He died a real death, but now he lives a real life, he did lie in the tomb, and it was no fiction that the breath had departed from him: it is equally no fiction that our Redeemer liveth. The Lord is risen indeed. He hath survived the death struggle and the agony, and he lives unhurt: he has come out of the furnace without so much as the smell of fire upon him. He is not injured in any faculty; whether human or divine. He is not robbed of any glory, but his name is now surrounded with brighter lustre than ever. He has lost no dominion, he claims superior rights and rules over a new empire. He is a gainer by his losses, he has risen by his descent. All along the line he is victorious at every point.
Never yet was there a victory won but what it was in some respects a loss as well as a gain, but our Lord’s triumph is unmingled glory – to himself a gain as well as to us who share in it. Shall we not then rejoice? What, would ye sit and weep by a mother as she exultingly shows her new-born child? Would you call together a company of mourners to lament and to bewail when the heir is born into the household? This were to mock the mother’s gladness. And so to-day shall we use dreary music and sing dolorous hymns when the Lord is risen, and is not only unhurt, unharmed, and unconquered, but is far more glorified and exalted than before his death?
From "Sorrow At The Cross Turned Into Joy," delivered November 3, 1878.