SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2014.
THE REALITY OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
‘Then Jesus said to them, Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee and there they will see me,’ Matt. 28v10.
EASTER is one of the defining moments in Christian religion. It is a time Christians all over the world rejoices specifically because Jesus, the Saviour of the world sacrificially died and rose again. He lives to die no more.
Interestingly, early this morning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. They were part of the few faithful that saw what transpired on that fateful Good Friday. Anxious, therefore, to play their part to this loving Saviour and to ensure that the tomb was clean and that nobody broke into it, but what they saw, as they arrived, was quite amazing to them. According to the gospel writer, Matthew, ‘there was a great earthquake as an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled back the stone and sat on it,’ Matt. 28v2.
Ordinarily, the stone could have been a stumbling block at the mouth of the grave and the women would have been helpless rolling it away. But thanks to God, the great power of resurrection on its own accord rolled the stone away and then the angel sat on it as a sign of victory over Satan and his cohorts.
It is heartwarming to note that the angel, who sat on the stone, told the bemused women not to be afraid; that the man they were looking for is not among the dead but is raised. He even posed a challenge: ‘come and see where He lay.’ A confirmation that the grave was empty, as Jesus has risen to life.
Of course, their joy knew no bounds, as they responded to the invitation of telling other disciples that He had gone ahead of them as promised to Galilee. It is true at this time that their action may look foolish, thinking and believing that a dead man can come back to life. If we place this against the background of so many world religious leaders that died and never rose again, this episode may not hold any ground. However, what He earlier said vindicated Him: ‘destroy this temple and I will build it up again in three days’, Jh. 2v19.
Therefore, Jesus on this glorious occasion said to the few courageous women that came to adorn His tomb: ‘do not be afraid, go and tell my brothers (possibly a larger group, inclusive of the eleven) to go to Galilee and they would see me.’
Today, there are some polemical writers and people with revisionist agenda, they may feebly attack the story of resurrection but the fact remains that He died on the cross on Good Friday and this Easter Day He rose again.
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!
But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvations have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s king, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!
Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.