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XXXVIII

THE FRIEND ON THE ROAD

“Jesus Himself drew near.”—Luke xxiv. 15.

THE Friend whose absence they were mourning was with them on the road. They walked in sadness because their minds were fastened upon a grave, and lo! the bars of death had been broken, and the buried One was even now at their side. They thought that the glory had departed, while all the time a greater glory had arrived. On that apparently desolate road there walked the Conqueror of death, the Lord of resurrection. It was not midnight, but sunrise with all the promise of a superlatively glorious day! They thought they were journeying westward, in the direction of spent and exhausted days; they were really journeying eastward, in the direction of a dawning of whose splendour they had never even dreamed.

And sometimes the darkness settles down 135upon our life, and we think that all is over, and the blessedness is spent. There is a grave somewhere; maybe it is the grave of a loved one, or the grave of some fair, cherished hope, or of some fond and promising ambition. And that grave seems to be as big as the world. There is nothing else in the world but that grave. There is nothing left! Oh, yes, there is! Jesus is left; and He is mightier than death, and the Lord of every grave. He is left, and in Him the graves shall give up their dead. We shall be amazed what He will “bring with Him.” Beautiful things which we thought were dead and buried will rise again in the power of His resurrection. Lovely hopes, which we thought had dropped and withered like autumn leaves, will appear again as everlasting flowers, blooming in the fair paradise of eternal life and love. And so let the assurance of this coming glory throw its brightness on the present bit of road. The Lord is with us, and in the day of unveiling, when He is revealed in all His fullness, the great surprise, next to His own holy presence, will be the once lost things which are manifested with Him in glory.

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