|Stephen C. Rasch ‘83
A man out walking by the coast fell off a cliff. On the way down, he grabbed a branch and was suspended a thousand feet above a ledge. The man cried out, “Help! Is there anyone there?” A voice responded, “I am here. Let go and I will catch you.” The man asked, “Who are you?” The voice replied, “This is God.” The man looked down, paused for a moment, and called out, “Is there anyone else there?” It can be challenging to trust in the promises of God.
Do we really believe that Jesus of Nazareth died on a cross around 33 A.D. and rose from the dead, not as a ghost or a spirit, but as flesh and blood transformed by the power of God? Paul points out to us that, “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). Christian faith hinges on the centrality of the resurrection to the Gospel.
Would we live our lives any differently if we truly believed in the historicity of the resurrection? Would we prioritize our time for God and serving others instead of devoting whatever time is left over after we fulfill work obligations and our desire to spend time with family, friends, and worldly passions? Would we more fully embrace sacrificial giving of the blessings bestowed on us instead of preserving a cushion against the fear that we will be disappointed with God’s providence? C.S. Lewis said that Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God made him either a liar, a lunatic, or truly the Lord. Only our actions can show which of those three things we believe about Jesus of Nazareth. Living out our faith in his resurrection is essential to embracing Christ as, “my Lord and my God!” as Thomas proclaims in today’s gospel reading.
No matter how far we have fallen short, each day we wake up to a new morning and an opportunity for new life. When there are no more tomorrows, what will our lives say about our belief in the salvific truth of the resurrection?