Archive for category Resurrection
Today, the Christendom celebrates Easter, the feast of all feasts in the life of all Christians. Because of Easter, Christianity becomes a religion of joy, hope, victory and new life in Christ. St. Paul clearly affirmed the singular importance of the Resurrection in declaring: “If Christ was not raised, your faith is worthless” (1 Cor 15:17). This means that if Christ is not risen, Paul and all Christians would “then be exposed as false witnesses of God, for we have borne witness before Him that He raised up Christ” (1 Cor 15:15). In brief, if Christ be not risen, we are all idolaters! But the truth is: Christ is risen!. Indeed “This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it” (Ps 118:24).
There are at least five meanings and salvific relevance we can attach to the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead:
First, his resurrection confirmed everything Christ has done and taught. It fulfilled both Jesus’ triple prediction of his Passion, Death and Resurrection in the Synoptics (cf. Mk 8:31; 9:30; 10:32), and his triple prediction of being “lifted up” in John’s Gospel (cf. Jn 3:14; 8:28; 12:32). Christ’s exaltation vindicated all he claimed to be, as he himself asserted in his trial before the high priest (cf. Mk 14:61f; CFC 621).
Second, through his Resurrection, Christ fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies promising a Savior for all the world (cf. Ps 110; Dn 7:13). The history of God’s self-revelation, begun with Abraham and continuing through Moses, the Exodus, and the whole Old Testament, reached its climax in Christ’s Resurrection, something unprecedented, totally new (CFC 622).
Third, the resurrection confirmed Jesus’ divinity. St. Paul preached that Jesus was “designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1:4; cf. Phil 2:7-8). Upon seeing the Risen Jesus, Thomas cried out, “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:28; CFC 623).
Fourth, Christ’s death freed us from sin, and his resurrection brought us a share in the new life of adopted sons/daughters of the Father in the Holy Spirit. “If then we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him” (Rom 6:8; CFC 624).
“Finally, the Risen Christ is the principle and source of our future resurrection” (cf. 624). Jesus’ resurrection is a source, a proof, a guarantee, and a pledge of a future glory. “He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all thing into subjection to himself” (Phil 3:21). “In Christ all will come to life again” (1 Cor 15:22).
By itself, the tradition of the “empty tomb” does not prove anything. But when linked to the Risen Christ’s appearances, it is confirmatory of the resurrection (cf. CCC 640). Let us remember, however, that appearances did not remove all doubts nor the need for faith (cf. CCC 644). Some doubted that the one who appeared was really Jesus of Nazareth, others he was the Christ. A real change of heart, a conversion, was needed to “see” the Risen Christ as the Apostle Thomas and the Emmaus disciples clearly show (cf. Jn 20:27; Lk 24:13-35). Matthew describes how “those who had entertained doubts fell down in homage” (Mt 28:17). This confirms the fact that faith is truly a gift. “No one can say: Jesus is Lord,’ except in the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 12:3). St. Thomas Aquinas explains that “the apostles saw the living Christ after his resurrection with the eyes of faith: (ST, III: 55, 2 ad 1m).
Yes, since Jesus was risen from the dead, more reasons and meaning for us to heed his call for conversion, faith, and discipleship.
Think about it: “The redemption which our Lord carried out through his death and resurrection is applied to the believer by means of the sacraments, especially by Baptism and the Eucharist: “We have buried with him by baptism and death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we might walk in newness of life” (Rm 6:4). The resurrection of Christ is also the rule of our new life: “If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not things that are on earth” (Col 3:1-2). Rising with Christ through grace means that “just as Jesus Christ through his resurrection began a new immortal and heavenly life, so we must begin a new life according to the Spirit, once and for all renouncing sin and everything that leads us to sin, loving only God and everything that leads to God” ( St. Pius X Catechism”, 77).
The resurrection. We have modern-day questions about this. Shall we have our bodies back on resurrection day? How about those who have been cremated? Shall we look like zombies? Shall we be recognized by those who have long been gone ahead of us?
I believe these should be God’s problems, not ours. We should be more concerned with the question whether we are worthy of resurrection in the first place. Will God find our life worth resurrecting after death? Will we have faith enough to survive the afterlife?
I am sure the woman and the brother husbands will have a good laugh when they meet in heaven. In the afterlife, there will be no more stupid laws like the one that forced them all into marriage.
Heaven for me is God allowing us to continue and live on the many good and happy moments we shared on earth, this time sharing them with God himself.
Luke 20:38 he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him
The essence of the Sadducees’ question revolved upon their doctrinal denial of the resurrection. Their question was designed to make this doctrine sound ridiculous. Jesus knew this was the essence of the inquiry and taught them the truth about the resurrection.
“Perhaps the most effective way to handle antagonistic, improper, or irrelevant questions is to use them as a springboard for answering the questions that should have been asked. Even if the questioner objects, you may have been able to plant good seeds in the mind of any listener who is honestly seeking the truth. Effective teachers learn to mold poor or irrelevant student questions into teaching moments.” (Millet and McConkie, Sustaining and Defending the Faith, 115)
“The Savior, sensing that the real question was not whose wife she would be, but whether or not there was indeed a resurrection, answered their direct question but briefly…Then the Master dealt with the real substance of the question: ‘But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living’ (Matthew 22:30-32).
“The honest in heart who were present quickly recognized the unassailable logic used by the Savior: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had all died many years before—yet God still said he was their God and that he was God only of the living. Therefore, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob must still be living! Certain of the scribes who were present exclaimed, ‘Master, thou hast well said.’ The logic silenced the Sadducees, ‘and after that they durst not ask him any question at all’ (Luke 20:39-40).” (Daniel H. Ludlow, Selected Writings of Daniel H. Ludlow: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2000], 241.)
“How can there be a God unless there is a resurrection? Why would God create men and then let them vanish into nothingness? To be God he must be the God of something, and the dead are nothing; hence, there are no dead, ‘for all live unto him,’ ‘for he raiseth them up out of their graves.’” (Bruce Mc. Conkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 1: 608.)