He is risen! (He is risen indeed!)
The resurrection of Christ, which we celebrate today, is the integral focal point of all redemption history. Christ, who had died for the sins of the world on Friday, is on Sunday brought back to life in his glorified body. The New Creation has broken into the present, and Christ inaugurates this world of new life, for “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man” (1 Cor. 15:20-21). Indeed, if we are Christians, then the present reality that the New Creation has broken into the present creation through Christ”Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (1 Cor. 5:17)
Dr. N.T. Wright has a wonderful reflection particularly fitting for today in his book Surprised by Hope:
The resurrection of Jesus offers itself, to the student of history or science no less than the Christian or theologian, not as an odd event within the world as it is but as the utterly characteristic, prototypical, and foundational event within the world as it has begun to be. It is not an absurd event within the old world but the symbol and starting point of the new world. The claim advanced by Christianity is of that magnitude: Jesus of Nazareth ushers in not simply a new religious possibility, not simply a new ethic or a new way of salvation, but a new creation….
We could cope – the world could cope – with a Jesus who ultimately remains a wonderful idea inside his disciples; minds and heart. The world cannot cope with a Jesus who comes out of the tomb, who inaugurates God’s new creation right in the middle of the old one.
(Illustration The Incredulity of St. Thomas, Carravagio)