The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the Catholic faith. Above every altar is the image of Christ on the Cross, suffering for our sake. It is a visual reminder of the sacrifice he made for us. The events around the resurrection are dramatic and powerful. First, he was beaten, humiliated, stripped, and forced to wear a crown of thorns that cut deeply into his skin. Iron nails were driven into his hands and feet as he was nailed to a cross. There, he was left to die a slow and horrific death surrounded by thieves and rebels.
As Catholics, we meditate upon The Stations of the Cross that depict his journey to the Crucifixion. After he died upon the Cross, he was taken down and was buried. However, the story does not end with his burial.
Jesus left his tomb and walked with his disciples for a further forty days before ascending into Heaven to be seated at the right hand of his father. Many were witness to this, and gave their lives for this truth. It is difficult to discount so many witnesses who claim to have seen Jesus after his death.
More striking yet is the transformation of his disciples. From men who squabbled among themselves over their relative standings, who misunderstood Jesus’s teaching, deserted him as he died, and were frankly dubious about the initial reports of his resurrection, they became new creatures who preached with power and conviction. In the face of abuse and persecution, they were relentless in proclaiming their belief and commitment to their risen Lord.