"They killed Him, finally, hanging Him on a tree, only to have God raise Him up on the third day." —Acts 10:40
"God did not make death" (Wis 1:13), "for God formed man to be imperishable; the image of His own nature He made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world" (Wis 2:23-24). "The devil, the prince of death" made us his lifelong slaves by manipulating us through our fear of death (Heb 2:14-15). Thus, "sin reigned through death" (Rm 5:21).
After millennia of death's tyranny over the human race, Jesus was conceived and born into this world. Jesus called Himself "the Life" (Jn 14:6; 11:25). Jesus was stronger than death. On several occasions, He raised the dead (Mt 9:18ff; Lk 7:15; Jn 11:44). He commanded His disciples to do the same (Mt 10:8). "Death and life were locked together in a unique struggle" (Easter sequence). Then Satan convulsed before the divine life of Jesus. Satan used us to put Life to death on the cross. The prince of death appeared to reign supreme.
But on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. "He has robbed death of its power" (2 Tm 1:10). All of Satan's forces of death are routed. We who believe in Jesus can taunt death: "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:55)
Renew your baptismal promises. Reject the prince of death and his culture of death. Believe in the Father of life, Jesus our Life, and the life-giving Spirit. "Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor 15:54). Alleluia! Alleluia forever!
Prayer: Risen Jesus, I will be Your witness (see Acts 10:41).
Promise: "He saw and believed." —Jn 20:8
Praise: Jesus is risen! Alleluia! "This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it" (Ps 118:24). Alleluia forever!
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Giles H. Pater, November 15, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 16, 2001