Easter Sunday (Year B)
Scripture Readings*: Isaiah 25:6-9, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, John 20:1-18, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
The vision of a banquet on Mount Zion, to which all people will be invited and at which death will be swallowed up for ever (vv. 6–9), is framed between a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s power over the “cities of ruthless nations” (vv. 1–5), and a prophecy about the fate of one such nation (vv. 10–12). Mount Zion stands at the center, scene of unrestrained rejoicing, symbol of life and salvation, surrounded by silent, dusty ruins where once the proud cities of the nations had stood.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Paul wants his readers to be absolutely assured of the Lord Jesus’ Resurrection and its profound and eternal consequences for all who believe in him (cf. John 11:25–26). He knew that at Corinth there were doubts about the resurrection. He affirms that the resurrection of Jesus is essential for the gospel message.
The consistent testimony of the church has been – and is – that Jesus died for our sins, rose again, and appeared to numerous witnesses.
This was the first of five appearances of Jesus on resurrection day: to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9–11; John 20:11–18); to the other women (Matt. 28:9–10); to Simon Peter (Luke 24:33–35; 1 Cor. 15:5); to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12–13; Luke 24:13–32); and to the eleven apostles (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36–43; John 20:19–25).
The words “Don’t cling to me” (20:17) indicate that Mary needed to realize that Jesus’ presence was not permanent. He explained that he had not yet ascended to the Father. That ascent was on the surface a sad departure of Jesus from those who loved him. On a deeper level, Jesus’ ascent to the Father opened up the new presence of Jesus and the Father with the believer through the Holy Spirit.
What You See Is What You Get
It’s worth noting how many times today’s readings reference Christ appearing to His disciples. His resurrection had already taken place. Death had already been defeated. Salvation was already at hand. In other words, the joy and power of Easter was ready and waiting for the followers of Christ. But until He appeared – until He revealed Himself – none knew of it.
Easter is more than a date on the calendar. Easter comes when we see Jesus.
Has grief blinded you? Has life caused you to lose sight of His presence? Look again. Listen as He calls your name. See Jesus. Experience Easter.
Prayer for Easter Sunday – Almighty God who gives me life through the resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ; give me grace to see Him in the minutes and moments of my days; through Jesus Christ, Amen.
*Readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary, Year B