Christ on board the vessel of your life, you will find that he is such a skilful Helmsman that you will never have to alter your course. He will so set your ship’s heading that, between here and heaven, there will be nothing to do but to go right on; and then, suddenly, you will hear a voice saying, “Furl sail! Let down the anchor!” You will hear a little rattle of the chain, and the vessel will be still for ever in that port which is truly called, the Fair Havens.

31. That is how it should be, and I am going to finish by saying that I believe that is how it will be. If I say to you that it ought to be so, you will perhaps say to me, “Ah, sir, but I am often subject to bondage through fear of death!” Yes, but you will not be when you come to die. Oh poor Little-Faith, you want to have strength now to die with! But God knows that you are not going to die for some time yet; so what would you do with dying grace if he were to give it to you now? Where would you store it? There will be enough time to get dying grace when you come to die. Have I not seen some fidgety old folk who have been really a trouble to other people through their getting so worried and anxious? But all of a sudden there has come on them such a beautiful calm. It has been said, “Oh, grandma is so different! Something is going to happen, we feel sure.” One day, she had nothing to trouble her. Everyone could see that she was seriously unwell; but the dear old eyes sparkled with unusual brightness, and there was an almost unearthly smile on her face, and she said at night, “I do not feel quite as well as usual; I think, tomorrow morning, I shall sleep in a little later.” And she did; so they went up to her. She said that she had had a blessed night; she did not know whether she had slept, but she had seen in the night such a wondrous sight, though she could not describe what it was like. They all gathered around the bed, for they perceived that something very mysterious had happened to her; and she blessed them all, and said, “Good-bye; meet me in heaven”; and she was gone. And they have said to me afterwards, “Our dear old grandma always used to be afraid of dying; but it did not come to much when she really came to die, did it?” I have often seen it so; it is no strange story that I am telling you now. A Christian man has been so unwise as to be always fearing that he would play the fool when he came to die; and yet, when it has come to the time of night, the dear child of God, who had long been in the dark, has received his candle; his Lord has given him his bedroom-candle, and he has gone upstairs, and by its light he has passed away into the land where they need no candle, neither light of the sun, but the Lord God gives them light. I believe that many of us will die just like that; I believe that you will, my dear sister. I believe that you will, my dear brother. As your days, your strength shall be; and as your last day is, so shall your strength be. And I should not wonder if, one of these days, you or I will be heard saying, “Now, dear friends, the doctor has told me that I cannot live for long. I asked him how long, and he said, ‘Perhaps, a week,’ and I was a little disappointed that I had to wait so long.” I should not wonder if those around us should hear us say, “Well, it is only two days according to their calculations, and perhaps it will not be two days. I think that I shall go next Sunday morning, just when the bells are ringing the people into the house of prayer on earth. Just then, I shall hear heaven’s bells ringing, and I shall say, ‘Good-bye,’ and be where I have often longed to be, where my treasure is, where my Best-Beloved is.” So may it be with you all, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

{a} Point: Thirty-two points make a complete circle of 360°. One point is one-eighth of a right angle, or 11° 15’. OED. {b} 14. The voyage of a ship on the high seas seems to me to be an admirable picture of the life of faith. The sailor does not see a road before him, or any landmark or sea mark, yet is sure of his course. He relies on fixed lights in heaven, for far out he can see no beacon or light on the sea. His calculations, based on the laws of the heavenly bodies, are sure guides on a wild wilderness where no keel ever leaves a furrow to mark the way. The Late Captain Basil Hall, one of the most scientific officers in the navy, tells the following interesting incident. He once sailed from San Blas, on the west coast of Mexico; and after a voyage of eight thousand miles, occupying eighty-nine days, he arrived off Rio de Janeiro, having in this interval passed through the Pacific Ocean, rounded Cape Horn, and crossed the South Atlantic, without making land or seeing a single sail except an American whaler. When within a week’s sail of Rio, he set seriously about determining by lunar observations the position of his ship, and then steered his course by those common principles of navigation which may be safely employed for short distances between one known position and another. Having arrived within what he considered from his computations fifteen or twenty miles from the coast, he heaved to, {c} at four o’clock in the morning, to await the break of day, and then bore up, proceeding cautiously, on account of a thick fog. As this cleared away, the crew had the satisfaction of seeing the great Sugar-Loaf Rock, which stands on one side of the harbour’s mouth, so nearly dead ahead, that they did not have to alter their course more than a point, in order to make the entrance of the port. This was the first land they had seen for nearly three months, after crossing so many seas, and being set backwards and forwards by innumerable currents and foul winds. The effect upon all on board was electric, and giving way to their admiration, the sailors greeted the commander with a hearty cheer. And what a cheer will we give when after many a year’s sailing by faith we at last see the pearly gates dead ahead, and enter into the fair havens without needing to shift a degree. Glory be to the Captain of our salvation, it will be all well with us when the fog of this life’s care shall lift, and we shall see in the light of heaven. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1259, “There Go the Ships” 1250 @@ "14."} {c} Heave to: to bring the ship to a standstill by setting the sails so as to counteract each other; to make her lie to. OED.

Expositions By C. H. Spurgeon {ERV Lu 4:16-30 Joh 8:37-59}

We will read, from the 1881 English Revised Version, two passages which record attempts made to kill our Lord before his time had come. You will see, from the sermon, why we read them.

Lu 4:16-21. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and he entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And he opened the book, and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he anointed me to preach good news to the poor: he has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down: and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your ears.”

Alas, not in their hearts. They had heard Christ read the prophecy that related to himself, but they had not accepted its message.

22-27. And all bore him witness, and wondered at the words of grace which proceeded out of his mouth: and they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will say this parable to me, ‘Physician, heal yourself: whatever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in your own country.’ ” And he said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. But truly I say to you, that there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

So the Saviour taught God’s absolute right to deal out his mercies as he pleases. To that great doctrine of divine sovereignty, Christ’s hearers would not submit, even as many in the present day will not yield.

28. And they were all filled with wrath in the synagogue, —

They admired Christ’s style of speech, but when he came to that man-humbling and God-glorifying doctrine, they were filled with wrath, —

28-30. As they heard these things; and they rose up, and cast him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, so that they might throw him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way.

Joh 8:37-59. “I know that you are Abraham’s seed; yet you seek to kill me, because my word does not have free course in you. I speak the things which I have seen with my Father: and you also do the things which you heard from your father.” They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.” Jesus says to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God: Abraham did not do this. You do the works of your father.” They said to him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me: for I came down and am come from God; for neither have I come by myself, but he sent me. Why do you not understand my speech? Even because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to do the lusts of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and did not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks on his own authority: for he is a liar, and the father of lies. But because I say the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I say truth, why do you not believe me? He who is from God hears the words of God: for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not from God.” The Jews answered and said to him, “Did we not well say that you are a Samaritan, and have a demon?” Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me. But I do not seek my own glory: there is one who seeks and judges. Truly, truly, I say to you, ‘If a man keeps my word, he shall never see death.’ ” The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and you say, ‘If a man keeps my word, he shall never taste of death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing: it is my Father who glorifies me; of whom you say, that he is your God; and you have not known him: but I know him; and if I should say, ‘I do not know him,’ I shall be like you, a liar: but I know him, and keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.” The Jews therefore said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’ ” They took up stones therefore to throw at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

Spurgeon Sermon Updates

Email me when new sermons are posted:

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390