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THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF EASTER

The spiritual celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a lifetime affair for believers. The celebration does not end on Easter Sunday. The Church marks it with an octave, which is also followed by a long period of Eastertide.

In essence, the resurrection of Jesus reveals triumph of good over evil, the while the world awaits the final judgment to come at the end of time.

The first disciples saw Jesus. They walked and dined with him after his resurrection. In Acts 10:40, Peter said: “God raised Jesus from death on the third day and caused him to appear. He was not seen by all the people, but only by us who are the witnesses that God had already chosen.”

For the rest of believers, God has chosen to reserve this experience of the Resurrected Lord to the realm of faith. In other words, it is only with the help of faith that one can now encounter the Risen Christ and experience his power and glory. Eminent proofs of the resurrection abound  in the Scriptures and in the life of the Church to strengthen this faith.

A superior power made Jesus overcome the Jewish authorities in their plan against him. His physical resurrection means spiritual victory over sin and death for all who believe in him. The faithful now have where to run to by reason of their guilt such that when our sin pronounces judgment on us, the blood of Jesus cleanses us as Christ himself pleads for mercy.

However, anyone who is not yet under the authority of Jesus or has not given his or her life to Jesus cannot claim to share in the Easter joy. If he or she is celebrating, the celebration is premature. Indeed, meaningful celebration of Easter requires one to accept the authority of the Risen Lord as manifested in the Church.

As the greatest event in history, Easter confirms the Christian teachings. It is the reason why we do all that we do in the Church and it is the power behind what the Church does: power to baptise, to preach, to convert and to work miracles. Thus, all activities and devotion of faith derive inspiration from Easter.

As the resurrection reveals to us that Jesus is Lord, it also shows how the true and living God keeps to his word. Prophecies abound that the Messiah would suffer and die and on the third day rise from the dead. Satan knew all this, but he was outwitted by reason of the Cross. He never envisaged that the one who was in the state of God could stoop so low to accepting death on the Cross. It was out of humility and submission to the will of God that Jesus conquered sin and death. And he rose as he promised that he would. No power  stopped Jesus from rising. Even the huge stone and the Roman soldiers could not halt his resurrection.

Another significance of Easter is that God always vindicates the righteous. “For you will not abandon my soul in Sheol, neither will you allow your Holy One to see decay” (Ps 16:10). Indeed, God does not aid evil because evil by nature has no future. God only supports what is good. And no matter how long evil reigns, good will one day catch up with it and reign forever. It is only when one lives like Jesus that one can confidently exercise the hope of being raised like Jesus and reign eternally with God.

 


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