The Resurrection from the Dead

(8th in a series of a presentation on The Apostles Creed)

This is the cornerstone of our Christian beliefs. St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians ties the Resurrection of Jesus to the resurrection of all the dead. He says, “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen again. And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching (in)-2 vain, and your faith is also (in) vain.”-1 The early church recognized the importance of this fact, for they saw, walked with and spoke with the risen Christ. They saw Him die on the cross, and three days later, they saw Him alive. They knew He rose from the dead, and so they knew that they too would rise as well. But underlying this belief, was the knowledge that their death and rising would be a daily ritual. It was not a “one and done” kind of event. They could not rise and be united with God, just for thinking nice things. Their lives had to change. Though they might be beaten and persecuted, their belief,  above all else, was paramount. Jesus is Divine. He rose from the dead. They too, would rise from the dead, because He said so. Such was their belief and trust in Him.

How pivotal is this to our belief structure? To be uninitiated, not baptized, and to deny the fact of the resurrection is understandable. How could anyone, who does not believe in the divinity of Jesus, be able to cite the resurrection of Jesus as fact? If they were to do so, they would be compelled to recognize His divinity. And, in so doing, this would call into doubt their own beliefs.
But to those of us who are Christians, who are Catholic Christians, this is the basis of our entire belief structure. Easter, the celebration of Christ’s rising from the dead, is not something to be relegated to a bunny delivering colored eggs. That which makes us strive to follow the path of love, to understand the importance of respecting others as well as ourselves, to recognize that sacrifice must not only be tolerated but willingly accepted, all of these make sense only if we accept and believe in the resurrection.

By His rising from the dead, Jesus spoke to all mankind right down to today, right now. His words and actions speak volumes to us.

I have risen to show you that my words are true. I have risen to prove my claim of being God’s Son. I can and do forgive you your sins, your unkindness’s, your self-seeking. I do all of this because I love you more than you can possibly imagine. All I ask in return is that you trust Me, really trust Me. Know that I am the reason you exist. Just as My Father loves me, I love you. Let your belief in me flow through your entire life and all of your actions. Realize that my love protects you and sustains you. All that you need is here in my heart. Trust me.

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-1 St. Paul Cor. 15: 13-14
-2 Inserted for readability, clarity