The empty tomb of Jesus Christ

READINGS: Acts 10:34, 37-43/ Ps. 118/ Col. 3:1-4/ John 20:1-9.
Easter Sunday

By his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ has made the impossible possible.  As humans we sometimes encounter problems or difficulties that are simply impossible to resolve on our own.  A relation, for instance, is diagnosed of a terminal cancerous condition, and we realize that all the science, technology, medicine and money of the world cannot help.  Or, a dear one dies and we are grieved by the impossibility of bringing him/her back to life.  But, beloved, Jesus is capable of turning impossibilities into possibilities.

Mary Magdalene and her companions went to the tomb early that faithful resurrection morning worried about the impossibility of removing [by themselves] the huge stone from the entrance of the tomb (Mk. 16:3); but they were soon to realize that the RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ had made the impossible possible in a spectacular way: the RESURRECTION power did not merely push the huge stone, it blew it away!

Consequently, they would soon realize that the removal of the stone was, after all, not a great impossibility, for Jesus made possible something far greater impossible: He arose from the dead!  Despite the fact that Mary Magdalene had heard Jesus say ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’ (Jn. 11:25) and she saw Him demonstrate it by raising her brother Lazarus from the dead (Jn. 11:43-44), the fact that Jesus would rise from the dead was not something she and her companions thought of as they tripped to the tomb; for they were only intent on embalming the dead body of the Lord.  However, in a matters of a few hours, they came to the realization that Jesus did not only say ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’, that He did only raise some people from the dead, but that He was truly risen from the dead as He had promised (Mt. 16:21)! Praise the Lord!

Subsequently, the resurrection of Jesus would make many of His disciplescome to the realization that He is not merely human; He is not just a great prophet or miracle worker; He is truly Divine!  And this is what St. Thomas, who initially doubted, would affirm: ‘My Lord, and my GOD!’ (Jn. 20:28).  St. Thomas reasoned that only a Divine Person can do the impossible thing of rising from the dead!

Beloved, when Thomas and other disciples came to believe that Jesus is not only human but Divine as well, they came to realize [with hindsight] many other impossibilities that the Lord had made possible.  First of all, if Jesus is God, then the impossibility of the Almighty and All-holy God becoming a human being has been made possible: truly the Word of God, the Son of God, has become flesh and dwells among us (Jn. 1:14).  Secondly, the impossibility of a woman conceiving God had been made possible: Blessed Mary, a human being, conceived the Son of God.  Thirdly, the impossibility of the God being born as a human baby was made possible!  Other impossibilities made possible by our Divine Master include: water was changed into wine; He walked on the sea (lake); He fed over five thousand people with only five small loaves of bread.

Beloved, I can go on tracing many more impossibilities made possible in the earthly life of Jesus Christ, but let me return to the issue of His death and resurrection so that we can see how easily our Lord has handled the greatest human impossibilities. Firstly, even if a terminal cancer case ends in death, Jesus days: ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life.  He who believes in Me, though he may die, shall he live’ (Jn. 11:25).  Secondly, however the believer dies, death is no longer the end of his/her life; for Jesus has made possible the impossible thing of turning our death into new life.  Lazarus was brought back to this earthly life where there is still sickness, suffering and death; but by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus is offering us something exceedingly greater: a new life in heaven where there is no sickness, sorrow, death or any other form of calamity, but only joy, joy and joy in the everlasting blissful presence of God!

In other words, Jesus has turned our end (death) into a new beginning; He has turned our worst end into the best beginning we can ever think: the end of earthly life has become beginning of ever-joyful life in heaven.  Beloved, Jesus has made possible the impossible thing of making human beings sons and daughters of God: citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20)!

Therefore, beloved, I pray that our faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ may sustain us in the face of every problem or challenge, trusting firmly that what God has in store for us in heaven is far greater than we can imagine or think of, amen!

[Dear reader, you may also access the 2012 Easter Message: ‘THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST – KEY TO OUR FAITH.]

By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis

Bishop John Kobina Louis

Most Rev. John Kobina Louis is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana. More about him here.

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Catholic Homilies and Sermons for the Liturgical Year by Most Rev. John Kobina Louis, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana.

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