Thursday, April 21, 2011

Was it necessary for Jesus to Die?

Peter assures us of the Risen Body of Jesus. Why is this so important? It is not enough like some will say: That Jesus was sincere, good and understandable and above all He had shown us a very clear way of solidarity and service. The question is: What will the Resurrection will add to His entire message, the gospel, which after all is beautiful, strong and capable of rebuilding human beings and societies.

Nobody is saying that to preach a good message is a bad thing. This is something that many people in many times and in many cultures and religions had done. The question is: what if the mission of Christ is reduced to that and if that is enough argument to explain His death on the cross?

If we consider human life in terms of reality of what our eyes can see, in other words in terms of the intra-human, then we don’t have a need of more than an understandable and “good” preaching that will help us to be good and to have solidarity. For that we shouldn’t need an Immaculate Conception, miracles, exorcisms and, of course, the atrocious suffering and death on the cross. Confucius, Buda or Mohamed preached with eloquence about being good, patient, humble, pure… and there are even atheists that have given us very good preachings about all of this. 

Things change when we find that life on earth is not everything, when we understand that the problem of evil is not only a dysfunctional social problem that can be fixed with good intentions. The evil have a sort of power in us. In many cases the evil is attractive, pleasurable and produces many benefits and money. The whole Old Testament in the Ten Commandments is the proof that the GOOD, is not always welcome in our hearts because of selfishness, envy, stupidity and the other Seven Capital Sins and their consequences. The mystery is absurd but powerful evil that hurt us but at the same time reports good things for us, pushes us to stay in us. To do evil is not a matter of only ignorance of the good.

All of this brings us to the question: What is the meaning of my life? If our efforts are not helping to substantially change things, what are we doing in life? Do I need to just suffer and endure things? So, is there nothing we can do against the power of death? If Jesus, just died without a purpose, what a futile death. It was better for Confucius, Buda or others… 


Saint Paul is willing to help us with: “And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith” ( 1 Corinthians 15, 14). The cross gives meaning to Easter. Death doesn’t have the last word. The ones that tried and keep trying to use this as a weapon to torture and make a life of fear won’t be forever the lords of the earth. 

Once we understand the second reading of the Easter Sunday Mass: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. With Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory” (Col 3, 1-4). A life with hope in the Risen one is a pre-taste of Heaven. Like the beloved disciple we are invited to see and believe.

Lord, you are the source of all life because you are life itself. Your resurrection gives me the hope of being raised from the dead to rejoice with you forever in heaven. Thank you for your presence in my life. I love you, and I want to follow after you with all my heart. Be with me now, and inspire my prayer.

Lord Jesus, grant me the joy of seeing my hopes constantly kindled by your power over sin and death. May the strength of your resurrection overcome the weaknesses of my human nature.

Lord Jesus, you know how to prepare your disciples to experience your presence deeply and know you intimately. I ask today for a deepening in my faith in your resurrection. Let all the events of my life point me to the truth that you are alive.

Lord, convince my heart that you truly died out of personal love for me.


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