“If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith.” -1 Corinthians 15:14
There would be no point in becoming a Christian without the Resurrection. Without the Resurrection, Jesus would have just been one of countless moral and religious teachers in human history. This is how non-Christians and even some Christians tend to think of Him nowadays. But with Jesus’ Resurrection, we see that Jesus’ words are not only wise, but they come from God. Jesus had prophesied many times beforehand that He would suffer and die, but rise again on the third day. We see this in Matthew 17:22, Mark 8:31, Luke 9:22, Matthew 27:63, John 2:19, Mark 14:58, Matthew 26:61.
Without the Resurrection, there is no hope for eternal life. But with it, we all can have hope that one day we can rise again in glorified bodies just like Jesus. The Resurrection shows us God’s justice in exalting one who “humbled himself unto death” (Phil 2:8-9). Just as in dying for us Jesus forgave us of our sin, in rising He restored privileges that were lost because of sin (Romans 4:25).
So Easter is a big deal. Jesus died but rose again! As Pope Francis said,
“What does it mean that Jesus is risen? It means that the love of God is stronger than evil and death itself; it means that the love of God can transform our lives and let those desert places in our hearts bloom.”
Even though Jesus was crucified, it shows us that real power is service and love, not selfishness and control. As I have come to know Jesus more in my own life, I have slowly been learning this beautiful truth. It encourages me even when things are not going well, so that I know that even if I am not alright at the moment, as long as I try to do what is right to the best of my ability, it will all be ok, well actually more than ok- perfect!- in the end.
Today I attended a wake for a friend, but it was very comforting that of all days it was on Easter! It was super appropriate for what an amazing person he is, and it was touching to remember that though he is not with me on earth anymore, he has moved on to heaven, all thanks to Jesus! Jesus has even defeated death, we must remember that. So don’t get down! Maybe I can end this post with another Pope Francis quote?
“And this is the first word that I want to tell you: ‘Joy!’ Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy that comes from having many possessions, but it comes from having encountered a Person, Jesus, who is among us. It comes from knowing that with him we are never alone, even at difficult moments, even when our life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable, and there are so many of them! This is the moment when the enemy comes, when the devil, often times dressed as an angel, comes and insidiously tells us his word. Don’t listen to him! Follow Jesus! We accompany, we follow Jesus, but above all we know that he accompanies us and carries us on his shoulders. This is our joy, this is the hope that we must bring to this world of ours. Please don’t let him steal our hope. Don’t let him steal our hope, that hope that Jesus gives us.”