AT LAST CAME one who saw that (mortal) conflict with level eyes, and faced the future with untroubled brow. He had power, he said, to lay down his life, and power to take it again. No fear of human violence assailed him; when the Galileans would have cast him down from the top of a hill, he passed securely through their midst ... Then, at a time he himself had predicted, making all his arrangements with leisurely forethought, and comforting his friends against the trial that was in store for them, he went to his death voluntarily ... and on the third day he left his tomb empty.
With that action he broke the spell that had chained humanity so long. Immediately after his death, his followers began to spread through the world, living a life of self-discipline and, where need arose, of heroic self-sacrifice, in the unquestioning hope that they, too, would be counted worthy of this Resurrection which they had seen and handled in his flesh. He did not simply convince men that he had risen; he convinced them that they would rise. That change of the body from a passible to a glorious state, which they admired as a portent in him, they looked forward to as a common experience for themselves, did they but become, through faith and through the mystery of the Holy Eucharist, concorporate with him.
He died that he might institute such means of grace; he died that he might obliterate the curse of sin under which our race laboured; he died that he might encourage us to follow heroically in his footsteps; he died that we might learn how intimate a place suffering has in the economy of our existence here. He died also, that he might assume for our sakes, while he was yet on earth, that Resurrection body whose true home and medium of activity is elsewhere; we should see with our eyes, and our hands should handle, the Word of Life.
- Ronald A. Knox