J. G. Bellett.
Christian Friend vol. 18, 1891, p. 154.
How significant of the heart of man it was when Herod, hearing of the works of Christ, said, "It is John, whom I beheaded." A bad conscience is a very lively principle. It acts at once. It takes alarm at the shaking of a leaf. It makes cowards of us all. So was it with king Herod. His conscience kept the image of the murdered man before him, and the thought that John was risen was something of hell itself to him.
The resurrection of a murdered man is terrible to the murderer, for it tells him that the God in whose hands are the issues of life and death has put Himself on the side of his victim.
And thus, beloved, will it be, as between the Lord Jesus in the day of His manifestation and the world. As Herod beheaded John, so has this world cast out the Son of God. And as Herod was all dismay and terror, when he thought that John might be risen from the dead, so will the kings of the earth, the mighty men and the princes, the bondmen and the free men, call on the rocks and the hills to cover them from the face of the Lord in the day of the revelation of His power. (Rev. 6:16.)
This experience of Herod has therefore a voice in it for the world that persists in turning its back upon Jesus. The fact of His resurrection is hid from men; they go on as if there was no such thing. They eat and drink and rise up to play; but the crucified Jesus is risen. The Man whom men despise is glorified, and the day when this is manifested will be as terrible and insufferable to the world as the fear that the Baptist was risen was intolerable to the conscience of Herod.
I feel we may use this fact, recorded in Mark 6:14-16, when speaking to men who go on with the course and spirit of the world as though Jesus had never been here rejected and crucified by man, and raised and exalted by God. God and the world are at issue about Jesus. He whom the world murdered, God has glorified. The judgment of the world must follow; and therefore the apostle testifies, "He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead." J. G. B.