“Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive? He is not here; he has been raised.” (Luke 24:5)
My beloved in Christ, Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is in spring that Christ died and rose from death. Nature then stood in full bloom. Butterflies fluttered in gardens where stood flowers of many colors and one could hear the warble of birds. Nature had prepared for Resurrection. So, did the angel declare that Christ was raised and the women and disciples who visited his tomb found it empty.
Empty tomb of Christ is the center of Christian faith: If the tomb were not empty, the centrality of Jerusalem would not have been maintained for a single day in the history. Faith in the crucified and risen Jesus cannot exist without the historical knowledge. This primordial event remains a concrete reality which divided the history as “Christ-centered” history. By coalescing the divine and human histories, thus making the Christ ‘fulfilled history’ and the “Christ controlled history”. It is this ‘Christic event’ dictated the history as ‘before and after Christ’ as the decisive and ‘kairotic’ moment. Therefore, this fact of empty tomb becomes both as the reality and a constructive hope of life for eternity.
Empty tomb of Christ is the Celebration of hope of life: The eschatological hope that Jesus’ resurrection brings is an ethical change for believers. Jesus’ resurrection involves a soteriological hope (Hope of salvation) while the (vicarious) death of Jesus on the cross is for the sake of the world. In other words, the righteous dying for the un-righteous. The death of Jesus must be understood, always in the context of Jesus’ resurrection. This hope in Christ’s resurrection is always a celebration of believer. The Eucharistic acclamation which follows the words of institution expresses almost sensory experience of the risen Christ, who is present with his redeeming life-giving power. The declaration which confesses Easter faith is ‘Christ has died; Christ has risen and will come again’. Lord, by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free, you are the Saviour of the world.
Empty tomb of Christ is the ‘Anubhava’, the experience in resurrected Lord: The path to sharing and growing in Easter faith has become possible by experiencing the risen Christ in worship with others, much more than analyzing evidence in favor of the resurrection. It has been a matter of knowing the risen Christ in direct and lasting experience rather than knowing things (the relevant data). It enjoys a practical as well as a logical and spiritual credibility.
Resurrection faith claims not only that Jesus rose from the dead but also that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, he has remained actively present in the world and in particular, in the lives of Christians. This experience leads us to understand the divine self-revelation. In other words, this experience is ‘God-encountering’, that dispels the darkness both in the mind and life. This gives a new vision and perspective towards changing our identity and the behavior. The early Christian proclamation of the risen Lord depended fundamentally on the four Gospels. This witness of Jesus’ resurrection makes the disciples as Apostles and in a unique manner as ‘the choicest’ of the earth.
The cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives a new courage and strength to face all the life situations in our life. His cross proved that death is not an end of life or death is not losing. Cross and resurrection gives new meaning and new hope to life.
May God Almighty will help us to lead a blessed life now and for evermore, Amen.
With prayers and Blessings, In God’s Ministry,
BIJI MATHEW ACHEN