First, during the ceremonies on Good Friday, the day when Christ was crucified, the cross which stood all the year above the altar, bearing the Savior's figure, was taken down and laid beneath the altar, a dramatic symbol of the Death and Burial; and two days later, on 'the third day' of the Bible phraseology, that is on Easter Sunday, as the story of the Resurrection
was chanted by the choir, the cross was uncovered and replaced, amid the rejoicings of the congregation.
Now, sir," said he, "though I do not acknowledge your religion, or you mine, yet we would be glad to see the devil's servants and the subjects of his kingdom taught to know religion; and that they might, at least, hear of God and a Redeemer, and the resurrection, and of a future state--things which we all believe; that they might, at least, be so much nearer coming into the bosom of the true Church than they are now in the public profession of idolatry and devil-worship.
He wants nothing but to repent, and then he will be so much the better qualified to instruct his wife; he will then be able to tell her that there is not only a God, and that He is the just rewarder of good and evil, but that He is a merciful Being, and with infinite goodness and long-suffering forbears to punish those that offend; waiting to be gracious, and willing not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should return and live; and even reserves damnation to the general day of retribution; that it is a clear evidence of God and of a future state that righteous men receive not their reward, or wicked men their punishment, till they come into another world; and this will lead him to teach his wife the doctrine of the resurrection and of the last judgment.
Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection, at the last day.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me though he were dead, yet shall he live.
And only where there are graves are there resurrections
But when the resurrection
is a mystery to be lived, the question becomes, "What does it mean?
Of course, we will hear and believe what Peter will proclaim in the first reading from Acts, that the life and death and resurrection
of Jesus have brought forgiveness to sinners.
This article begins with a survey of recent literature on the resurrection
of Jesus to show the importance of distinguishing the "why" of faith--the catalyst or occasion for belief in Jesus as risen Lord--from the "what" of faith--the risen, glorified transformation of Jesus' body that appeared to the disciples.
Setzer (religious studies, Manhattan College, Riverdale) explores why belief in resurrection
of some form or another was considered so crucial in the first and second centuries that many people who claimed authority declared that others did not belong because they did not believe in it.
Did it occur immediately after the Resurrection
on Easter Sunday, or did it take place 40 days later?
Meanwhile, John assures us that the resurrection
is as difficult for the disciples to grasp as it is for us.