Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Words of Hope
Those early disciples were filled with confusion. Jesus’ body was missing and an angel had told the women he was alive. What did all of this mean? How could it be explained? What did Jesus’ resurrection mean for each of them? What does it mean for us today?
We still hear some people discount it as unreal and a fabrication in the minds of those first disciples. On several occasions I’ve heard educated religious teachers push aside the validity of the resurrection because they couldn’t explain it. However, it was a special creative act of God, one which can’t be fully explained by mortal intellect. Later, early Christians did appreciate the value of the resurrection for those who love and obey God.
When Jesus went to Bethany to see the four-day dead body of his friend Lazarus, he spoke a mysterious message. After confronting Lazarus’ grieving sister, Martha, he consoled her by saying: “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, they will live, and everyone who believes in me will never [suffer eternal] death”. Saying that, Jesus proclaimed he possessed both a resurrection from physical death and the power of eternal new life!
And those believers who follow his spiritual guidance will also be given resurrection from mortal death and new eternal life with him. This became the Christian’s hope. The hope for everlasting life with God… the hope to perfect and proclaim our love of God. The act of Jesus’ resurrection was a divinely directed act of revelation. By that example, it demonstrated for those who choose to live in relationship and obedience to God that they too can have hope for a meaningful existence beyond their own death.
A Christian can be assured that after death, his or her soul will continue into a timeless now type of presence with the divine which is similar to what happened at the actual death of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus became an example which gives hope to the faithful that this also will be their experience.
Thank you for Jesus, his life, his teachings, his example, and his sacrifice. May we each lead resurrected lives…beginning today.
Donald (Luke) Day
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare