The Resurrection of Jesus from a tomb of solid rock is a pivotal event in world history.
It took many days and multiple appearances for Jesus to convince his skeptical apostles that He was not a ghost, but a real flesh and blood person with all the wounds of his brutal death quite visible.
Even though he had warned them of how it would all end, they had only half-listened.
On Saturday night, as they had huddled in fear in that same place where Jesus had celebrated with them on Thursday, all they could think of was the soldiers coming to the garden and hustling him away. They had run in the other direction, all except John who had stood firmly to the end at the foot of the cross.
And now, in the early hours before dawn, Mary Magdalene comes to the locked door with the wild story of an empty tomb.
When Peter and John went to the tomb with her, only John really believed.
Peter must have gone back to bed, until again some women reported seeing a “young man” at the tomb with news that He was risen and had gone to Galilee.
Today’s first Easter reading is from the preaching of Peter now filled with the Holy Spirit who tells a crowd that he has seen the risen Christ with his own eyes and eaten with him.
He gives firm and unquestionable testimony to the central belief of Christian faith.
The second Easter reading is from St. Paul who, after being knocked from his horse and instructed by the risen Christ Himself, tells the Colossians what it’s all about.
And that we must think of what’s above, live as though already with Christ in glory.
An alternate reading for today tells us to be like fresh dough, made with new yeast, and ready to rise to new life. With divine power, Jesus had easily broken through the solid rock of his tomb. It was far more difficult for the risen Christ to pull the disciples out of their fears and disbelief.
His first command to his disciples was to go out and tell the whole world the good news that Jesus had won for them forgiveness of sin and freedom from eternal death.
What does the Resurrection mean for us?
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, urges us to break open our own tombs in which we have buried ourselves through sin and fear, so that Jesus can come in to clear away all that prevents us from Easter joy.
Despite the confusion and moral breakdown of our times, He comes to give us hope and courage. It can truly change our lives. In that conviction, let Jesus transform us, and give us cause to sing ALLELUIA!.