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The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ

Today is Easter Sunday, the celebration of the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Before this most triumphant event in human history, no other man has made such a claim even up to this day … that He would be killed and raised from the dead after three days. Our reading today is found on John 20:1-10 about the Empty Tomb.

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw he stone removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”

3 So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. 4 They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; 5 he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. 6 When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 7 and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.

8 Then the other disciple also went in, the one who arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. 9 For they did not understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned home.”

The apostles led by St. Peter and St. John where running at the top of their breath to go to the tomb of Jesus because they wanted to verify whether the Master had truly risen as He had predicted. What they saw was an empty tomb and both finally believed and understood what our Lord had been teaching them all along. There is no question that both of them doubted that this would happen, but it did. It is easy to say that the Romans could have moved His body, but then, they had no motive to do so.

Our Lord Jesus first predicted His passion in Luke 16: 21-27 “From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. 22 Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” 23 He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

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24 Then Jesus said to his disciple, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the Father’s glory and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.” This was a prophesy of his crucifixion.

There were a total of three prophesies, but the first one took Simon Peter completely by surprise, after all, in Matt.16:13-19, our Lord Jesus Christ heard the confession of Peter who said that he was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God and in reply, our Lord Jesus told Peter, “Blessed are you Simon, son of Jonah for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you but my Father in heaven. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”

But before Peter could bask in his triumph of finally finding out who the Master really was … that he was the Son of the Living God, Jesus gave His first prophesy and Peter was so confused. He didn’t want this ever to happen to his master. Hence Peter was given the two extremes, honored by Jesus to be the head of his Church, and then a verse later, Jesus calls him Satan!

Yes, two thousand years later, many of us still think like most humans do despite the hindsight of getting a glimpse of what Divinity really wants from mankind. The empty tomb is a confirmation or validation of what our Lord has been teaching His apostles who undoubtedly have heard Him loud and clear that He would rise again. Yet most of them doubted His words.

As human as they were, they must have been skeptical that all this would happen, even if they already saw the Master raise Lazarus from the dead. If Lazarus could be raised, then why not Himself? However, they heard the jeers of the scribes and elders shouting and mocking Him while He was hanging on the cross, “He saved others, but he cannot save himself. Let him come down the cross now and we will believe in him.”

Yet as prophesied in Scriptures and by Himself, Our Lord Jesus Christ did rise from His painful death. In conquering death, He allowed mankind to be saved and enter the kingdom of God. As the Lord Jesus said, “There is no greater love than for one to die for another.” Our Lord Jesus came to this earth to die for our sins and thus we owe Him our salvation and in return for His love, we must learn to love God with all our hearts and soul.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

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