I know that spring has worked miracles in other years but I am still surprised when new life bursts forth. This experience reminds me of the first Easter. The disciples on Easter morning did not know the miracle that was about to change history. They did not know new life was about to burst forth. Whenever Jesus spoke about the fact that He would suffer and die on the cross in what are called the predictions of the Passion, the disciples refused to listen to Him.
They could not hear that He would rise on the third day because they were turned off by the thought of His suffering and death. In addition, they left the company of Christ at the Garden of Gethsemane and fled in fear.
In this context Easter morning was a total shock. Even after they realized that Jesus has indeed risen from the dead, they had no idea what it meant. After the Resurrection Jesus seemed to come into their presence out of nowhere. They felt reassured when He was with them but returned to their prison of fear when He left. They probably hoped that His resurrection meant a return to the good old days. Now Jesus would really conquer and win. Having risen from the dead, Jesus would certainly have the upper hand. They could continue to muddle along beside Him while Jesus did the preaching and the healing. They could ride on His success and get something in return for all they had given up.
While the Resurrection meant that Jesus had conquered death, it did not mean a return to the good old days. The Resurrection signaled God’s profound belief in the disciples and in us. Jesus entrusts to His disciples and to us the message and mission of His Gospel way of life. He returned to His Father in heaven and sent the Holy Spirit upon His bedraggled followers. With the reassurance of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were able to go forward with insight and courage to spread the Good News of salvation in Christ.
Thus the Resurrection of Christ offers us hope. In His Resurrection Jesus conquers death not only in His own life but also for all of human life. His Resurrection brings life out of death for all of us. God’s overwhelming desire is that each of us live in union with Him forever in a place of peace, justice, and love. Just as life is bursting forth on the earth after the blanket of winter has lifted, so life will burst forth after this veil of tears has been pierced by death.