From Passion and Death to Resurrection : “He is not here. He is risen!”
Easter is celebrated by the Christians all over the world on 16th April this year. Easter is the most important feast in the Christian Calendar, more important that even Christmas. While Christmas celebrates the birth of Lord Jesus, Easter celebrates his Resurrection on the third day after his crucifixion and death. The week preceding Easter, known as Holy Week, commemorates the most significant events in the last few days of the earthly life of Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God.
Easter celebrates the Resurrection of Lord Jesus, who rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion and death on the cross. This is the core and foundation of Christian faith. When some of his disciples went to the tomb early on the Sunday morning they found the tomb empty. Two angels appeared to them and said “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen” (Lk. 24:5). The Risen Lord appeared to his disciples and others many times. He reprimanded them for their unbelief and doubts, strengthened their faith, and commanded them to bear witness to Him.
The death of Jesus on the cross was a redemptive death. He took the sins of humanity upon himself and suffered the shameful and painful death on the cross as a sacrifice for remission of the sins of the world. Resurrection is the mark of approval from God the Father, who was pleased with the sacrifice of his Son. Resurrection is the triumph of Jesus over sin, Satan and death. Easter celebrates this triumph and victory. As Clarence W. Hall states: “Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.” And as S. D. Gordon puts it: “Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life.”
The Good news is that all can share in that resurrection and new life of the Risen Lord if we confess that Jesus is the Lord and Saviour and live a life in accordance with that belief. It is providential that Easter coincides with spring. In fact, the word Easter comes from old English Eastre, goddess of spring. Just as after long and bitterly cold winter, the Spring Season ushers in a new freshness in the flora and fauna and brings in an aura of joy all around, similarly for the faithful, with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the winter of sinfulness and evil should give way to a new life of renewed faith, hope and love. In order to participate in the life of the Risen Lord, it is essential that we first participate in the suffering and death of the Lord, for it is in dying to self, to sin and to evil that we are born to eternal life.
The power of Easter is the power of the Risen Lord, who grants us the graces to see and experience life, forgiveness, unity, glory, hope and peace and ultimately God Himself. How urgently are we in need of these graces in our troubled and challenging times! I wish you Happy Easter. May the Risen Lord bless you, your family and friends with Easter gift of new life with love, joy, peace and hope.