1 Cor 5:7-8
…when Christ is revealed — and he is your life — you too will be revealed in all your glory with Him.
That Jesus rose from the dead following his crucifixion on the cross is all but a given, especially to Christians. Or at least, it should be. The Resurrection is a truth that is eternal, irrefutable and is the existential foundation that is the very core and essence of Christianity itself. No Resurrection of Jesus, no Christianity. Our Catholic Christian faith is not only about believing in the person of Jesus as an end in itself. No. It is in his Resurrection. Without which, Jesus would all but merely be a person who walked on earth at some point in history. No different from the countless before him and the countless more after him. The bodily resurrection was the restoration to life of a transformed body powered by the spirit, as described by St Paul and the Gospels.
But have we ever wondered to ourselves, what really is the point of the Resurrection? Are we even able to really come to terms with it? Why do we even bother? At the most personal level and in the most intimate way, do we ask ourselves, what does it mean to say we believe and we accept that Jesus Christ died for our sins and in so doing, wins for us our salvation – our one-way ticket to heaven when the ticket of our earthly existence is punched? You bet it does!
In the Gospel, we are told “for they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.” For the early Jewish Christians, the idea of the Messiah’s death was a necessary redemptive event — the Resurrection of Jesus HAD to happen.
The book of Genesis had 2 important truths of our faith to give us – that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, and that by the sin of Adam and Eve and of Cain, that image (and relationship with God) was corrupted and would have been forever broken and destroyed. The first sins of man were disobedience (through Adam and Eve) and murder (of Abel by Cain). And to drum home the extent of these transgressions – we are talking about disobeying not just anyone or any law, but God Himself and His direct command. And not just any victim, but one’s own family member. In other words, sin against God and against his closest neighbour. Barely a fortnight after creation, sin has reared its ugly head in its manifestation in malice, envy, pride, deceitfulness, hatred, violence, division and ultimately, death. Death of the body of Abel and death in the separation from the life-giving relationship with God when the apple was bitten. In the image and likeness of God, man does not merely take on the appearance and likeness of God but way more significantly – the entirety of His being. We are created to be like God – His spirit, His values, His morality, His intellect, His Will. Not bits and pieces of Him – but ALL of Him.
The sin of Adam, Eve and Cain destroyed that image and likeness. The Resurrection of Jesus restored, re-created and renewed it. And had this not happened, none of us would ever one day be worthy to stand before God and to live for eternity with Him. The Christian equation is a simple one – if there is no resurrection, then there is no redemption, then no salvation, then no Christianity. There is only resurrection to eternal condemnation. Period.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Justus Teo)
Prayer: Father, help us. Save us from the sins which have destroyed your image and likeness in us and which have led us to the path of our own destruction and separation from you.
Thanksgiving: Father, thank you for giving us new life through the death and resurrection of your Son, by which we are restored, renewed and redeemed. Thank you for the gift of our own eventual resurrection.