Sin and Death have been conquered!…So?
“Alleluia! The Lord is risen! Sin and Death have been conquered.” The people at the Atheists’ Conference, taking place in Melbourne as I write this, could well think we are barmy. Sin is well and truly around, people are dying all the time – even amongst the Christians that acclaim Jesus’ victory. So just what are we Christians proclaiming at this time?
Let’s begin with death. By his return at the resurrection, Jesus transformed death from being a ‘dead end’ into a path to eternal life. In my experience of people, death holds a very tricky place in the understanding of life. Most people fear it until a short time before they die yet it is an impetus for living a richer life. How many have a bucket list of things to do before they die! Interestingly fostering new life is often high on their agenda. There are also people for whom the fear of death warps their lives, stopping them from taking healthy risks. Also, in our society, there are too many for whom death is sadly preferable to living. To all these differing groups of people, Jesus’ resurrection makes death relative. What seems an absolute, life defining moment becomes a doorway into something richer. Grasping what the change is cannot be done in theory but only in personal relationship with Jesus. He was “God with us” in his dying. Now he wants to be ‘with each of us’ as we face our dying.
Loving God, you know how death brings confusion, grief and fear to our hearts. Send us your Spirit that we may know that, in Jesus, you are with us in our dying, fill our hearts with the hope of his risen life. We ask this in his name confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb