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The Word, The Truth

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The four Gospels give different accounts of the empty tomb and the appearances of the risen Christ. They represent different traditions, some emphasizing the role of women, others that of disciples, and thus difficult to harmonize. They all converge however around the basic fact: the tomb was empty and the Lord was risen.

In the gospel of John 20:1-9, the verb used is ‘rise’, ‘anistēmi’, (ἀνἰστῆμι) with the primary sense to arise, rise up, raise up in a variety of contexts. When used in the phenomenon of the resurrection, it describes Christ’s ‘rising from the dead’ as both prophesied and recorded (cf Mt 17:9, 20:19; Mk 9:9f, 10:34; Lk 18:33, 24:7; Acts 2:24f, 3:26, 13:33f; Rom 14:9; 1 Cor 15:3-5). In other words it is according to the salvifc plan of God from the very beginning (OT) and it is indeed a historical fact as accounted by the NT scriptures.

The tomb was empty because Christ is risen and his emergence from the tomb points to the following: first, it is God’s endorsement of everything Jesus claimed and taught. His life ends in victory not defeat, not destroyed by cynical machinations, political manipulation or military power. God has the final word in Jesus’ resurrection. Second, this faith event is a cause of our salvation- ‘if Christ did not rise, we are still deep in sin’, says St. Paul, the “firstborn of the dead”, who called us to a similar destiny. Third, it is the risen Christ that represents the starting point of Christian faith, the prism through which everything in his earthly ministry is now viewed. Jesus of Nazareth is truly God’s Son and Lord. And we are the easter people.

Our union with Christ makes our suffering his and his resurrection ours. These two great moments in salvation are woven into the fabric if our Christian life. Our final victory will not be ours alone but his as well and our suffering especially in the interest of faith is not borne alone for Christ bears it with us.

May the risen Christ strengthens us to bear our sufferings in this life and grants us life eternal in the next. Amen.

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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