After a solemn Holy Week where we reflect on Christ’s sacrifice for us, we rejoice on Easter Sunday when Christ rises from the grave.
Easter Sunday is one of the most beloved Christian holidays. Christ’s defeat of death is certainly cause for celebration, but Easter Sunday represents so much more.
Pope Benedict XVI explains how, without the Resurrection, Christianity as we know it could not exist. In 1 Corinthians 15:14, St. Paul writes, “And if Christ has not been raised, then empty [too] is our preaching; empty, too, your faith.”
In Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI unpacks St. Paul’s words on how the Resurrection fits into our understanding of our Faith and of our Savior:
If [the Resurrection] were taken away, it would still be possible to piece together from the Christian tradition a series of interesting ideas about God and men…but the Christian faith itself would be dead. Jesus would be a failed religious leader…he would then remain purely human, and his authority would extend only so far as his message is of interest to us.
Christ’s resurrection, celebrated on Easter Sunday, marks the very foundation of His divinity and His relation to us. As Pope Benedict explains, if Christ had not risen from the dead, our Christian faith would not exist; Jesus would have just been another prophet, not our God or our savior.
On Easter Sunday, we rejoice in Christ’s resurrection and in the Christian faith with which God has blessed us with—and which would not have existed without Christ’s sacrifice for us.
To read more reflections on Holy Week through the Easter season, check out Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth, sold here.