“If Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:14
Christ is Risen! This is the heart of the Gospel. This is the joyful good news the church proclaims to the world from the day of the first Easter. There are people who doubt the Resurrection of Christ. Even Jesus’ closest disciples doubted the truth of the Resurrection. The women who took spices and perfumes to the tomb that first Sunday morning went to anoint a corpse, not to witness a resurrection. When Mary of Magdala saw that the tomb of Jesus was empty, she doubted that someone had stolen the body. When the women returned to the disciples and proclaimed that the Lord is risen, they responded in fear and disbelief. None of them expected a resurrection. But a few days later, St. Peter spoke to a large crowd of Jews convincingly without any doubt, “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact” (Acts 2:32). It is the truth of the Resurrection that led them from their old belief in death to a new belief in life.
In 1st Corinthians 15:15, Paul says that the Resurrection of Christ is not a false witness or a lie. He along with the other apostles proclaims the Resurrection because they testified saying that God raised Christ from the dead. As such, the apostles are not tricking or deceiving people into believing a lie. Perhaps you can make people believe things that are not true. But should anybody prepare to die for a lie? If the Resurrection was a lie, the apostles would never be that courageous to testify their conviction that could have possibly led to their martyrdom. Yes, the astonishing transformation of the coward disciples into courageous witnesses is one of the convincing proofs of the Resurrection.
In the Resurrection of Christ, we have a great promise. It offers us a participation in the resurrected life of Christ. The Lord is risen to give us the gift of everlasting life. The Resurrection shows that life never ends with death. Death is real, but it is not final. Death is not the last word. In Jesus, life gets the last word. Resurrection is the announcement of Jesus’ victory over death. We experience the victory over death through our victory over the cause of death, which is sin (1Cor.15: 56). If we are forgiven, then sin has no victory over us. Jesus has destroyed the sting of death. Now death is stingless. Death is no longer victorious. This victorious life is available only to those who put to death their sin and live in the newness of Christ’s resurrected life. Can we live our lives in the newness of resurrection? This is the cardinal question the Resurrection puts before us.
Prayer: Loving God, we thank you for delivering us from the power of sin and death and opened for us the way to eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Grant us Your grace to live in the joy of resurrection evermore, Amen.