Cycle (B) Easter

Alexander the great went to Corinth, to see the great philosopher, Diogenes of Sinope.  Alexander was thrilled to meet him. He wished to do him some favour. But Diogenes replied, "Give me a little of immortality."

Dear brothers and sisters man's search for immortality is as old as man himself. In the Biblical accounts of creation we read that the serpent tempted Eve with the promise that if she ate the fruit she would become like God.  And Eve could not resist that offer. She disobeyed God's command with the desire to become like God.

 The Epic poem from Mesopotamia, "Epic of Gilgamesh" describes the attempts of Gilgamesh to learn the secret of eternal life. He under took long and perilous journey to find the secrets of immortality. Finally he was told, "Gilgamesh, what you seek, you will never find." So it was concluded that human life comes to an end with death. Therefore it is engraved on the tombstones, "Here lies Caesar" "Here lies David", "Here lies John".

But there is one tomb in the world that is empty, and the tomb stone does not bear any engraving on it. That is the tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Aramathea. The occupant of the tomb has overcome death and came to life again.

At dawn, when the women reached the tomb of Jesus two men stood by them in  flashing raiment and asked them "Why look among the dead for someone who is alive?"

The angels conveyed to them that Jesus has risen from the dead. And he no more to be searched among the dead.

Shakespeare is dust, and will not come

To question from his Avon tomb,

And Socrates and Shelley keep

An Attic and Italian Sleep,

They see not. But O Christians

May you not meet in spite of death,

A traveller from Nazareth?

The accounts of Jesus' resurrection enkindled the spirit of Peter. Only Peter went out to experience it by himself. The story of his denial of his Master was not a thing that could be kept silent; and yet he had the courage to face those who knew his shame.  He ran to the tomb. He bent down and saw the binding cloths. He went back home amazed.  Peter realized the messianic prophecies and the teachings of Jesus.

The Psalmist says, "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell: neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps. 16:10). In other words, though the Messiah had been buried, He would be resurrected according to the appointed time of God.  He would not be in burial forever but rather He was there to fulfil the Scriptures concerning His death. He must be resurrected from the dead to prove that the power of death could not overpower Him.

During the ministry Jesus did frequently inform His disciples about His death and resurrection. In fact Jesus made the comparison between His resurrection and the life of Jonah in the belly of the fish, similarly the Son of Man would be resurrected from the dead after three days (Matt 12:40).

Peter began to realize the relation between these teachings and the reality of resurrection. Peter is now confident of his faith. His sermon bears adequate testimony to that fact. Peter declared, "You killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witness."

The words, "Jesus is alive!" were enough to create a great spiritual hunger in the disciples where emptiness existed because of his death. May these worlds wipe out the darkness in us and enkindle our spirits.