HE HAS RISEN!!!
We have completed Lent, a time of reflection, taking stock of our spiritual condition, and pruning the tree a bit so to speak. Easter is kind of the be all and end all of our Christian faith. On Easter it is confirmed that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world. The empty tomb is convincing evidence but Jesus’ many appearances after His Resurrection seals the deal!
On the cross he defeated sin by taking all sin upon Himself and offering them all up in His Human and Divine Nature in atonement and reparation for our personal sins. The Gates of Paradise closed in Eden are now opened.
Had I been the only sinner on earth, Jesus would have still submitted to the will of the Father. Jesus, most assuredly died for me and you that we might be released from the slavery of sin. Oh, death, where is thy sting!
He is risen…He is alive…He goes before us….do not be afraid…go quickly and tell all the good news…Jesus Christ is risen…He died that our sins may be forgiven…now He calls us to follow him to heaven…the risen Lord is not gone…He remains with us in the sacraments…in our faith…in our prayers…for those who follow Jesus…the same fate awaits us…a glorious resurrection of our bodies on the last day…eyes have not seen…ears have not heard what await those who love Jesus…
All through His public ministry, Jesus deals with the effects of death and a death-obsessed culture: violence, hatred, egotism, exclusion, false prophets, religious leaders who do not nourish their faith communities. The final enemy Jesus must face down is death through His own death, a death on the cross.
Jesus told his followers and us through the Scripture many, many, times “Do not Be Afraid.” Jesus goes into the kingdom of death and brings to that dark place the light of God. Jesus brings the power of God, and with this power he breaks the hold that death has over us. The Resurrection of Jesus is the declaration of victory over this terrible power. The power of death has been overthrown. HALLELUJAH!
According to Bishop Robert Barron, “Jesus descended to the dead where He addressed them, “I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. (to Adam and Eve) Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.
For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you…Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image…Arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven.
THE LORD IS RISEN, HALLELUJAH!