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Thursday, April 24, 2003

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Easter Thursday

Acts 3:11-26
Psalm 8
Luke 24:35-48

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a love story or a ghost story?

"It is really I. Touch Me, and see that a ghost does not have flesh and bones as I do." —Luke 24:39

Unlike all other religions, Christianity believes that God became a human being. We believe that God was actually a baby, physically died on a cross, and was buried in a tomb. We also believe that Jesus rose from the dead — not just spiritually but bodily. Jesus is not a ghost (see Lk 24:37). He can be seen and touched (Lk 24:39). He ate food (Lk 24:41). He is fully human. Jesus even let Thomas put his hand into His wounded side and his finger into the holes in His nail-scarred hands (Jn 20:27). The writer of 1 John testifies to this, saying: "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked upon and our hands have touched — we speak of the Word of life," Jesus (1 Jn 1:1). "This is how you can recognize God's Spirit: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, while every spirit that fails to acknowledge Him does not belong to God" (1 Jn 4:2-3).

Jesus' bodily resurrection shows that our faith is not based on subjective experiences but on objective, historical fact. We are not new-agers, who are not much different than old-time gnostics seeking enlightenment in spirits and spiritual experience. No, we are Christians, who are in a deep, total, practical relationship with the Person, Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. Our faith is "the substance of things hoped for" (Heb 11:1, our transl); it is not believing in ghosts. Touch the risen Christ.

Prayer:  Father, make my faith and my life one.

Promise:  "God raised Him from the dead, and we are His witnesses." —Acts 3:15

Praise:  Praise Jesus, the risen Lord and Savior. Alleluia forever!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Jesus' Incarnation on audio AV 52-3 or video V-52.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, October 17, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2002