By Theresa Montminy
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will him. and three days after his death he will rise.” (Mark 9:31)
These words may remind us of the painful reality that death surrounds us. It’s on TV and in our newspapers. It has taken family members and friends. It will come to each of us. For all who are crushed by the reality of the Fall, Jesus gives this promise. We should find hope and joy in the story of the Resurrection.
Perhaps we’ve heard this from the pulpit so often that we have lost a sense of amazement over this impossible claim. But think about it. This just doesn’t happen, at least not visibly. Most religions have some concept of an afterlife, but a man being physically raised from the dead? No one ever made such a claim. Except Jesus. Even His disciples, who had seen Him raise Lazarus, a widow’s son, and a little girl, were dumbfounded. They didn’t know what to make of this prediction, because it was beyond the realm of possibility. People die and they are buried. Period.
But Jesus erased the period. His Resurrection, far from being an exclusive privilege of the Son of God, means everything for us. It reverses the curse of death that we brought upon ourselves at the Fall. It is the re-creation . . . the new beginning. And we are invited to be a part of it.
The promise of the Resurrection is astounding. Every privilege of the Risen Jesus, in all of His glory, is offered to us. It is the reality of the eternal promises of God. In His Resurrection, He intercedes for us at the right hand of God (Hebrews 7:25); He lives in us (John 14:20); and He exercises all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). Not only is He exalted, but we are seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6); we are fellow heirs of His inheritance (Romans 8:17); and we have eternal life (John 6:40).
These are magnificent and astonishing truths. We could spend a lifetime . . . make that eternity, letting these words sink in. Today, let’s meditate and marvel at the hope and promise of the Resurrection. Alleluia! Alleluia! He is Risen! Let all the world rejoice for death died when Christ rose!
What witness this becomes to the simple request of our Savior ... Come, Follow ME!
Theresa Montminy is Director of Mission Advancement in the Diocese of San Bernardino.