Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Reflection

Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is important for three reasons. First, it demonstrates the veracity of his primary and most controversial claim, His divinity, which he proclaims directly and indirectly throughout the Gospels, as in this passage “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). His rising from the tomb on the third day illuminates his omnipotence, for only the true Son of God could raise himself from the great beyond by his own volition, as well as through the will of the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Second, Jesus’ resurrection also underscores the genuine possibility of our own resurrection from the grave. Certainly, Jesus as God could elevate himself from the netherworld, but this of its own accord does not hold any import for us necessarily. We, unlike Christ, do not wield a divine power to protect us from the specter of death. It is precisely because Jesus is fully human, in addition to his full divinity, that his conquest of death delivers mankind from the bondage of an eternal nothingness. If Christ the man can rise from the dead, then each of us may, too.

Third, Jesus’ resurrection highlights THE fundamental truth about the Christ: We worship a person who loves us intimately, so intimately that He died a miserable death to forgive us our sins and to vanquish death itself. Christianity, then, in the final analysis is not reducible to a set of dogmatic propositions, nor an ethical code, nor a litany of symbols and ritualistic prayers, nor an elemental force of nature, nor a political ideology. Christianity is at its core about a person, a God-Man whom the Father sent to save us from ourselves. We encounter the glorified God-Man on Easter who has the ability to save us as one of us; his hypostasis makes all the difference.

Thanks be to God, Alleluia, Alleluia!

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