The famous Christian author (Narnia etc.), C. S. Lewis, said that Jesus could only be one of three things: 1) a habitual liar (meaning that he said many things that were simply not true), 2) a demented lunatic (meaning that if he believed the things he said about himself then he was totally mad), or 3) that he really is the Son of God!
Most people would accept that Jesus wasn’t a habitual liar or a demented lunatic. No doubt some people during Jesus’ life on earth may have thought these things (Jn.10:20), but many more people were so convinced that he really was who he said he was that they followed him even though there was a heavy price to pay. These were not foolish or superstitious people. They were not stupid. They saw him heal the sick and raise the dead. Because of him they experienced a new joy and peace in their lives that they did not have before. Many left everything to follow him even though it meant being persecuted, ridiculed, imprisoned and even killed. They would not have done this to follow a madman or a liar. There was something uniquely special and different about Jesus that made them convinced that he truly is who he claimed to be – the Son of God.
What was that something that was so uniquely special and different? What was it that convinced his followers that he really was the Son of God? It was the Resurrection! Nobody else had ever risen from the dead. His followers believed Jesus rose from the dead because they actually met him! It was this personal encounter with the risen Jesus that gave them the strength, the courage, the conviction and the determination to spread his message throughout the world, even if it meant their own death. Their encounter with the risen Jesus was real and it transformed them into fearless witnesses of the Good News.
Countless others down through the centuries until today have likewise experienced this personal, real and life-changing encounter with the risen Jesus. Unlike those early Christians they never met Jesus while he was on earth, but their encounter with the risen Jesus was every bit as real – transforming them into modern-day witnesses of the Good News.
May your encounter with the risen Jesus be likewise real.
Have a blessed Easter!
Pat Kelly SMA
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