During the Octave of Easter, it is fitting Good Moral Compasses continue to reflect on the importance of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The greatest event in all of human history has tremendous ramifications for those who believe, changing their perception and praxis of earthly life from those who don’t.
Humanity’s Greatest Fear
Without a belief in the Resurrection, a person will inevitably have to come to grips with his own mortality and his greatest fear throughout his life. Human life on earth is constantly determined by the fact the tomb awaits everyone. Some try and stall the inevitable by obsessive behavior, whether it be health; wealth; power; or, pleasure in an effort to turn a blind eye to the fact that everyone’s time on earth has an end.
But no one can turn a blind eye forever. Without belief, the goal in life might be to live it full throttle hoping some comfort can come from using every opportunity to “feel” better and more alive. However, the feeling is short lived because the fear is omnipresent, even if it is placed on a backburner for a while. The fear the tomb has a direct effect on the choices a person makes throughout his life. The fear of death without faith, dictates the subject make choices of self-survival and self-pleasure in almost every situation. Most recently, there seems to be a direct correlation with the lack of faith and the fear of a COVID death which gripped the world for the last two years. The COVID mania produced many ludicrous policies to stave off the demon virus from killing. Those policies proved to be untrue, such as the mask mandate promoting a thin piece fabric can deny death its day, as mention in Elizabeth Laurel’s post, Believe Jesus is Risen.
Not believing the tomb is empty exacerbates fear, while at the same time extinguishes hope. People need hope, they need something to believe in. So sad, many have tried and find hope in “science” which in the recent past and foreseeable future will disappoint all who put their trust in it. Science, no matter how advanced, has never been, nor will ever be, the source of life. All it can do is observe life and document it, and at times, alter it to better serve the needs of humanity. But science can never create nor can it ultimately stop the earthly demise of any person. All that can be hoped for from science is to stall death temporarily. The (true and only) existential fear of the tomb is never answered by science. Once a person comes to grip with this truth, hope is snuffed out.
From the eyewitnesses of the Resurrection to present believers, the knowledge the tomb is indeed empty, crushes fear and earthly death no longer is a person’s primary and constant concern. The empty tomb has restored hope, an indispensable need for every person.
The quashing of fear and the rise of hope in a person tempers his basic and elemental drive of self. Throughout the history of Christianity men and women have given their lives of service and charity to others because of one simple and profound belief—the tomb is empty of Jesus, and the tomb will be empty for them as well.
The belief in the Resurrection also refocuses the choices in life which reflects on a greater existence awaiting disciples, dwarfing any human achievements. Every person is called to use their talents as best they can for the betterment of the world, but there is only one Savior and he has been Resurrected. Our hope is we too, will follow Christ’s lead leaving behind the wrappings of death and exposing a tomb with no occupant.
The tomb is empty and death has been transformed by Jesus into eternal life. Jesus awaits all to be with him forever, but for now, believe and do not be afraid.