“Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6)
In the beginning, when God created the world, everything was good. Sin spoilt it all. God chose Abraham and from him began a race; a people who were to be in covenant with God living above sin and a light example to the rest of mankind but being humans, they kept falling back into sin. God saved them from Egypt by mighty works of valour, but they soon forgot God and returned to their sinful ways.
God did not give up on man; God has never given up on us. God sent the Prophets all of them with just one message: walk away from sin and embrace true life. We heard Isaiah, we heard Baruch, we heard Ezekiel all of them pleading that we return to God. Consider the images the prophets employed going as far as referring to us an adulterous wife and God the patient husband who seeks our return. Still, mankind remained hardened in sin.
God still not giving up on man decided to send His Son Jesus Christ. Again the prophets announced the coming of Christ as God coming to sprinkle clean water on us and change our heart of stone. Jesus was not born to live, He was born for one purpose; to die; to undo the sin of our first parents, to reconcile us to God, to free mankind from the grip of death and sin.
As St. Paul says, by recalling the death of Christ, we must remind ourselves of one basic truth; that by the death of Christ, we who call ourselves Christians must die to sin. If we continue living in sin, then we make a mockery of our entire spiritual history as children of Abraham. It is not enough that we push sin away, we must shine the light of Christ; we must be lights in this darkened world.
In the midst of so much darkness, we Christians are called to become like this Paschal Candle; to shine goodness, love, compassion, truth, justice and everything Christ would do.
The women went to the tomb very early in the morning hoping to anoint the body of Jesus with the spices. They were looking for a dead body but found an Angel who gave them the Good News. Jesus even met them on the way to confirm this great News. Like these women, we often become completely overwhelmed by the darkness that we only expect the worst to happen.
These women forgot or perhaps did not believe it when Jesus said several times that He would rise again. Seeing Jesus beaten like a worm and crucified was a blow too hard to swallow. Have you given up on your faith? God can still do the impossible.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, you died to save me from sin. Teach me to die to sin each moment and when my heart is weak with tears, raise me up and open my eyes to see your resurrected self. Amen.
(Holy Saturday Year B. Bible Study: Gen.1:1-2:2, Gen.22:1-28, Ex.14:15-15:1, Isa.54:5-14, Isa.55:1-11, Bar.3:9-15, 32-4:4, Ez.36:16-28, Rom.6:3-11 and Matthew 28:1-10).