We have just celebrated the most important moment in human history. The Easter Triduum (the three days) recalls the Last Supper, the death of the Lord, and His most glorious resurrection. The resurrection shows us many things. It shows us things about Jesus, things about God, and things about ourselves. Over the next few weeks, we will look at each of these three aspects of the resurrection.
What then does the resurrection tell us about Jesus? It seems quite a silly question really. It tells us that He died and rose again. And because we have faith, and know what it teaches us, then it shows us that He is God. But that last fact - that Jesus is God - was not immediately understood by the disciples, and it took a few years for our brothers and sisters in the early Church to work that out. Of course it was all there in what Jesus had said and taught, but we human beings are never the quickest people at times!
First of all, the resurrection gave a strength and validity to what He had said. Before that, He was just a good teacher, a gifted preacher, even a moral leader. But after the resurrection, it changed all of these things from something you or I could have done, and lifted them to another level. You see, had I said these things, then it would have remained the message of a human being, and lets face it, we can take or leave the message of someone like us. But when He rose from the dead, then we listen to it in a different way. We have to take this man seriously if He is not bound by the same laws of nature as we are. This is not just a teacher - special or otherwise - no, this is something more.
And when we look at what He said, then we realise that He claimed divinity for Himself: He is God. Either He was lying, or mad, or telling the truth. The resurrection shows is that He was not mad. And He was not lying… no, He was telling the truth. He is the way the truth and the life. He and the Father are one. And when He raised up bread and said it was His body, and wine and said that it was His blood - then guess what? It was. No longer bread and wine, but now His body and blood, truly and really. And the teaching that He gave us could never be up for grabs, we could not just argue it away. The resurrection proves that He is God, and we have to listen to the TRUTH that He teaches us.
The temptation has always been to downplay Jesus into just an inspiring man. After all, we can control a historical figure. We can say that what He said and what He did was influenced by His time and His society… but if He is God, proven by His resurrection, then we cannot ignore Him, or put Him into a box, or on a shelf. The resurrection breaks into our life, and forces us to know and love this man, this God, this God-made-man.