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Easter Sunday | The Resurrection Of Our Lord Jesus Christ | God The Son Is Risen | Mary Magdalene And Peter | Audio KJV

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The Gospel Of Saint John – Chapter 20 | King James Audio Bible | King James Version KJV

1 THE first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

Easter! Today we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. Jesus has conquered death and sin. This is the proof of our salvation in Jesus Christ. We know that Jesus lived. We have his teachings and the clear evidence of the miracles he worked. We know he died. Now we have the proof of our faith in Jesus. He lives again. He did not know corruption. He raised himself from the dead to be near us always and to sit, as he promised, at the right hand of his Father in heaven. We have passed through darkness and the light of our lives is with us now and always.

St John’s Gospel mentions Mary Magdalene by name, yet is clear from what she has to say, as from the other Gospels, that she is accompanied by other women as she goes to Christ’s tomb. St John tells us that it is still dark. This could be to emphasise to us the darkness of sin from which Christ’s glorious resurrection frees us. We also see Mary Magdalene’s devotion to Jesus; she must go to tend to his body as soon as she can.

The Gospel makes it clear that, while Mary Magdalene is the first to reach the tomb, it is the Apostles who are the first to enter it. Simon Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved, understood to be John, have shared an especially close relationship with Jesus. It was to John that Jesus entrusted his mother Mary. They run to Jesus’ tomb, and it is a sign of deference to Peter that the other disciple waits for him. Peter is already viewed as the leader among the Apostles.

What they find is strange. The tomb has clearly not been robbed, for what robber would bother to take the burial clothes off the body? In any case, the burial clothes would tend to be stuck to the body, through the ointments used for embalming. The words used to describe the linen clothes are also revealing. The Greek translates as fallen, flat or lying, as if the clothes have deflated, emptied of Jesus body as he passed through them and disappeared. This contrasts with what we saw of Lazarus, whose resurrection from the dead was of his normal human body, and who had to remove his burial clothes. Christ’s glorious resurrection transcends the laws of nature, and Christ will not need these clothes again, for he is not to die again as Lazarus, in his corporal body, must.

Through what they see, the disciples now begin to believe. They have not understood the Scriptures, but now they have seen the first evidence of Christ’s glorious resurrection. Before his Passion, Christ spoke to the disciples about what would happen. It is now that they begin to understand. St Paul writes:

3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6: 3-11)

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The Resurrection Of The Body | Physicality Of God In The Resurrection

The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is a foundational event in Christian belief and practice, with implications that extend far beyond the historical event itself. As a physical event, the resurrection underscores the importance of the physical body in Christian theology and spirituality. This physicality is evident in the resurrection accounts in the Bible, which describe Jesus as rising from the dead in a physical body, with wounds that could be touched and a voice that could be heard.

The physicality of the resurrection is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it demonstrates that God is intimately concerned with the physical world and the material aspects of human existence. The resurrection of Jesus’ physical body affirms the goodness of the material world and the importance of the body in Christian spirituality. It also underscores the Christian belief in the Incarnation, or the idea that God became flesh in Jesus Christ.

Secondly, the physicality of the resurrection provides a basis for Christian hope and joy. The resurrection is seen as a victory over death and the power of sin, and a sign of God’s love and mercy. As theologian Paul Tillich notes, the resurrection is a ‘symbol of the ultimate victory of life over death’, offering hope and new life to all who believe.

The physicality of the resurrection is central for Christian understanding of the Church and the sacraments. Pope Benedict XVI notes that the resurrection is the source of the Church’s sacramental life, as it reveals the power of God’s grace to transform physical matter and make it a means of divine communication. The physicality of the resurrection is thus reflected in the Christian sacraments, which use physical elements such as water, bread, and wine to convey spiritual realities.

The resurrection has important implications for the Christian understanding of the human person and the value of the body. The resurrection affirms the inherent dignity and worth of the human body, which is not something to be discarded or denied, but rather something to be celebrated and sanctified. As theologian John Polkinghorne notes, the resurrection is ‘an assurance of the ultimate value of our bodily existence.’

Easter is rooted in the physical reality of the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus’ physical body affirms the goodness and value of the material world, and provides a basis for Christian hope and new life. As theologian Jürgen Moltmann notes, the resurrection is ‘the festival of the victory of life over death’, a celebration of the ultimate triumph of God’s love and grace. This joy is expressed in Christian worship and liturgy, which celebrate the physicality of the resurrection through music, art, and sacramental ritual.

The resurrection of the body is a central belief in Christian eschatology, the anticipation of end times. As the Apostle Paul writes: ‘For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.’ (1 Corinthians 15:53) Christians believe that at the end of time, those who have died will be raised from the dead and transformed into imperishable, immortal beings, reunited with their physical bodies and, as saints, living in new heaven and earth.