HE IS NOT HERE
If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (1 Cor. 15:14) With his customary insight, one of the first great converts to Christianity, St. Paul sums up exactly what Easter means to us. It is the epicenter of our faith upon which all else hinges. Without the Resurrection, Jesus would most likely have been just another good person who did good things who history remembers kindly but who lived and died like everyone else. But precisely because he rose from the dead, he is more. He is truly the Son of God. For the next fews weeks we will hear testimony of his Resurrecti0n from people who went to the tomb, encountered Him in his resurrected form, talked to Him, continued to be taught by Him. Easter is far more than an empty tomb. Pranksters could accomplish that. Easter and our faith which flows from it is all about victory over death and sin and new life in a new form. Jesus in his public ministry had raised the son of the widow of Nain, the daughter of Jairus and Lazarus back to life and they simply returned in their human form to continue their life until again a second and final time they had to die. But the resurrection of the Lord Jesus is dramatically different. He does not simply return in his human form but in resurrected form, like we shall all assume one day. Yes, He walked and talked and looked enough like His old self to be recognized at times but he also could appear and disappear, be unrecognizeable, no longer needing human nourishment, sleep and the like. Nor would He ever taste death again but would live in eternity with the Father and the Spirit. His resurrection not only defines his divinity but fulfills countless prophecies from the Old Testament and gives us faith for our own futures after our deaths. The Easter event defines Jesus and ourselves, gives us hope for what is to come to us if we too live a life of virtue, seek forgiveness of our sins, and imitate as much as we humanly can our Savior and Lord. Happy Easter to all who read these words and may the news that “He is not here, he has risen” give hope and consolation to you in whatever you may face in life.