Summary of Catechism paragraphs 638-58:
- The Resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the fundamental fact of Christianity: if Jesus had not actually risen, our faith would have been senseless.
- The Resurrection is a real historical event: Jesus’ body and soul, which had been separated at the point of His death, were reunited, and He rose from the tomb.
- The risen Christ appeared, not as a ghost, but as true flesh and blood to His amazed disciples on a number of occasions; these events are recounted in the New Testament, which was written within living memory of the participants.
- A powerful motive for belief in the Resurrection is the dramatic change it effected in the Apostles: traumatized by the Crucifixion, they were suddenly transformed into bold evangelists who were martyred for their witness to Christ.
- The Apostles’ behavior is inexplicable in purely human terms; these initially terrified men would not have suffered martyrdom for a fabricated story; only authentic encounters with the Risen Lord can explain their testimony.
- Indeed, the Apostles at first scoffed at the women who told them of the Resurrection; even when Christ appeared to them, they had to be convinced that He was physically alive in the body – like hard-headed realists, not mythmakers.
- A particularly striking case in point is “Doubting Thomas,” who had to see and touch the Lord’s wounds in order to believe the truth.
- Yet the Resurrected Christ did not simply return to normal earthly existence, like Lazarus or the others He had raised; rather, Christ’s body was now glorified, and entered into another dimension of life not limited by space and time.
- The Resurrection fulfills the prophecies uttered in the Old Testament and by Jesus Himself, confirming all of His works and teachings as the Son of God.
- The Resurrection is integral to the Paschal mystery, Christ’s Passover; by His death, He liberates us from sin, and by rising, He opens a way for us to new life; we celebrate the triumph of His Resurrection in a heightened way at Easter.
Live Your Faith
We might become desensitized to this “crowning truth of our faith” because we are so accustomed to it, but the power of the Resurrection should continue to astound us.
Jesus has conquered death and given us a path to eternal life, a new life that begins right here and now through His grace.
Do our lives reflect this supernatural reality, or are we just going through the motions as if the Resurrection never happened?