Resurrection of Christ

By Rev. Fr. Eva Chuma Nnamene

The Resurrection of Jesus is an uncommon experience. It is not given to man to rise after death. As a matter of fact, the Scripture says that people are meant to die once, and "after that, comes judgment" (Hebrews 9: 27). Though it was not given to men to rise from the dead, Jesus raised Lazarus from death after four days (John 11: 38-44). In doing that, Jesus was the external force that came against all the supernatural, natural and physical changes that may have taken place at death. From the Scriptural descriptions, Lazarus would have decomposed by the time Jesus came to Bethany. But when the Divine Master invoked his name, Lazarus emerged from the dead, and rose to life.

The Resurrection of Jesus, on its own, was an unusual phenomenon. The Scriptural passages that narrated the story had no allusions to any intervention of whatsoever external force. And so, in the face of the heavily guarded soldiers who kept watch at his tomb, when it came to that Resurrection time, the God-Man, whose death, St Paul described as having destroyed death (1 Corinthians 15: 55) rose from the dead. It beats human imagination to describe what happened. It bugs human mind comprehend how it happened. But the annals human history cannot be complete without the record of the greatest feat of our redemption.

Jesus' Resurrection could be described as a time-bomb that exploded when the appointed time came. There was no voice to call out or induce any changes or any interventions; but when the appointed time, the Lion of Judea, rose from death. In some parts of the world, people use eggs to illustrate this self generated and internally orientated force that transforms His death into life.

Here are some of the views of few Church Fathers on the Resurrection: St John Damascus taught that the world should break into songs at the resurrection. "Now all things have been filled with light, both heaven and earth and those beneath the earth; so let all creation sing Christ's rising, by which it is established."

St Ambrose of Milan saw it as a crossover to eternity. "Now since you are celebrating the holy Pascha, you should know, brethren, what the Pascha is. Pascha means the crossing-over, and so the Festival is called by this name. For it was on this day that the Children of Israel crossed over out of Egypt, and the Son of God crossed over from this world to His Father. What gain is it to celebrate unless you imitate Him Whom you worship; that is, unless you cross over from Egypt, that is, from the darkness of evildoing to the light of virtue, from the love of this world to the love of your heavenly home?"

St John Chrysostom saw the battle Jesus fought with death. "O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." What is the resurrection for you?

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