But God raised him up. 

Today we continue our celebration of Easter, a feast so great that we spend fifty days rejoicing that Jesus has triumphed over sin and death. And in our first reading, St. Peter reminds us what our celebration is all about: the resurrection.

Peter tells us that Jesus’ resurrection is God’s rebuke to every force, act, and effect of evil in the world—even death! Sinful men handed Jesus over, and his own friends abandoned him. But God raised him up (Acts 2:25). He suffered agony while his mother and a few friends watched him die. But God raised him up. His disciples laid his body in a borrowed tomb, and all hope seemed lost. But God raised him up.

The resurrection of Jesus became the hallmark of the apostles’ preaching. Over and over, Peter proclaimed that God had raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24, 32; 3:15; 4:10). It wasn’t just a historical event—it had changed their very lives. Jesus’ resurrection restored hope to his disciples. Seeing and touching the risen Lord dispelled their doubts, rebuilt their faith, and energized them to proclaim the gospel to everyone. Even the Jewish leaders could see how vital the resurrection was. That’s why they claimed that Jesus’ body had been stolen (Matthew 28:12-13).

How important is the resurrection? St. Paul proclaimed, “If Christ has not been raised,” then our faith, forgiveness, and hope of eternal life are all in “vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). The resurrection changed everything; its repercussions echo throughout all eternity.

Jesus’ resurrection has changed our lives, too! When we’re waiting for an answer to our prayers or perplexed by the evil in the world, it’s easy to lose sight of his victory. That’s when we need to declare with Peter: But God raised him up. And he will raise me up, too! What we see now is not the end of the story. Sin and death and evil do not have the final word. One day, every wrong will be made right, and we will see God face-to-face. Even now, we sing the resurrection song: Alleluia! Christ is risen from the grave!

“Lord Jesus, you are risen! I rejoice in your victory!”

Acts 2:14, 2-33
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11
Matthew 28:8-15


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