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AND HE RESURRECTED!

Read­ing Time: 4 minutes

Introduction

Is the resur­rec­tion of Jesus fact or fantasy? in fact, “many the­or­ies have been advanced, attempt­ing to show that the resur­rec­tion of Jesus was a fraud. I believe that many of the people who came up with these the­or­ies must have had two brains – one lost, and the oth­er one out look­ing for it. His­tor­i­ans have to become anti-his­tor­ic­al to invent some of their ideas” (Josh McDow­ell, The Resur­rec­tion Factor, p. 76). It is very wrong for sci­ence to invest­ig­ate the resur­rec­tion of Jesus, with the sole scope of dis­put­ing it. It is a reli­gious fact, not sci­entif­ic. Jews believe Moses climbed mount Sinai and received the Torah from Elo­him. Has sci­ence proved this Again, Moslems believe angel Gab­ri­el dic­tated the entire Qur­an to Muhammed, and sci­ence says noth­ing about this. These are reli­gious truths and do not con­cern sci­ence. Why so much interest in the resur­rec­tion of Jesus? Ser­i­ous of the­or­ies have been pro­pounded just to prove Jesus did not resur­rect. For instance, we have such the­or­ies as the swoon the­ory (also called resus­cit­ated the­ory), the hal­lu­cin­a­tion the­ory, the imper­son­a­tion the­ory, the spir­itu­al resur­rec­tion the­ory, the theft the­ory and the unknown tomb the­ory. In all these, the faith of Chris­ti­ans is not taken into con­sid­er­a­tion. The pro­ponents of these the­or­ies seem not to know about the faith the­ory. As Paul rightly poin­ted out to the Cor­inthi­an Chris­ti­ans, “if Christ has not been raised, then our pro­clam­a­tion has been in vain and your faith has been in vain too” (1Cor 15:14). The proof of Jesus resur­rec­tion is the resur­rec­tion itself. 

Jesus’ Resurrection as Challenge

Chris­ti­ans believe Jesus died and resur­rec­ted on the third day as he said. Today’s Gos­pel does not per­mit much words because the incid­ent that is com­mem­or­ated demands sol­emn-per­son­al reflec­tion. Chris­ti­ans all over the world are jubil­at­ing that Jesus’ death has taken away their sins and brought them sal­va­tion. There is no doubt about this. But is this the end of the story? Is this the end of Jesus’ mis­sion? should Chris­ti­ans just lim­it them­selves to mer­ri­ment because Jesus has died in their stead? Yes, “when the full­ness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adop­tion as chil­dren” (Gal 4:4–5). As adop­ted chil­dren, what is our mis­sion? As a mani­fest­a­tion of his fath­erly love and care, “God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him” (1John 4:9). Are we not sup­posed to show the same love to one another?

In Luke 4:16–30, the author care­fully out­lined the con­tent of Jesus’ mis­sion – his mani­festo. Ful­filling those pro­grams was not very easy for Jesus. Along the line, he encountered series and ser­i­ous oppos­i­tion from the chief priests, the eld­ers and the scribes. He was rejec­ted, betrayed even by his intim­ate friends (the Twelve dis­ciples), cajoled, falsely accused, pub­licly dis­graced, scorned, and finally cru­ci­fied. We should reflect on these too. We should also reflect on the amount of injustice meted out to him, simply because he detested injustice, refused to be cor­rup­ted, and was determ­ined in teach­ing people the right thing to free them from ignor­ance, the selfish­ness, greed and unbe­lief of those in author­ity (both civil and espe­cially reli­gious, even today). How can we not reflect on our inab­il­ity to under­stand the true mis­sion of Jesus? We must reflect on the con­tem­por­ary under­stand­ing of the Paschal mys­tery. Claim­ing that Jesus has washed away our sins appears too banal and too simple. Does his mis­sion not mean more than this? Does his suf­fer­ing and death not tran­scend this? After wash­ing the feet of his dis­ciples, Jesus said to them “I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). While Chris­ti­ans rejoice that Jesus has taken away their sins, they should also inter­rog­ate them­selves on their atti­tude on the example Jesus left them. After his resur­rec­tion, Jesus com­mis­sioned the dis­ciples to make dis­ciples of all nations (Matt 28:18–20). This com­mand is equally for Chris­ti­ans. These I equally reflect on.

Those who unjustly con­demned and cru­ci­fied Jesus taught they had spoken the last word, and that the case has been archived. But Jesus dis­ap­poin­ted them by resur­rect­ing. The resur­rec­tion of Jesus means evil has not, did not, can­not, and will nev­er over­shad­ow the good, the truth and justice. Jesus’ resur­rec­tion is an invit­a­tion to con­tin­ue in the same mis­sion. It is an invit­a­tion not to be dis­cour­aged, in spite of the vicis­situdes of life. Jesus has per­fectly played his own part. It is now left for Chris­ti­ans to con­tin­ue on his foot­steps. Jesus’ mis­sion-pas­sion-death-resur­rec­tion is a chal­lenge to us. Jesus resur­rec­tion is both a gift and a challenge.

Conclusion   

As you cel­eb­rate the resur­rec­tion of Jesus, I also wish you resur­rect from your dif­fi­cult moments, sick­ness, wor­ries, prob­lems, fail­ures, dis­ap­point­ments, mis­takes, betray­als, sad­ness, and lack of peace. Enjoy the feast for Jesus has giv­en you reas­on to do so. But as you enjoy, remem­ber the less priv­ileged. God bless you! Happy East­er! Buona Pasqua! Sha­lom!

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