Matthew chapter 28 describes the scene of the resurrection.
Listen to the first verse.
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. (Matthew 28:1)
These words catch my eyes.
“After the sabbath”
“The first day of the week”
The first creation ended with the Sabbath. Now there is a new beginning. The first day of the week was dawning. It is the language of a new beginning.
The resurrection is the new beginning. That’s why Luke started another book, called the Acts of the Apostles. The resurrection of Jesus started a new movement. He recorded what this new movement looked like. All four gospel writers experienced the resurrection and that prompted them to write their gospel. And they all believed that Jesus’ resurrection opened a new era, a new beginning, and a new world.
So Mark started with this.
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Mark 1:1)
John started with this.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
They all experienced the new beginning in Jesus’ resurrection. They experienced the resurrection. They saw it, heard it, and felt it. What they used to know maybe theoretically, now they experienced it. Until then, death controlled their lives. Now they realized that death was not the end anymore. They saw that in Jesus’ resurrection. This gave them a new hope and their life changed.
When we believe that there is resurrection, we can start a new life. We can look at our lives differently.
Angel told the women this.
He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him. This is my message for you.’ (Matthew 28:7)
On the way, they met Jesus and Jesus told the women this.
Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me. (Matthew 28:10)
The angel and Jesus both emphasized Galilee. Go there. I would be there. Why Galiliee? That was where Jesus began his ministry. Jesus wanted the disciples to start again from where he started his ministry.
Jesus’ ministry did not end at his death. Jesus’ ministry started again with his resurrection. But this time, it will be done not by Jesus. But the disciples would carry out the ministry. But Jesus promised that he would be with them.
That’s why at the end of this chapter which is the end of the book, Matthew ended his gospel with this.
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’(Matthew 28:18-20)
We come together on Sunday. Do you know why? To celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. And with that celebration, our week begins. So to us, Sunday is the beginning of our week.
St. Paul had a new beginning of his life after he met the risen Lord on the road to Damascus. That’s why he said this.
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
When you know that death is not the end, you can start a new life. You will have a new beginning.
Jesus had done all he had to do. Then he died. On Sabbath, he rested. And on Sunday, he rose from the dead and brought a new beginning, new creation, and new life. The old has gone and the new has come.
Every Sunday, we can begin a new life. That should be our life pattern. We might have failed during the week. We might have ruined our life for that week. We might have gone astray.
But on Sunday, we can start a new life. That is what the spirit of resurrection is all about. We fall and we rise again. We fail and we try again. That is what resurrection is.
Boast in Your Suffering
Death cannot end our new beginning. Death cannot be the period of our life. We won’t let death be the period. We always connect the next sentence with the “and” or “but”. I have finished the race AND the crown of glory is waiting for me. I have failed BUT I will try again because God gives me another opportunity.
The resurrection is not just about the physical death. The resurrection is our life attitude. When you believe in the resurrection, your life attitude will be renewed.
You won’t be scared of losing everything. Because you know that it will be filled up again. It will be filled up more abundantly. It is so filled up that it will flow over. You cannot but be positive about your life. Even failure will only help you.
This is what St. Paul said.
…we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope (Romans 5:3, 4)
Even suffering will not end our life. Suffering will only help to produce hope within us. That’s why he said he boasted in his sufferings.
Our weaknesses are the same.
Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
Even his weaknesses could not make him weak. Because you have the spirit of resurrection within you.
The Children of Resurrection
I want to show you what it is like for the people who have the spirit of resurrection.
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)
My friends, you are sons and daughters of resurrection. Nothing will be able to destroy you. Nothing will be able to crush you down. Nothing will be able to drive you to despair.
Whenever you fall, rise again. Whenever you fail, try again.
You are the children of resurrection.