If in Jesus’ resurrection we were dealing with the miracle of a resuscitated corpse, it would ultimately be of no concern to us. For it would be no more important than the resuscitation of a clinically dead person through the art of doctors. But the New Testament testimonies leave us in no doubt that what happened in the resurrection of Jesus was utterly different. His Resurrection was about breaking out into an entirely new form of life…In Jesus’ Resurrection a new possibility of human existence is attained that affects everyone and that opens up a future, a new kind of future, for mankind. Therefore, there is now an intimate, inseparable link between the resurrection of Christians and the Resurrection of Jesus.
(Jesus' Tomb inside Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem)St. Paul tells us,
For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his,
we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.
We know that our old self was crucified with him,
so that our sinful body might be done away with,
that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
(Inside Jesus' tomb, Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem)Last year, a little boy by the name of Colton Burpo made headlines on all the major network news programs including the NBC’s Today Show where he appeared and explained what happened to him when he was four years of age. It all began for Colton with a near tragedy when what his parents and doctors thought was the flu was actually a ruptured appendix. After 17 days in the hospital, Colton emerged but his parents noticed that he was different. The little four year old began speaking about heaven and things he could not have possibly known; his mother’s miscarriage, his father’s prayer to save his son, and a visit with his great-grandfather, Pop. One day Colton said, “I saw Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist, King David, Samson, Peter, John, and Jesus’ mom, Mary. I also got to talk to my great-grandpa Pop.” The more Colton spoke about such matters, the more his parents realized that Colton had a near-death experience while in the hospital.
At our sacred liturgy on Good Friday as I held the cross for the parishioners to venerate, I watched as they came forward with the bumps, bruises, and skinned knees of their hearts to press their lips on the cross. They offered their sufferings as they beheld the wood of their salvation. On one hand they experienced sufferings of earth, but that wood of salvation connected them to what Colton saw in heaven--reality of life with God in eternity. Amid their suffering, they experienced the joy of life awaiting them.
Colton lives his life very differently now--he tries to live his heaven here on earth. And that’s what we are called to do. Colton said, “Jesus told me to be nice to others and to talk to God in prayer. He talked to me about the markers on His hands and His feet from when He died on the cross. He did that so we could go see Him and His Dad in heaven.” Colton has one last advice for us, “The most important thing Jesus told me was how to get to heaven. He said to believe in Him and follow Him. That makes God very happy.”
We Christians, have been given a unique knowledge of our past, present, and our future through the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This life that we have been given by God is a gift. We know we have in some way taken this gift for granted, and sometimes, we have abused it. Therefore, we need to take to heart what St. Paul told us: Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.