Resurrection of the Lord – Year B

Posté par diaconos le 31 mars 2021

Jesus had to be raised from the dead

Résurrection du Seigneur — Année B – 1 AVRIL 2018 | Croixstandre's Weblog

# Resurrection in the Christian religion refers to the physical passage from death to life. It mainly concerns Jesus Christ, who died during his crucifixion and lived « on the third day according to the Scriptures », i.e. on Easter morning. Historical-critical exegesis has tried to trace the debate between Pharisees and Sadducees about the belief in resurrection at the time of Jesus of Nazareth, and has stressed the importance of these discussions in the formation of Christianity.

However, three resurrections preceded that of Jesus in the New Testament, that of the widow’s son in Luke’s Gospel, that of Jairus’ daughter in the Synoptics, and that of Lazarus in John’s Gospel. Considered as miracles that obey God’s will, these episodes do not seem to constitute a prefiguration of the Christic resurrection. Christ’s resurrection is of a theologically different nature. Two resurrections followed the resurrection of Jesus Christ : the resurrection of Dorcas (Tabitha) by the Apostle Peter and the resurrection of Eutyche by the Apostle Paul.

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From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John

On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early in the morning, it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. Then she ran to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, « The Lord has been taken away from his tomb, and we do not know where he has been laid. « Then Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They both ran together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. As he bent down, he saw that the linen cloths were laid out, but he did not go in. Simon Peter, who had followed him, came in turn. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths spread out and the shroud that had wrapped Jesus’ head, which was not spread out with the linen cloths but rolled up in its place. Then the other disciple, who had been the first to arrive at the tomb, came in. He saw and believed. Until then, the disciples had not understood that, according to the Scriptures, Jesus had to rise from the dead. (Jn 20, 1-9)

The resurrection of Jesus

John speaks of her as having come alone to the tomb, while the other evangelists mention several women who also rushed to visit the tomb, with the intention of embalming the Lord’s body: « After the Sabbath, when the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb. «   (Mt 28, 1-2) And behold, there was a great earthquake, and the angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled away the stone, and sat on it. To reconcile this difference, many exegetes say that they all went together, but that John only mentioned Mary Magdalene, on whom he focused all his interest because of the important role she played.

John was not unaware that she had companions, since he had her speak in the plural and on their behalf.  Other interpreters think that Marie Madeleine really did go to the tomb alone and before all the others. When Marie Madeleine went to the tomb, she saw with amazement that the stone that closed it had been removed, and she ran to tell Peter and John. On her way back to the city, the other women approached the open tomb and saw an angel who announced to them : « Jesus is risen. Then they left in haste and ran to tell the disciples the news. »

Marie Madelaine’s emotion and fear are reflected in the words with which she tells the disciples this news. The idea that Jesus might rise again had not yet entered her mind, because she was only thinking about the removal of his body. The other disciple whom Jesus loved was John, who referred to himself in this way, without ever naming himself: « When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.  »

Peter and John, filled with the deepest emotion on hearing the words of Mary Magdalene, rushed out of the city; and going to the tomb, they ran together to the place where Jesus was buried. John, who was probably younger and more agile, went ahead of his companion and reached the tomb first.

Stooping to look into the grotto, he saw the linen cloths with which the body had been wrapped, but restrained by the instinctive fear inspired by the mystery of death and the uncertainty of the situation, he dared not enter. Peter arrived at that moment and, more resolute than John, entered the tomb and observed the linen cloths lying on the ground and the shroud that had covered the head of Jesus, carefully folded in one place, while the linen cloths had been thrown around. Encouraged by the example of his fellow student, John also entered the cave, saw and believed.

What did he believe ?

John did not mean that he believed the words of Marie Madelaine, because the remarkable order that Jesus had left in his tomb absolutely excluded the idea of an abduction carried out hastily by his enemies. No, she believed that Jesus had risen, and this conviction reinforced her belief that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God.  Like Thomas, the two disciples needed to see in order to believe. John humbly pointed out the reason for their slowness to believe: they had not yet understood, even then, the Scripture that says that Jesus had to rise from the dead: they could have found Jesus’ resurrection announced in passages such as Psalms 16 ; Psalms 22 ; Psalms 110; Isaiah 53…

The teachings of Jesus and especially the light of the Holy Spirit opened the eyes of the apostles on this point, as on many others. Then they understood the Scriptures (Acts 2, 25-34 ; Acts 8, : 32-33 ; Acts 13, 33-35). In addition to the Old Testament revelations, the disciples had heard Jesus’ many clear statements about his death and resurrection : « And he took the twelve with him and said to them, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be fulfilled’  » (Lk 18:31).

But the evangelists themselves affirm, with inimitable candour and humility, that the disciples did not understand these predictions of Jesus any better than they understood the Scriptures: « And they held fast to this word, while they wondered among themselves what it meant to rise from the dead » (Mk 9,  10).

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links with other Christian websites

◊ Quiet Publications : click here to read the paper →   The Resurrection of Our Lord, Easter Day, Year B

◊ Lutheran Coalition : click here to read the paper →     THE PRAYERS, Easter Day, The Resurrection of OurLord

 ♥  Bishop Barron’s Easter Homily

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