Easter Sunday: "New Life"
Hallelujah! Christ is Risen!
Just what does that statement mean? At funerals, Isaiah 25:6-9 is always read. It is a passage of hope. Our blessed hope is resurrection from the dead. “We believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting” (Apostle’s Creed) because we will spend eternal life in a resurrected body. Christ is risen and is the first fruits of those who have died. As in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
I think many theologians have made original sin a bigger deal than it truthfully is. What about the original goodness of God’s creation? His indelible image in us? And the fact that God is making all things new? God never discards what is precious to Him but restores it, especially if the attempt to destroy it is motivated by the malice of His enemy. That’s the much bigger deal. That’s the good news of our hope.
Today is Easter and we celebrate Jesus’ victory over death. It is the death of death. St. Paul describes death as an enemy and unequivocally states that all of Jesus’ enemies will be put under His feet. That’s why, according to the writer of Hebrews, He became incarnate, so that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
Going back to Isaiah 25, we look forward to its promise that the burial shroud (pall) over all peoples of the earth will be turned into a huge table cloth. The global funeral will be turned into a heavenly feast. Death will be destroyed forever; tears will be wiped away and the disgrace of the people will be removed. That’s what God accomplished through His Son. That’s what Jesus gave His life for as He revealed the heart of the Father. And that’s the way it is in the kingdom of God.