Resurrection is a hard thing to grasp for most of us. St. Paul had a tough time convincing people in his time. Resurrection is the cornerstone of our Christian Faith. Paul told the Corinthians: “Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-11).
This reminder to the Corinthians by Paul was to bolster their wavering belief in the resurrection of the dead. Some of them refused to believe and Paul was concerned that their unbelief undermined their life in Christ. He counseled them that the Christian faith’s promise of salvation is hinged upon the death and resurrection of Jesus.
At the time of this writing I have been witnessing my Christian community dealing with the death of the young son of one of our member families. He was taken very quickly in an automobile accident that occurred on his way home from college to visit with family and friends. Initially we were in disbelief. Many in the family were angry. To comfort them with words about God being in this was difficult and hard for the family to understand.
Friends feebly told the parents that God would get them through this. That he would take care of their son. Their puzzled and distressed looks upon hearing these expressions confirmed the seemingly immovable air of helplessness. How could this happen and God be in it? The Priest who gave the homily at the young man’s funeral told us that this was not God’s will to have the boy die like this. He assured us that God and Jesus were the first to weep at the boy’s death.
Our God given free will allows us some control in our lives. It also allows some pain. The atonement for our sins and the promise of salvation in God’s sacrifice of His Son through death on the cross and resurrection from the dead is our hope. God confirmed this hope for the boy’s family through the hundreds of friends that reached out and touched them in so many ways. At the funeral they began to show their faith and hope in their son’s Godly care. The service closed with hymns that began, “Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!” and “Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before.”
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’” (John 11:25-26)