Deputy Principal - Mission & Faith

Easter – the resurrection of Jesus

On Sunday 5 April we celebrated Easter.  Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary.  Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Easter is linked to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and crucifixion that preceded the resurrection.  According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples for his death in the upper room during the Last Supper.  He identified the bread and the cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed.  Paul states, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed".  This refers to the Passover requirement to have no yeast in the house and to the allegory of Jesus as the Paschal lamb.

The Catholic Church teaches that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a real event in history.  This belief stems from the empty tomb and Jesus’ appearances and encounters with the apostles.  Mary Magdalene, with other women went to the tomb to finish anointing the body of Jesus and found the tomb empty and then, “encountered the Risen One” (Mk 16:1; Lk 24:1; Jn 19:31).  After Mary Magdalene, Jesus appeared to Peter and then the Twelve.  Jesus’ resurrection was a passing, “from the state of death to another life beyond time and space” (Catechism of the Catholic Church para 646).  It was not just a return to an “earthy life”.  It is seen as a, “transcendent intervention of God himself in creation and history” (CCC para. 648).

The resurrection of Jesus confirms Jesus as the Christ and his works and teachings (CCC para. 651).  He is divine.  For Human Beings and their search for meaning Jesus’ resurrection opens a, “new way of life” (CCC para. 653), a new understanding of what death is and of what happens at death.  As St Paul says in his letter to the Romans, “so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life’ (Rom 6:4).  Jesus’ resurrection is the fulfillment of the divine plan of salvation.  What was lost at the Fall in the Garden of Eden is now restored.  We are now reinstated, “in God’s grace.  So Human Beings can now see that they like Jesus will rise again, “…the risen Christ himself – is the principal and source of our future resurrection” (CCC para. 655).

Death holds no fear for followers of Christ.  Death is not the end.  Human Beings will rise to life.  For us, as Christians, Easter is a day of celebration as our faith in God is now fulfilled; Christ has saved us and has destroyed the hold that death has on us.  Jesus’ resurrection gives us the promise of new life, now and in the world to come!

Dr Michael Grace

Deputy Principal - Mission and Faith