This past week we have accompanied Jesus on His last days on earth. These last few days of Jesus’ life was not only intense for Him but also for the disciples. The difference however was that Jesus knew how His triumphant entry into Jerusalem was going to end but the disciples had no clue as to what was about to happen though there were numerous times Jesus did speak about His death and even resurrection. They disciples accompanied Jesus into Jerusalem feeling good as He was welcomed with pomp and glory. People were throwing branches and laying their cloak and proclaiming that their King and Messiah had arrived. The disciples felt good as they had left behind everything to follow Jesus. When Jesus was with His disciples at the Last Supper, Jesus did talk about how He will be betrayed and the disciples did not understand; He washed their feet, they did not understand; He was arrested and as they tried to defend Him they were prohibited – they did not understand. In a nutshell, the disciples did not know what was happening and so they fled the scene and probably watched discreetly from a distance: confused, angry, sad, frustrated, disappointed, and perhaps even felt betrayed by Jesus because they had left everything to follow Him.

But all that changed in an instant. When the disciples went to see the empty tomb, they knew that something strange had happened. The stone covering the tomb was rolled away, the cloth that was used to wrap His body was rolled away to the side, the body of Jesus wasn’t there. Suspecting something was amiss, they went home wondering about this mystery that they had uncovered. “And there, coming to meet them, was Jesus saying, “Greetings… do not be afraid!” (Mt 28:10). Now they understood “the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead” (Jn 20:9).

The encounter with Jesus brought about a change in the disciples: confusion was replaced with confidence, anger turned to joy, sadness replaced with happiness, frustration became anticipation, disappointment transformed to encouragement and what could have been a sense of betrayal, now it all made sense. What Jesus had been talking about all along about death and glorification, they now had a better grasp of what Jesus had been speaking about.

The Resurrection is central to our Christian faith. All the liturgical celebrations that we had this past week leads to this climax: the washing of the feet, the gift of the body and blood of Jesus (Eucharist), the mandate to love as He did, the dying on the cross and finally the resurrection were all intended to demonstrate one truth, that is, how perfect the love of God is, so that it can inspire the disciples and the church of the future to be the model of new life in Jesus.

The Easter story is neither a novel nor a fairy tale. In fact, it was a life-changing moment for the disciples as it should be for us who celebrate it two thousand years later. It made the disciples look at Jesus in a different light. All that He taught, shared, and did… now took on a new meaning – a fuller meaning. The first reading today (Acts 10:34-43) tells us the difference the resurrection of Jesus made in the life of the disciples – they went out to tell others the story of Jesus.

Our Easter celebration today is not just a commemoration of a past event; rather it is a celebration that reminds us of why amongst many people, God has chosen us to follow Him. It is because He fills us with the new life of Jesus and renews us with hope for the sole purpose that we too can go forth and tell others that the Lord is truly risen and He lives amongst us.