Romans 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
The crux of faith and belief in Jesus hinges on His resurrection. In John 20, Mary Magdalene heads to the tomb early, while it’s still dark. Upon seeing the stone rolled away and the tomb empty, all Jesus said was going to happen is confirmed in her heart, though she’s still uncertain. She wastes no time in running to tell Peter and John, who subsequently have a foot race–apparently John is faster than Peter!–and find Him not there. They are about to experience the Spirit who had raised Christ from the dead.
Jesus subsequently appears to her–she at first thinks He’s the gardener–and affirms not only who He said He was, but what He said would transpire actually happened. He then appears to the disciples while they are huddled, scared, in a room unsure of what’s happened. As their fear of man gives way to their fear of who this possibly could be, He calms them with “Peace be with you.”
This is peace that only comes from Jesus. In the midst of the chaos that surrounded the resurrection, the uncertainty that was brought about, the disbelief that He had actually come back to life, Jesus brought with Him peace. Through His humanity, His flesh, worked the Spirit to bring it life.
There is no way around our mortal bodies. Because of the fall, we will wage war against the flesh, for it will always desire to please itself. That focus on self and sin will lead to death. The beauty of the resurrection is the provision it gave us to live, to please God. Because of the resurrection, we now can allow the Spirit to take over the battle against the flesh. This is the good news! It is what we can, for more than one day a year, celebrate.
It is easy here to think the story over. Quite the contrary, for in fact, it is only beginning. He gives them the same mission as He’s given us: As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you. Go make disciples who make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Among their joy and challenge and fear Jesus reassures them that they don’t have to do it alone, that He will give them something that is far more powerful than their flesh: And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”