by Fr. Ed Liptak, SDB
All that happened to Christ, his dread in the garden, unlawful arrest, false hearing with Caiaphas, unjust trial before Pilate, bloody scourging and mockery, death by crucifixion, lungs and heart pierced by a spear, laid in another’s tomb, all this was next to unbelievable. Jesus was Son of God! But we know too, the depths of hatred and evil man is capable of.
He had done wonders. He had raised a dead girl to life. He had restored a son being carried to his tomb back to health and returned him to his mourning mother. Days before He had called Lazarus, already tainted, from the tomb. In agony on the cross they taunted him, “He saved others, let him save himself.” Ah! joyfully, now He was dead.
Yet, three days later, the greatest of wonders, his tomb was empty! He appeared to Mary Magdalene and the women. He walked with Cleophas and perhaps his wife, downhearted, leaving Jerusalem. The two rushed back to the Upper Room to tell the Apostles! They already knew. He had appeared to Peter. Then He appeared to all of them, though in fear they had locked the door. Later he appeared to them at the Lake where they had gone fishing, gave them a miraculous catch and had breakfast with them on the shore. St. Paul even says that over 500 of his early followers saw him at one time!
Human eyes saw, and human tongues proclaimed, “He is Risen!” For the sake of fallen humanity, it was needed that God’s Son did not cling to his Godly nature, but that He take on human form, so that by his incredibly suffering humanity He should atone for all sinfulness of his fellow human beings.
He rose from the dead! Those who found the empty tomb found it before dawn. No one saw it happen. The only light that was shed was the light of Truth. He was gone! By his Resurrection he proved that everything he taught and the way that he lived and loved his fellow humans was also the way to Eternal Life. “I am the resurrection and the Life,” Jesus told Martha before raising Lazarus. After the first Palm Sunday he said to the disbelieving, “I am the light of the world, so that all who believe in me may not walk in the darkness” (See John 10:46).
And Yes, Lord.
Lead us to Eternal Light!