Jesus is risen! What about us? | Love Digest

Julian Paparella

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Detail of the Anastasis (Resurrection) fresco in the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora, in Istanbul, Turkey. It depicts Jesus' descent into limbo to liberate Adam and Eve and all the righteous who have been waiting for him there. Photo credit: Till Niermann on Wikimedia Commons, cropped and used under the terms of licence CC BY-SA 3.0
These days we celebrate the wondrous resurrection of Jesus from the dead! Death could not hold Jesus in its grips! He broke through the chains of the grave and rose to everlasting life. Why did Jesus do this? Was He bored in heaven and so wanted to challenge himself by coming to earth and destroying death?
In reality, Jesus broke through the chains of death to unchain us. Eternal death is the most bitter enemy of our human nature. Jesus came to save us from this horrendous destiny.
If Jesus can defeat death itself, there is nothing that He cannot overcome. Being broken on the Cross and breaking open the tomb, Jesus is victorious over everything. Nothing can defeat Jesus! But Jesus' victory is not for Himself, it is for us and for all of creation.
So how can we experience the power of the resurrection in everyday life? How can we let Jesus' victory triumph in our lives? Every time there is an obstacle in front of us that overwhelms us. Every time a situation seems hopeless. Every time a tragedy brings us to despair. Every time we see no possible way forward. In all these instances, the power of Jesus' resurrection can intervene to open a new path, lift us to a new perspective, and create a new horizon.
This does not mean that Jesus is a wizard who wipes away all our problems with a simple flick of the wrist, taking away everything icky and unpleasant like Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser. Nor is Jesus the superhero who swoops in to take every kitty out of the tree. 
Jesus is not the king of easy solutions or quick fixes. Jesus is the one who radically redeems the most desperate and desolate situations by profoundly transforming them from within. This is what the resurrection does with the Cross. The resurrection doesn't just put band-aids on the wounds of Jesus' crucifixion. The resurrection makes those fatal wounds the portal of eternal life for you and for me, for the whole universe! That is something so much deeper and unimaginable than simply stitching things back together!
And so we can open ourselves, our wounds, the darkest corners of our life to the healing power of Jesus' resurrection. Jesus redeems even what is most difficult and most ugly to bring about something unimaginably beautiful. Often the parts of our lives that most need Jesus' redemption are the very things we do not want to show Him. We are ashamed, we want to make them go away quietly, we want to keep them hidden. But wounds only fester if they go untreated. Jesus is the doctor for our deepest wounds.
Let us offer Him everything that is painful, everything we struggle with, everything that makes us suffer. Let us dare to tell Him, "Jesus, I give this to You. I cannot do it on my own, but I trust in Your power. I entrust this into Your hands. Have mercy on me, I trust in You." Jesus rejoices to take our worst burdens upon Himself. He smiles as He heals us. As Jesus let Thomas touch His wounds, let Jesus touch the wounds in your life. He turns the dead of winter into a springtime of new life. He weaves broken threads into a magnificent tapestry!
Let us dare to open the door of our lives to the power of Jesus' resurrection! He makes us rise, victorious with Him forever!
Julian would be happy to hear from you, with any questions, insights, or suggestions you may have regarding this blog series. He can be reached at jpaparella@saltandlighttv.org.

Julian Paparella is a theology student at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Studies in Rome. Born and raised in London, Ontario, he has worked in pastoral ministry in Montreal and Paris, especially with young people. Julian strives to communicate our faith in a way that resonates with everyday life, helping people to better experience God today. He is married to Marion.


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