About Easter, the catechism of the Catholic Church says the following:
1169 Therefore Easter is not simply one feast among others, but the “Feast of feasts,” the “Solemnity of solemnities,” just as the Eucharist is the “Sacrament of sacraments” (the Great Sacrament). St. Athanasius calls Easter “the Great Sunday”43 and the Eastern Churches call Holy Week “the Great Week.” the mystery of the Resurrection, in which Christ crushed death, permeates with its powerful energy our old time, until all is subjected to him.
In this post, we will be looking at Easter for the benefit of those who have challenges believing in the resurrection. We will be looking at why we celebrate Easter, and more-so what proof do we have that Christ is risen from the dead. We will also be looking at some important points to be drawn from the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
So why do we celebrate Easter? What proof do we have that Jesus Christ rose from the dead? Well to answer these two questions, one of the greatest proof we have that Jesus did in fact rise from the dead is the Christian church. Christianity came about not only on account of Jesus’ presence here on earth, but came about on account of his resurrection. So we’re looking at two thousand years of Christianity that came about as a direct result of the resurrection of Christ. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christianity would have ceased a long time ago. But the fact that in spite of persecution after persecution, the Christian faith continues to grow. This is because Christianity is not based on an idea nor a notion. It is founded on the resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead.
The Old Testament bares witness to the fact that Jesus the Messiah came and died and rose again. There are many prophecies about this. (Ref. Isaiah 50:6, Isaiah 53:4-6, Psalm 22, Zechariah 11:12-13, 12:10) These were written by different persons throughout the centuries and before the birth of Christ.
In the early years of Christianity, countless Christians were killed on account of their faith. St. Peter was crucified upside down while St. Paul was beheaded, both for their belief and proclamation of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Since then, countless other Christians were martyred because of their belief in the resurrection of Christ. Many of the Saints who gave up their lives for this truth which they believed and preached, were highly educated people. No educated person would give their life for something that they knew was not true. No educated person would allow themselves to be subjected to the torture that many of the martyrs were subjected to if they did not believe that Jesus had truly risen from the dead. Many of those martyrs would have been those who saw him after his resurrection.
So these are a couple of very concrete proofs that validate the statement that Christ Jesus did in fact rise from the dead. Now if Christ Jesus has truly been raised from the dead, if he has conquered the grave and is alive as he said he would be, then he is truly who he says he is. He is truly the Son of God. He is truly King of kings and Lord of lords. He and God the Father are truly one. He therefore should be the absolute center of our lives.
Important Points We Learn From The Resurrection Of Christ Jesus.
Now here are four very important points that we can draw from the resurrection of Christ Jesus.
This world as we know it is not all that there is. The Resurrection of Christ Jesus promises more. So much more. Now, by saying this, I do not mean for one moment that this world is not good. It is. But there is more, and the more is eternal life in Heaven with Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus did tell us in John chapter 14 that they are many rooms in his Father’s mansion, and that he was going there to prepare a place for us. That mansion is in Heaven. We therefore should have that as our ultimate goal. We therefore should live our lives here on earth, preparing for and in anticipation of Eternal Life. Unfortunately, very many people in our world have completely lost this focus. Mark 8:36 reminds us that what good does it profit a man to gain the entire world but lose his soul. So the first point the Resurrection of Christ teaches us is that there is life after, and this life after – Eternal Life – is infinitely better than this earthly life can ever be.
The second point is this; tyrants do not have the final say! What do I mean by this? In Jesus’ time, the Romans mastered the cross as a means of torture. They did not mess around nor make mistakes with this. They used it effectively as a means of punishing anyone who crossed them the wrong way. Now to the Romans , Jesus was a nuisance and they really wanted to get rid of him and to make an example of him. And so the torture that was measured out to him was extremely severe and brutal. And so after all of that brutality was measured out to Jesus, and he was crucified between two thieves, he died and was buried in a tomb with a huge stone blocking the entrance of it; and then the entire scene was made secure by posting a set of Roman soldiers there. For Christ to have risen from the dead was a huge rebut to the authority of the Romans. It said very clearly then; and the resurrection says in our day and in our time to all tyrants that they do not have the final say. They may be able to kill the body but the soul – that part of our being that goes into eternity – they cannot touch. The cross is therefore a taunt for tyrants. For this reason the crucifix should not be privatized but should be publicize so that the whole world will know of the power of the cross; of the power of the resurrection of Christ Jesus. So this point follows directly from the first. (Ref. Romans 6:8, Romans 14:8, Galatians 2:20, Philippians 1:21, 2 Timothy 2:11)
The third point that we can learn from the resurrection of Jesus has to do with him going all the way out on his journey to Calvary. What do I mean by this? Jesus’ journey to Calvary was not an easy one. At the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus sweat blood, when he was terribly disturbed by what He had to do to reconcile man with God; wasn’t only because he was going to be crucified, but also because he was about to go “full extreme” and take the burden of sin unto himself to be crucified on the cross at Calvary. He was about to take upon himself the burden of every imaginable sin that there ever was or ever will be; that was and ever will be committed by any human person, upon himself. That is what brought him the greatest pain! It was not the beating, the betrayal, being spat upon. It was the burden of our sins. His Resurrection therefore from the dead saves us from our sins, just as the angel Gabriel said at the annunciation that he will be called Jesus, because he is the one who will save his people from their sins. So after Calvary’s experience, after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, there is absolutely no sin that we can ever commit that God will not forgive – as long as we are truly repentant. The price has already been paid. Christ Jesus paid it all. (Ref. Isaiah 53: 4 – 5, 1 Peter 2: 24)
Finally, the fourth point that Jesus’ resurrection teaches us is that the resurrection is God’s big and resounding “YES” to us. “YES I LOVE YOU!” “YES I want to show you mercy!” So no matter how often we say no to God, rejecting his love, rejecting his mercy; no matter how often we reject God, the resurrection of Christ Jesus his son is his “Yes” to us. It is the seal of his fidelity towards us in Christ Jesus.
So that is why we should all get excited about the wonderful season of Easter. This is why I get very excited. It is why I become even more animated then I would normally be. It is why I get that special joy when I hear Alleluia’s being sung – especially during Easter. It is because God’s Love is truly amazing! Jesus Christ is truly risen from the dead! Alleluia! Alleluia!