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Catholic Faith Nugget:
What's the big deal with this whole resurrection thing? So, like, I get Jesus died for our sins, but what does that even mean?
At one point or another in our lives, we all have asked ourselves question. We're told over and over again that Jesus died for our sins, and we are "saved" because of it. But being "saved" doesn't tell us anything. That's like being told "you are healed." Healed? I didn't even know I was sick!
Now, you might've guessed this already, but being "saved" means that we have the ability to go to Heaven. Jesus died, opened the gates of Heaven, and came back to life on Earth. He did the impossible. He defeated death. Cool! Zombies in the Bible! Not really. Zombies don't have brains, and certainly aren't God, among numerous other things. But that's beside the point.
After His death and resurrection, Jesus went to visit his disciples. One of them, Thomas by name, refused to believe them. Now this is understandable, considering that we ourselves are told by millions of people that the "bread" we receive at Mass is His Body, and we still struggle to believe it.
John 20:27 tells us that eight days later "Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.'” Thomas goes on to do so, and indeed, he feels the solid flesh of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I still don't get it? How did he defeat death? How did he "save" us? Jesus didn't just die, then come back to life for the sake of it. His death on the cross was a punishment. It was his penance. God is just, and merciful. In order to be just, he had to have us pay for our sins. So, because He's God, he chose the most powerful way of doing it: He sent his Son and basically told him that because He can't just let all our sins go unpunished, He would have to die to pay for them.
This was the ultimate sacrifice, the be all and end all of sacrifices. God showed us the importance of life. In the Old Testament, sacrifices were made as a way of payment. Thus Jesus=sacrifice=payment, sin=needs payment+sacrifice=payment complete. See, God's a math geek too.
Now, Jesus can't just die. Otherwise, yeah, our sins are paid for, but there's no Jesus left. He's gone. Poof! What a depressing story. Thank God it's not the end! Jesus comes back, alive. This was necessary primarily because it proved that Jesus is God, that he has power to forgive sin, and that he has power over death.
1. It proves Jesus is God - as if all the miracles he'd performed weren't enough.
2. It proves He has the power to forgive sins, according to 1 Corinthians 15:17 - "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins."
3. It proves that death has no power over him. He not only defies mortal death (that which ends life on Earth permanently) but he destroys spiritual death (that which separates ourselves from God permanently) as well. He made it so that when you die, Heaven is one of your possible destinations. What love The Father must have, to open his home to us!
Featured Bible Verse:
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”