Sunday, April 26, 2009


"Why do you search for the Living One among the dead? He is not here; He has been raised up." —Luke 24:5-6

Alleluia! Jesus is risen! He's alive! "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:55) We as Christians have personally had the most overwhelming experience imaginable. The One Who loves us so much, Who would do anything for us, was brutally murdered by crucifixion. To have a loved one die is traumatic enough without it being a violent murder. Amazingly, this Victim came out of the grave on the third day. We who love Him are transformed from a shattered life to victory, from weeping to joy, and from mourning to dancing (Ps 30:6, 12). Imagine a dead parent, spouse, or friend walking in the room right now. This would be a shadow of what happens when we meet the risen Christ.

We may think we cannot meet the risen Jesus because His body is no longer with us but is ascended to the right hand of the Father. This is irrelevant. The physical body of the risen Christ had little effect on those that encountered Him. Mary Magdalene thought He was the gardener (Jn 20:15). The two disciples on the road to Emmaus walked about seven miles with Him and still did not recognize His glorified body (Mk 16:12). What they did notice was their hearts burning as Jesus explained the Scriptures to them (Lk 24:32). This was the beginning of meeting the risen Lord (Lk 24:8; Jn 20:9). Then, together with the breaking of the bread (the Eucharist), they finally recognized the risen Jesus (Lk 24:35; Acts 10:41; Mk 16:14). Still, this did not complete the experience. Although the disciples' eyes were opened, their hearts were still closed by fear, as indicated by the locked doors of the upper room (Jn 20:26). Finally, the Spirit set them free by rolling away the stone of fear from the tomb of the upper room. Then they ran out into the streets and proclaimed the wondrous works of God (Acts 2:11).

In summary, meeting the risen Christ had little to do with seeing His physical body. "Blest are they who have not seen and have believed" (Jn 20:29). The teaching of God's word is the beginning of meeting the risen Jesus. Then our eyes are opened in the breaking of the bread. The experience culminates in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the call to evangelization. Then we have experientially and personally met the risen Lord. Our lives are changed dramatically. A dead Man, Jesus the God-Man, is living and breathing in our midst. Life is no longer the same.