|Christ With The Four Evangelists (1516) by Fra Bartolomeo|
No human being saw it, or heard it. But the point is moot: it began! Ya think ? Obviously! We’re here, right?
And after hundreds of years of brainiacs arguing about it, it turns out that the explanation for how the universe began was right inside the Bible, starting at the very first verse, of the very first book: The Book Of Genesis: “In the beginning... when there was a dark and empty void ... God said, ‘Let there be light'" -- let there be life -- and bang! there was!
So, in the midst of nothingness, God caused life to exist: The Genesis!Then God gave us human beings the Earth and all of its wonderful, amazing creations.
And we ruined it!
We ruined it by our sin, our betrayal of God, our refusal to be dependent on God.
The results: chaos, violence, lies, fear, injustice, betrayal, suffering, death -- all of these splattered into the universe of life God gave to us.
God didn’t do this to us: WE did it -- we did it to ourselves, to each other.
We human beings, trying to be God, caused the fall, the ruination, the corruption of the Genesis.
And you know what God did to us traitorous and ungrateful human beings?
He swore to us that He would repair what WE had destroyed -- that He would bring about a Second Genesis! Why? Because He loves us, even though we don’t do such a good job of loving Him back! The repair God promised -- the Second Genesis -- exploded with deafening silence 2,000 years ago, in a dark and empty void called a tomb: a place of death!
In the midst of nothingness, God’s Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, rose from the nothingness and emptiness of death to everlasting, glorified life!
And nobody heard a thing. And nobody saw the Lord Jesus at the moment He rose. Nobody saw how the new, divine life transformed His battered, crucified, dead Body.
But, the first few days after the Second Genesis, scores of people saw the empty tomb!
The religious authorities and scholars of that time instantly devised hostile theories to explain away the empty tomb. Some said that the Apostles -- to justify some kind of political agenda against the leaders of Israel -- stole His Body. Huh? A crew of uneducated, terrified fishermen and peasants were able to perpetuate a hoax like that over their entire lifetime and right up to now, deceiving millions of people? Don't think so, Caiaphas.
Then, some others said, "Maybe Jesus didn't die on the Cross – maybe He swooned, looked dead, but actually survived and dragged His maimed Body out of the tomb three days later." As if! Duh! Get real! Anyone seeing that mangled, decimated, crippled Jesus would be sufficiently convinced that this resurrection story was a scam! Friends, re-play the events of Good Friday. There was no doubt about it. Jesus was absolutely, positively, 100% dead -- certified dead by some of Rome’s finest executioners!So, the religious authorities and scholars of that time argued the whys and hows, but they could not escape the reality. The tomb was empty. And, the wrappings were left behind -- not torn off, but remaining in place, as if His Body evaporated right through the shroud it was wrapped in! Then to make their smug dismissal turn back to slap their own faces, for fifty days after His tomb was found empty, all kinds of eyewitnesses began telling others their accounts of the Resurrected Jesus appearing to them: Mary Magdalene, Peter, two disciples journeying on the road to Emmaus, to all eleven Apostles, and then to 500 Disciples simultaneously!
Whoa! Today, Easter Sunday, is the anniversary of the day of victory for our God! The day when Jesus The Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave!
He accomplished the Second Genesis, the Second Creation, the re-creation of the universe.JESUS IS RISEN, AS HE PROMISED! His Resurrection is the Second Genesis! And from now on, even though our lives will have their share of sins, failures, doubts, and uncertainties, all of us can return over and over to the Second Genesis! Regardless of our sins and failures, we can begin again -- and again! All because Our Lord Jesus died, and rose, and is Lord forever!Everything in our lives must be built on that cornerstone.On this early Spring day, we celebrate God's new creation. Suffering and death are no longer the ultimate finality, but the ultimate beginning.Jesus, God’s Only Son – Who taught forgiveness, Who pleaded for us to be reconciled, Who handed Himself over to be crucified for our sins to give us new life, and mercy, and justice -- JESUS HAS BEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD BY GOD, HIS FATHER!In His empty tomb, Our Risen Lord Jesus asks us to bury our sinfulness, our darkness, our selfishness, our pettiness -- and all the evil that disfigured God's first creation.
Today, we must join our re-created hearts and renewed voices in the Alleluia of the New Creation! Let us live the vows of our Baptism -- the vows that make it possible to share the victory of Christ over sin, selfishness, and death!