"If Christ has not been raised, your faith is in vain" 1 Corinthians 15:17. During Easter, Christians celebrate the rising of Jesus from the dead. In this clip, Fr. Spitzer discusses the Resurrection and why it is of the utmost importance for believers.
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Evidence of the Resurrection
St. Paul references the many witnesses of the resurrected Christ and says that if it had not in fact happened, then those who affirmed it would be in grave violation of that which they claimed to preach - which would not make a lot of sense. The Apostles were shunned, beaten, run out of town, and most of them were killed. The fact that so many people proclaimed it to the point of death was, and perhaps still is, one of the greatest motivating factors in conversion to Christianity.
Why the Resurrection Matters
As St. Paul indicates, the Resurrection validates Jesus' teachings as coming from the Father. The fact that what He said came to pass gives credibility to all of His teachings - especially the Catholic doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. This belief of the Catholic Church has been confirmed and reiterated time and time again. Christ's rise from the dead gives Christians reason to believe that they too will experience an afterlife, and therefore, a reason to live out Christian values.
What the Resurrection Means
Jesus offering himself as a sacrifice is a perfect act of love. As Fr. Spitzer says in the video, (paraphrasing St. Paul) "If God didn't spare his own son, what else has He held back from you? If He hasn't held that back from you, then He's going to do anything to bring you into the kingdom of heaven."
Jesus' great sacrifice also gives an example of how to love one another. The call to "love one another; even as I have loved you" has a radical meaning in light of the crucifixion. Because of it, love is equated with self-sacrifice, the idea of putting other's needs before our own. This shift in the definition of love changed the world (click here for a video on this topic).