Fr. Jigs Rosalinda
The event of the “first day of the week,” early morning on the day of the resurrection, took place as the Lord himself had foretold. Rising from the dead was not at all a predictable story whose outcome was long foregone. It required the tenacity of faith in something that was counter intuitive. Jesus rose from the dead as he said he would, but the disciplines did not comprehend it yet (cf John 20: 9). The news of Jesus’ rising from the sleep of death created more incredulity than acceptance—for a good reason. Peter and the beloved disciple had to run and see the tomb (cf John 20: 1). In their minds, this could not be a presumption that was so easy to make; that they needed to see it for themselves was a matter for authentic believing.
What was the heart of the Good News? What is the essence of our Christian belief in the Easter proclamation? The Gospel of John gives preeminence to Peter as the primary witness of the resurrection. The beloved disciple allowed Peter to enter the tomb first (cf John 20:8). Seeing the empty tomb made both of them witnesses. Later on Peter proclaimed this faith saying, “(we are) witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10: 41). Christian faith in the resurrection is a gift handed down to us through their (Peter’s) witnessing of the event. We believe in Jesus’ conquest of death because of the proclamation of the apostles that started from their time up to ours.
The heart of this Easter proclamation took the world by surprise as the apostles were still reeling from the pain of Jesus’ death. The Good News came early, “while it was still dark,” when everyone was asleep and the world was utterly unprepared and unsuspicious. Like in everything, God has acted beyond human expectations. What a delight was the sudden burst of joy of Easter! And yet, one can never say that this was not as planned, as Scripture would have it, “he had to rise from the dead” (John 20: 9). Easter Sunday hints at both God’s ability to open this world to new and wonderful things, and His capacity to fulfill the promise of raising us to the fullness of new life. Because of this, the resurrection of Christ brings our hope to a full circle, our love to the realm that is beyond the reach of death, and our faith to the glorious life now and in the future.