Archbishop of Hyderabad Allelluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! What did Jesus do after being raised bodily from the dead in the Holy Spirit by ‘the glory of the Eternal Father’ on the Sunday morning following His death on the Cross two days earlier and burial in the tomb on that Friday evening? Leaving the tomb with all His burial cloths arranged in it in a manner clearly signifying His glorious and definitive departure from the tomb to all to those who would subsequently visit it, the Risen Jesus waited for His Apostles to make their journey to Galilee according to His instructions to them at the last supper in order to meet them there: “After I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee (Mk.14:28).” But not only did they not do so, but even the women who were the first visitors to the tomb on that day failed to understand and carry out the instructions given them by the Angels regarding this matter: ‘But go and tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will meet him, just as he told you (Mk.15:7).’ Therefore the Risen Jesus proceeded to encounter His Apostles in their closed room in Jerusalem not only to manifest the truth and glory of His bodily resurrection from the dead in the Holy Spirit, but, more importantly, that He has returned from the dead empowered to baptize in the Holy Spirit all those who seek to belong to His Eternal Father forever in the new and everlasting covenant which He had promised through His prophet Ezekiel (Ezek.37:24-28; 36:24-28), even as John the Baptist had declared: “I baptize you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit (Mk.1:8).” Thus “Jesus came and stood among them…He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord…(and) He breathed upon them and said to them ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ (Jn.20:19b-20,22).” This is how Jesus revealed to His Apostles that He has returned from the dead in order tobaptise with the Holy Spiritinto the new and everlasting covenant of all those who believe in the covenantal commandments and promises of His Eternal Father, beginning with the Twelve Apostles on the Pentecost day after His bodily ascension into heaven in the Holy Spirit to be enthroned as the Lord of the new covenant and the promised Christ and high priest according to the order of Melchisedek at the Eternal Father’s own ‘right hand’ for the people of the new and eternal covenant (Acts 1:5; 2:36). Our celebration of the Easter festival in the entire Easter season is our rediscovery and ever growing experience of the Eternal Son of God Who became the humble and obedient Jesus even unto death on the Cross in order to become for all of us who have already been baptized by Him with the Holy Spirit into this new and everlasting covenant, the Eternal Father’s merciful baptizer in the Holy Spirit and High priest according to the order of Melchizedek for the eschatological success of our covenant pilgrimage of faith to the Eternal Father to join Him in the glory of our own bodily resurrection from the dead in the Holy Spirit on the day of Christ Jesus, the day of God’s definitive general judgement on the human race. Happy Easter to all of you.

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