The cry is given and the proclamation is made: “The Lord is Risen! He is truly Risen!” They are a few simple words, but they express the most profound mystery in human history.
God has become a man. He lived a human life. He allowed himself to undergo a brutal passion and accepted death. On the third day, he rose from the dead. It was a resurrection, not a resuscitation. He is risen forever. By his glorious resurrection, he conquered death and now offers eternal life to those who love him.
Such a truth is both an inspiration and consolation.
The Easter mystery is an inspiration as we fight the good fight in the midst of a fallen world. As we see brokenness in ourselves and in the human family, the Resurrection reminds us that such fallenness does not have the last word. As we undergo tribulation, defeat, and hardship, the light of the Resurrection gives us strength and a hope for healing and restoration.
As Christians, the Resurrection is the end that gives order to our entire lives. It helps us to lick our wounds, renew our hearts, and pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. The spiritual awareness that the Risen Christ is walking with us and awaits to share eternal life with us serves as a springboard to free us from the melancholy of our fallen world. It is a leaven to our hearts and a life-giving salt to our souls. It is a light that scatters darkness.
The Resurrection gives purpose, meaning, and value to everything we do. It lifts our hearts and shows us a brighter reality and a more glorious life.
The Easter mystery is also a consolation. None of us walks alone. We share our lives with others, as they share their lives with us. We are united in giving and in receiving love and care from others.
Death, however, threatens to break or trivialize such bonds. Death claims to end things. It purports to take away the people we love and who loved us. As a consequence of sin, death is manipulative and lies to us. It wants us to feel alone. It asserts a raw and fruitless end to life. Death desires desolation to our souls. Death is evil.
The Resurrection, however, humbles death. It shines light on its lies. It exposes death’s false claims. The Resurrection shows us an eternal horizon and the perpetual unity of all people. It reveals the afterlife to us and gives us a hope of eternal life. The Resurrection heals our grieving, consoles our broken hearts, and teaches us that we are never alone. The Resurrection shows us eternity. It helps us to feel the presence of our departed loved ones. It gives us the great hope of one day seeing them again.
In the Resurrection, we are given the knowledge that our departed loved ones might be rejoicing with the Risen Lord is all his glory. They see the face of God and are filled with perfect joy.
As Saint John teaches us in the Book of Revelation: “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”
In this life, we believers cry out: “The Lord is Risen! He is truly Risen!” In the Resurrection, we are consoled and encouraged with the understanding that our departed loved ones are joining with us in this rejoicing. But they have the privilege of crying out: “Lord, you are Risen! You are truly Risen! And we now share in your Resurrection!”
The former things would have passed and our loved ones dwell with God. And with such knowledge, we on earth are given the heartfelt consolation that our loved ones are at peace and are still with us. They journey with us as we hope to one day also share in the glory that is promised in the Resurrection.
The Resurrection, therefore, is our source of inspiration and consolation. It is the heart of our faith. It is the cause of our joy. The Lord is Risen! He is truly Risen!
Follow Father Jeffrey Kirby on Twitter: @fatherkirby