He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!

by Fr. John Parks  |  03/31/2024  |  Weekly Reflection

Up, down, up, down, left, right, left, right A, B, A, B, select then start. When I was a kid, if you pressed those buttons at the beginning of a Nintendo game called, “Contra”—you would receive unlimited lives. Then, when I was playing the game, everything was different. Suddenly, I was not afraid to lose a life, because I knew I would receive another one.

Today, we celebrate the solemnity of Easter. That Jesus bodily rose from the dead after being buried for 3 days. How essential was, and is, the resurrection to the Christian faith? Here is how St. Paul explains it:

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. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 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. 1 Corinthians 15:13-19

In other words, everything hinges on the resurrection. If Christ has not been raised, our faith is in vain (that is, empty)! But if Christ has been raised from the dead, then it vindicates all the claims of Jesus, including his divine nature (being the Son of God) and his making an atoning sacrifice for our sins on the cross.

In the early Church, there was an electric power pulsating beneath all their writings because of the confidence they had in the resurrection of Our Lord. In a sense, they came to believe they had received the “cheat codes” to life through the death and resurrection of Jesus. There was now a love— through, with, and in Jesus—that was greater than sin and death. Through Jesus death and resurrection—which I participate in through baptism—my death was conquered, and I could now trust that he would raise my mortal body to life also. This made the early Christians fearless before the world and confident in Jesus’ victory over their sin and death.

The resurrection has lost none of its’ power today. We are called to be an “Easter people” who have an unfailing confidence in the Lord’s saving victory for us—confirmed through his bodily resurrection from the dead. Jesus is the Victory of God! Alleluia!

He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!