The story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundational memory of Christianity. It is a story that not only tells of God’s power over death and the fragility of the empire’s power over life, but also demands that all perspectives be heard, in a grand cacophony of voices, all in common song, singing of the impossible mystery: Jesus is risen, indeed.
For the disciples on the Emmaus Road, the resurrection was the key to unlocking the meaning of Israel’s history. As a master key, however, its power extends further, opening up our eyes to the one in whom all of human life and history holds together.
Real faith knows and embraces doubt and questioning. Rather than locking ourselves in, as the disciples first did, we should learn from the curiosity of Thomas. The opposite of faith is not doubt but fear, and it is time to shed our fears.
The events of the first Easter invite illuminating parallels and contrasts with the shock and terror of contemporary state violence.
The disciples’ failure to find their desired results when they returned to fishing following the resurrection of Christ resonates with the experience of many who are drawn back to old patterns of life after a personal encounter with Christ. Their struggle to recognize the risen Jesus challenges us to form communities within which Christ’s presence will be apparent to people in a similar state of uncertainty.
That Thomas’ absence when Jesus first appeared to the Twelve after his resurrection was due to his withdrawing from the other disciples following Christ’s crucifixion is an intriguing exegetical possibility. It also frames the events that follow in a manner that may be instructive for the Church in its witness to those who are doubting and agnostic.
The politics of proclamation emerge from and carry forward God’s liberative force. Mary Magdalene’s witness to the risen Christ manifests and proclaims the disruption and the liberation of God’s new reality.
The law is a dying and rising reality, not a dead letter etched in stone. Through the hermeneutics of resurrection words once consigned to the grave of the past burst with liberating and life-giving force upon an unsuspecting world.
In John 20:31 the gospel writer speaks directly to the reader, telling her that the primary purpose of John’s Gospel is to describe the signs or miracles worked by Jesus in order that readers come to believe Jesus is indeed the Messiah. All who hold this belief will obtain eternal life.