“What does Christ mean for us? For what do we need him? If we have learned to know ourselves guilty sinners, destitute of all hope and life in ourselves, and if we have experienced that from him came to us pardon, peace and strength, will it not sound like mockery in our ears if somebody tells us that it does not matter whether Jesus rose from the dead on the third day? It is of the very essence of saving faith that it clamours for facts, facts to show that the heavens have opened, that the tide of sinful nature has been reversed, the guilt of sin expiated, the reign of death destroyed and life and immortality brought to light.”
“There is great comfort for us in this thought that, however dim our conscious faith and the sense of our salvation, on the Lord’s side the fountain of grace is never closed, its connection with our souls never interrupted; provided there be the irrepressible demand for his presence, he cannot, he will not deny himself to us. The first person to whom he showed himself alive after the resurrection was a weeping woman, who had no greater claim upon him than any simple penitent sinner.”
Geerhardus Vos, “Rabboni!” in Grace and Glory, pp. 71, 75.
(Preparing for this evening’s Bible study on John 20 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, OPC.)
The Rev. Danny Olinger refers to the influence this sermon had on J. Gresham Machen:
After hearing Vos’s sermon “Rabboni” on John 20 during his senior year, Machen wrote his mother.
We heard this morning one of the finest expository sermons I ever heard. It was preached by Dr. Vos, professor of Biblical Theology in the Seminary. It rather surprised me. He is usually too severely theological for Sunday morning. Today, he was nothing less than inspiring. His subject was Christ’s appearance to Mary after the resurrection. Dr. Vos differs from some theological professors in having a better developed bump of reverence.