Christianity is the religion of Christ crucified and risen. Christ redeemed us by His death and resurrection. As St Paul puts it: “Jesus was handed over to death for our sins and raised up for our justification” (Rom 4:25).
His death and resurrection removed our sins and gave us justification, divine life.
The apostles started preaching about Christ’s death and resurrection soon after they experienced Christ’s resurrection. This teaching was handed down orally and slowly put into writing.
The Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles and the Letters of the New Testament tell us how the apostles experienced the Risen Lord so that we by accepting their testimony can believe in the risen Lord also and thus be saved.
Jesus died on the Cross and was buried in the sepulchre. The third day after His burial, Jesus appeared to Mary of Magdala and the other Mary. He appeared to Peter and the other apostles, the two disciples of Emmaus, and to more than 500 of His followers (1 Cor:15).
These eye witnesses show us that Christ’s Resurrection is a historical fact. If Christ did not rise, would the apostles and disciples work so hard and even give up their lives to witness to the Risen Lord? Our faith rests on the report of the eye witnesses of the risen Lord.
The Resurrection is the centre of our faith. As St Paul says: If Christ has not risen, our faith is a delusion, is empty! Our life does not make sense!
Christ redeemed us by His death and resurrection. We believe in Jesus who was handed over to death for our sins and raised up for our justification (Rom 4:25). Through Christ’s death and resurrection our sins are taken away and the new divine life has been given to us.
Easter has relevance for us today, not only because it offers the world a true way of life with the assurance of the resurrection of the body after we are dead, but also because it offers to all believers the hope of new life here and now, a life filled with light, love and joy.
The Risen Christ has come to dispel the darkness of sin and evil and to be the light to show us the way to true peace and joy – a peace and joy the world cannot give.
We have the light of the Risen Lord in us ONLY when we recognise, respect and love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother, is still in the dark” (1 John 2:8-9).
My dear brothers and sisters, our problems and those of the world around us will not magically disappear on Easter morning. However, as Easter represents rebirth, renewal and hope, we are better positioned to do the work that is necessary to set ourselves on the right path.
The future is bright if we accept Jesus into our lives and truly follow His way.
May the Risen Lord live in us and may we radiate Him to others by our life and example, reaching out to those in need, promoting love, justice and peace, bringing hope to those in despair, light to those in darkness, joy to those in sorrow, and love to those who are neglected.
Christ is risen and He wants to light up our lives.
May the splendour of His Resurrection scatter the shadows in our lives and enable us to walk in radiant hope towards our eternal home.
Christ is risen, Alleluia! A blessed Easter to one and all!
Archbishop Nicholas Chia