"Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). As deep and varied as are the necessities of the believer's soul, they are all met by the death and resurrection of Christ.
If the question of sin affects the believer's soul, the resurrection is the glorious proof of the complete putting away of it. The moment I see Jesus at the right hand of God, I see an end of sin; for I know He could not be there if sin was not fully atoned for. On the cross He stood as our Representative, He took upon Him our iniquities, and went down into the grave under the weight thereof. "But God raised Him from the dead" (Acts 13:30), and by so doing, expressed His full approval of the work of redemption.
Along the trying and often difficult path of Christian testimony, we find that Jesus risen is a sovereign remedy for all the ills of life. This is happily exemplified for us when Mary goes to the tomb early in the morning (Mark 16; John 20). Her heart was not only sad at the loss of her gracious friend, but also tried by the difficulty of removing the stone from the mouth of the cave. The resurrection removed both her sorrow and her burden.
We may, as Mary, feel like crying out, "Who shall roll … away the stone?" Who? The risen Jesus. Apprehend resurrection, and you are raised above the influence of every burden. Our burdens will not vanish, but they will no longer sink us into the dust, because our hearts are buoyed up by the blessed truth that our Lord is risen from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of God. When we see that our place is there with Him, faith leads the soul upward, even into the holy serenity of the Divine presence, and it enables us to cast our burdens on the Lord, assured that He will sustain them for us.
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John 11:25).
Have our hearts been broken and bereaved by the stern, rude hand of death? What is the remedy? Resurrection, that great restorer, heals, soothes and binds up our hearts by securing the restoration and reunion of all who have gone in faith before. It tells us to "sorrow not, even as others which have no hope, for if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him" (1 Thessalonians. 4:13,14). It is said that "time heals all wounds," but to the Christian time is a poor substitute for resurrection and its immortal joys.
In John 20:19 we read: "When the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said unto them, Peace be unto you." The Lord Jesus remedied the fear of His poor disciples by coming into their midst and associating Himself with them in all their circumstances. It was not so much a question of actual deliverance from the matter that caused the fear, but rather raising their souls above it by fellowship with Himself. They forgot the Jews, they forgot their fear, they forgot everything, because their souls were occupied with their risen Lord.
The Lord's way is often to leave His people in their trials and then to be with them therein. Paul desired to get rid of his suffering, but the Lord's answer was, "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Corinthians 12:9). It is a far richer mercy to have the grace and presence of Jesus in the trials of life, than to be delivered from them. The Lord allowed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be cast into the fiery furnace, but He came down and walked with them in it (Daniel 3). This was an infinitely more powerful display of His grace and love than if He had kept them from being cast in.
May it be our heart's desire to find ourselves in company with the risen Lord as we pass through this trying scene. Then, whether it be the furnace of affliction or the storm of persecution, we shall have peace. Whether it be the bereavement of the heart, the burden of the shoulder, the difficulty of the mind, or the fear of the heart, all will be remedied by fellowship with Him who was raised from the dead.