Risen and Alive!

We are not content to say merely that Jesus is risen. We want to affirm that Jesus is risen and alive! He did not simply come back to life so that he could die again. He was not brought back to life like Lazarus, whom Jesus rescued from the tomb and would then have to die again. Jesus is risen and alive: He will no longer ever die. If Jesus is alive it means that he is our contemporary; we can dialogue with him and perceive his attentive and loving gaze on our lives; we can look at him and recognize in him the reality of our own lives. To know that Jesus is risen and alive means that he has truly defeated the power of death. He has rescued us from the mortal anguish that comes from the mystery of death that manifests itself as a kind of declaration of bankruptcy about life. The big problem with death is not only that it puts an end to life, but it also echoes that our existence is a kind of failure: All that we do or suffer or work at and all we have loved, experienced, or endured has been useless and seems to affirm death. The resurrection, life that is no longer subject to death, gives a fullness of meaning and beauty to the day-to-day nature of our existence; every effort, hope, suffering, and desire finds its true significance.

—from the book Encountering Jesus: A Holy Land Experience by Vincenzo Peroni



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