As we celebrate this weekend Easter Sunday, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, it is worthwhile asking ourselves the question: what difference does this make to my life? Why should I celebrate the rising from the dead of someone 2000 years ago?
St Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 15, verses 12 – 20, after setting down the constant witness of the Church from the beginning, that Christ “died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures” then goes on to address the question posed above. He writes thus:
“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. …If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died…”
In a nutshell, what Paul is saying here is: if Christ has not been raised, then all of us, you and I included, are going to hell!! Our whole salvation, hope for eternal life, forgiveness of sins, our heartfelt desire that we will meet up again with our deceased loved ones in the next life, hangs on this one truth: that Christ is risen from the dead. And if it is not true, everything that we hope for and look towards for ourselves and our loved ones, collapses like a house of cards.
So the resurrection of Christ is the fundamental truth on which our entire Catholic Christian faith is based. Christ’s resurrection is the enduring proof that God has accepted his death on the cross as a sacrifice which atones for all of the sins of the world, past, present and future. If Christ is not raised, then he died for nothing, our sins are still with us, and the “wages of sin is death,” eternal death in hell.
So as we come to Mass this weekend to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, let us understand how crucial this event is, not just for ourselves, but for the whole world. And let nothing, and no-one undermine your faith in this fact. Our whole salvation depends on it!
Happy Easter to all our parishioners!!