Following Jesus

discipleship • the inner life • prayer
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Following Jesus

The Freedom of Easter

April 19, 2019 by

Jesus Dies On The Cross. Stations of the Cross in the Old Mount Saint Alphonsus Chapel.
Jesus Dies on the Cross. One of the stations of the cross at the former Mount Saint Alphonsus Chapel.

Jesus chose to submit to his Father’s will that he should suffer and die on the cross for the guilt of humankind. He freely chose death: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42).

Jesus’ sacrifice is the centerpiece of the Christian consciousness; the blood of Christ, the sacrificial Lamb, takes away the guilt of the world. His death is also the most magnificent example of free will, an idea that our culture and society cherishes. Freedom is at the center of all human struggles and ideologies. This is good, but we should recognize that God is the only truly free being. We share with our Creator this will to be free, or rather, we adopted it from our Creator, since he made us in his image. It is no wonder that freedom is a universal longing and a natural human right. Freedom is always linked to truth, another quality of our Creator that we innately share: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

Why do we war over truth and over granting each other freedom, freedom of conscience, of thought, of speech, of belief, and of life? It is because truth – real truth – scares us. We are afraid of death, of submission to God, of trust, and of truth. We are also afraid of facing our own sin and failures. But we need not be. Freedom, especially freedom from death and sin, is the whole message of Easter! “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Jesus’ death is the most magnificent example of free will, an idea that our culture and society cherishes.

Freedom and truth are intrinsically linked to life – eternal life. Jesus’ free choice to die for us would be meaningless if God had not raised him from the dead. Resurrection is the power of God’s freedom and truth; resurrection is the embodiment of forgiveness, of restoration and rebirth. “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).

Freedom and truth and life give birth to boundless hope. This hope is for the living and for the dead, it is for the present moment and for the future. The realization of this hope is dependent on our free will. We are free to choose this power, this truth, and this life. Let us exercise our free will and choose Jesus; choose Easter!

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