THE GREAT TRIUMPH OF GOD’S LOVE
Our faith is rooted firmly and solidly in the soil of human history. The mystery of Jesus’ resurrection is a real event, historically verified and testified to by the New Testament writers. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the crowning truth of our faith. It is the central plank, the cornerstone, the very foundation of the living tradition of faith handed down to us from the apostles, as these words from St. Paul make clear: ‘I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve’ (1 Cor.15:3-4).
St. John holds out to us the empty tomb as the sign of the resurrection. However, and for sure, an empty tomb in and of itself is not direct proof that Jesus rose from the dead – the absence of the body could be otherwise explained. The empty tomb is a sign inviting us to enter into the mystery of the risen Lord. John leads us into this mystery of faith by recording his own reaction on entering the tomb: when he discovered the linen cloths lying there, he saw and believed.
What are we to conclude from this eyewitness account? We are to conclude that on entering the tomb John realized immediately that Jesus had risen from the dead and we too are invited to believe, based on his witness. He doesn’t say what made him know instinctively that the absence of Jesus’ body could not have been by human doing or even that Jesus had not simply returned to earthly life (resuscitated and not resurrected, so to speak).
Jesus’ resurrection testifies to the promise of a new humanity, a new creation, radiating and resplendent with the glory, power and beauty of God. The basis of Easter rejoicing and happiness is that through the grace of our baptism we are immersed into Jesus’ death and resurrection and become partakers in his divine life, the life of the resurrection.
Jesus Christ is risen today!! Alleluia! Alleluia!