The Last Days of Jesus
by David T Myers
On this date, February 1, Thomas V. Moore was born in Newville, Pennsylvania in 1818. And for our post on this same date in 2014, Wayne Sparkman wrote an excellent biography of his life and ministry in these United States and later the Confederate States of America. Our readers are urged to read that account to get an understanding of his times in the Presbyterian church, both north and south. My fellow author of these posts spoke of him being “a prolific author,” and it is to that description that I would like to write on This Day in Presbyterian History.
One of his books is entitled The Last Days of Jesus. Written in 1858, it is an account of the appearances of our risen Lord during the forty days between the Resurrection and Ascension.
Consider his excellent summary of what little Scripture reveals of the actual scene of the resurrection of our Lord. He writes:
“The question may naturally be asked, Why . . . were the death and the ascension made to occur in the presence of witnesses, whilst the resurrection, an event that is declared to lie at the foundation of the whole system of Christianity, was witnessed by none? Why did not Christ rise in the presence of a crowd, as he had died, and thus compel their belief in his divine mission, and their recognition of his claims as Messiah?
“It might be sufficient to reply, that it is no part of the scheme of redemption to compel belief, and that we have no right to expect or demand more than sufficient evidence to warrant belief. But there is another reason usually overlooked, that has no small force. Whether is it so arranged for this special purpose, we will not affirm. But it is obvious that, by this arrangement, this fundamental fact of the Christian system, in which all have exactly the same interest, comes to all with exactly the same proof.
“The women were called to believe it on the testimony of the angels, the disciples on the testimony of the women, and the world on the testimony of the disciples. The women had subsequent corroboration of the testimony of the angels, the disciples of theirs, and we of the disciples; but in each case, the first demand to believe is on the same ground, the testimony of competent witnesses, and not ocular demonstration. All are placed on the same level.”
Then Pastor Moore goes on in the rest of the paperback book to look specifically at each of the resurrection appearances of our crucified, buried, and risen Savior. His chapter on Peter drives the nail into spiritual backsliders that are so numerous in many a community of our nation. The successive steps of the backslider are: 1. Unsubdued will; 2. Undue self-confidence; 3. Neglect of prayer; 4. Neglect of warnings; 5. Following Christ afar off; 6. And Tampering with temptation. All of these were found in the apostle Peter, and in many a modern professing Christian as well.
There is much to commend to both pastors and people in the chapters of this little book by TV. Moore. With it being out of print, check with your Reformed booksellers. They might still have copies on their shelves. Ask your pastors or fellow members if they have a copy, or a church library. A meditation of the last days of Jesus never goes out of date in our devotions of our crucified and risen Lord and Savior. And we have T.V. Moore to thank for his studies on this important theme.
Note: The Last Days of Jesus had been reprinted by The Banner of Truth Trust, but it appears to be out of print at this time. If any of our readers know of an edition currently in print and available, please let us know.