Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her. (John 20:1-18)
The Concept Of Resurrection
Jesus today is the rising from the dead. The concept of resurrection is kind of familiar to us. Resurrection is Jesus rising from the dead to the early Christians. For example, Mary today, resurrection, even the concept itself was not a familiar concept. It is unimaginable, beyond our imagination. It was a very, very difficult concept to accept. She might have some idea of the possibility of resurrection because her brother Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus. But the thing is, Jesus who raised Lazarus is dead now. Who’s going to raise the raising? She cannot even think about the possibility of resurrection. When she saw the empty tomb, she was devastated. She did not even look at the empty tomb. She did not even think about the possibility that Jesus might’ve been raising. She automatically assumed that somebody took the body away. Somebody took the body away. That’s how she thought. The entity was supposed to be good news because Jesus is raising. Jesus is not there anymore. But to Mary it was somebody must have taken the body from the tomb.
Tomb is where death is – the tomb cannot hold Jesus anymore because Jesus was not dead anymore. Jesus is not in the tomb where the dead gathers. When Mary finally met the risen Christ, she met Christ whom she could not find in the tomb. There when she met the risen Christ. She found the ultimate purpose of her life. She realized that all the teaching and all the actions of Jesus were consummated in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That’s what I believe. Resurrection is the conclusion of everything. Resurrection, it’s the finale day of our life. The resurrection is a final goal and object of what we human beings pursue and look for it.
We do a lot of things in life. We tried to find meaning in what we do and sometimes we find good meaning in life and we do meaningful things. For without resurrection, everything becomes temporary and we cannot find the ultimate meaning. That’s why St. Paul said “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.” Your faith is futile. We have hope even in our suffering because at the end of our suffering, we know that there is restoration. Even you hit the rock bottom of your life, you can hit it, kick it and then rise again because you have the power of resurrection that brings you up from the dead. I believe the resurrection is the greatest gift God gave to all human beings, but it is there. It is hidden. We cannot understand it. We cannot know it. It is in different reality because it is in a different reality with our reality. We cannot understand the reality of the resurrection by touching, by feeling, by seeing, by tasting. You cannot understand resurrection because it is a different reality. So with the methodology of our reality, we can never understand the real reality of resurrection.
The Power Of Resurrection
When Jesus died on the cross and afterwards when he was raised, he appeared to the disciples and Thomas wasn’t there and Thomas said, “Unless I touched his head and then feel the nail mark and then I touch his side, and then put my hand in there, I will not accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Thomas said, in other words, what he’s saying is, with this reality, I will understand, I will accept that reality or not. That’s what he’s saying, basically. With the evidence of this reality, I will understand the power of that reality, a different reality. When Jesus Christ, after one week, appeared to Thomas and then told him feel my head, put your hand on my side. Then the scripture doesn’t say that Thomas actually felt the hand or put his hand on the side. The scripture doesn’t say that. As soon as Thomas met the risen Christ, he knelt down and then confessed my Lord and my God. Resurrection is not something that I can explain. The resurrection is not something that you can prove, but there is a resurrection and there is a power of resurrection working in us and operating in us, and our ultimate goal in our lives is to meet the power, encounter the power of resurrection and live our lives with that power. Once we believe in the resurrection, that power will control us, will change us… that power will change our present moment. Not only will that power gives us eternal life, that power will change our present life. It will give us the confidence, no matter what we go through we will not be crushed because that power of resurrection is with us.
Everything we do becomes so enjoyable. Even the suffering cannot dampen the spirit of life that is working within us. Jesus believed in resurrection and ultimately he resurrected. When you believe in the resurrection, ultimately you will also rise from the dead. You will experience the resurrection. I love even the concept of resurrection and I may not be able to prove it to you, but even the idea of the resurrection is so wonderful. For any of you who are here who don’t believe in resurrection but still think about the concept and the idea of resurrection, that is so powerful. And they will transform our existence in the most meaningful way, and today we celebrate that resurrection.
Take a few moments of silence and reflection of how great God is. The resurrection is the greatest gift that God has given to all of us. May the power of the resurrection work in your lives – so no matter what suffering, hardship, difficulties or uncertainties of the future you may go through, let the power of resurrection work in your lives so that you may be able to overcome all these obstacles and challenges and live your life with confidence and victory.