Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!
Today we celebrate the event that divided the history of the human race into two parts: before Christ and after Christ. Why is the life of a carpenter in a province of an almost forgotten empire so important? The month of August is named for Augustus Caesar, who was Roman emperor when Jesus was born. But, not for Augustus Caesar isthe calendar divided. Nor for Emperor Tiberius who reigned when Jesus died. Nor Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Palestine. We only remember Pilate because in the creed we confess that Jesus Christ suffered under the power of Pontius Pilate.
In addition, Jesus was crucified, a punishment for the worst criminals. To be crucified was a shame. Normally, nobody wanted to remember the crucified one. But nowadays we celebrate the victory of Christ on the cross. On that cross, Jesus paid the price of our sins, suffering the wrath of God in our places and overcame the devil, the world and our sinful nature.
But we not only remember His death on the cross, but also His resurrection. There is no event equal to the resurrection of Christ. The Old Testament says that the prophet Elijah revived the son of a widow. Jesus also revived the son of the widow of Nain, and Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. But, in those cases, the revived ones gained a second chance to live in this world, but not the promise of eternal life. They lived again for a while, and they died again.
Nowadays sometimes in the surgery chamber, the patient's heart stops and he is technically dead. But the doctors revived him and he says he saw a white light and his loved ones who have passed from this life. However, there is no evidence of the reality of these visions other than the word of the revived. They will live for a while longer and will die physically again without revitalization.
In Christ there is the evidence of the empty tomb and His appearance to many people. He not only saw agreeable visions, according to the first letter of Peter, He descended into hell and proclaimed His victory to the spirits in prison. Then, He ascended to the right of Almighty God the Father to rule the universe and from there He must come to judge the living and the dead.
Saint Paul says in our text for today: "But now Christ is risen from the dead; He has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. "
The public ministry of the Lord Jesus began with his baptism in the Jordan River and the appearance of the three persons of the Holy Trinity. For us, the Christian life begins with baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are baptized to walk towards our cross.
What is the certainty for everyone in this world? There are times of success and difficult times. Now we are in a time of trial in Venezuela, and nobody knows for how long. Some analysts say at least 20 years. But, like everything, this crisis will pass. Generally, human life lasts 75 years or so, but there is no guarantee. Some people die in childhood, others live more than 100 years, but die in the end. The only certainty for all is death. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, humble or famous. Death comes.
Among the uncertainties of this world, the concern with death is above all. The fear of death is not based only on the ignorance of what is beyond physical death. In their hearts, everyone knows that we do not deserve anything good after this world, only the wrath of God.
But we, the baptized in Jesus Christ, have another certainty, the promise of eternal life from which comes the peace that the world can not know. Our bodies are going to die because of their sinful nature, but we will be resurrected one day as Christ was resurrected. When? St. Paul says, "But each one in his proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then those who belong to Christ, at his coming. "
That is to say, at the second coming of Christ. On that day of judgment, we believers will be resurrected for eternal life, those who rejected the gospel of Christ for eternal death.
Many counselors say for success in this life we have a positive attitude, to anticipate a bright future. Where does this positive attitude come from? Only in Christ do we find a purpose for life other than to be born, to eat, to drink, perhaps to beget children and die. Through Christ we have faith and hope among the trials and difficulties of this life. In this we have the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.
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