THAT’S RIGHT! With the resurrection of Christ, we have our greatest joy since we are now assured of our own redemption as long as we also do our part of the deal. Christ has given us everything to recover us from our self-inflicted alienation from God. The only thing that can stand in the way is when we obstinately refuse to believe this truth of our faith.
With his resurrection, Christ has finally conquered death itself and with it all the malice of sin and evil. It’s the victory that recovers our original dignity as image and likeness of God and nothing less than God’s children in Christ, the dignity we lost because of sin.
This ultimate victory even enhances that dignity, since it involves God becoming like us so that we can be like him! It’s this very sublime exchange and sharing that comprises the supreme good that can happen to us. Yes, we are meant to be one with God, sharing his very life and nature, since we are his image and likeness, children of his.
Some people have considered it a Pyrrhic victory since it involves quite a tremendous cost. It’s like saying that the resurrection of Christ has given us only a zero-sum triumph, since what we gain with it is almost the same as what we lose.
This is, of course, a very poor understanding of this truth of faith. While it’s true that this culmination of the redemptive work of Christ on us entailed nothing less than his life, it’s also true that that death has been converted into a gateway to our salvation with his resurrection. What matters is what happens in the end, with an effect that will be for always.
If we believe this truth and live it ourselves, identifying everything in our life with the life and the passion, death and resurrection of Christ, then we too can partake of this ultimate victory.
We should not forget that it will involve nothing less than the offering of our life. Before that, it obviously will entail a lot of suffering—the cross, in other words—which Christ already warned us about when he said that if we want to follow him, then we should deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him.
It would be nice if we can quit wasting time by fussing about this truth, and simply proceed to live it, acquiring the relevant attitude and skills to put it into practice. Yes, with this truth about our assured ultimate victory in Christ, we ought to have the confidence and serenity in going about the affairs of our life. Plus, a driving sense of responsibility that should push us to do things for others without counting the cost.
We just have to deepen our belief that with Christ’s resurrection, sin and death have been definitively conquered, and a new life in God is given to us. We are now a new creation, with the power of Christ to conquer sin and death and everything else that stands in the way of our becoming true children of God.
And so, we have every reason to think that we can live forever in Christ over whom death no longer has dominion. In spite of whatever, we have every reason to be happy and confident, as long as we are faithful to Christ. By Fr. Roy Cimagala (EV Mail April 3-9, 2023 issue)