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9 April 2023 | YEAR A(I)

He had to rise from the dead. (John 20:9)

Alleluia! Christ is risen! And that changes everything.

Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus “had to rise from the dead” (John 20:9, emphasis added). But why? Wasn’t it enough that he became a man? Wasn’t it enough that he died for us? Actually, no. As St. Paul wrote, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17).

By rising from the dead, Jesus proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that he has power over sin and death. Everything he said about himself is true. He is more than the victim of an unjust condemnation. He is more than an inspiring teacher or a philosopher or the founder of a new movement. He is more, even, than a healer and wonder-worker. He is the Son of God, the One whom death could not hold in its grasp (Romans 1:4).

By rising, Jesus did more than just vindicate himself. He also opened the way into new life for each one of us. He overcame the sin that was keeping us separated from our Father in heaven! Because of that, we who believe in him and are baptized can now “live in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Now we can hope in our own resurrection. We can experience power over sin and freedom from the fear of death that so often binds us up. We can count ourselves “dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus” (6:11). We now know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that love is stronger than death.

It’s easy to understand why Jesus’ resurrection was always front and center when the apostles proclaimed the good news. You can see it in Peter’s sermon from today’s first reading. And you’ll see it throughout the Book of Acts this Easter season. The apostles’ preaching hinged on the resurrection of Jesus. Because the resurrection changes everything!

“Jesus, risen Lord, I rejoice in you!”

Source: The Word Among Us


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