Resurrection of Jesus

From the Compendium Catechism: 

126. What place does the Resurrection of Christ occupy in our faith?

The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ and represents along with his cross an essential part of the Paschal Mystery.

127. What are the signs that bear witness to the Resurrection of Jesus?

Along with the essential sign of the empty tomb, the Resurrection of Jesus is witnessed to by the women who first encountered Christ and proclaimed him to the apostles. Jesus then “appeared to Cephas (Peter) and then to the Twelve. Following that he appeared to more than five hundred of the brethren at one time” (1 Corinthians 15:5-6) and to others as well. The apostles could not have invented the story of the resurrection since it seemed impossible to them. As a matter of fact, Jesus himself upbraided them for their unbelief.

128. Why is the Resurrection at the same time a transcendent occurrence?

While being an historical event, verifiable and attested by signs and testimonies, the Resurrection, insofar as it is the entrance of Christ's humanity into the glory of God, transcends and surpasses history as a mystery of faith. For this reason the risen Christ did not manifest himself to the world but to his disciples, making them his witnesses to the people.

129. What is the condition of the risen body of Jesus?

The Resurrection of Christ was not a return to earthly life. His risen body is that which was crucified and bears the marks of his passion. However it also participates in the divine life, with the characteristics of a glorified body. Because of this the risen Jesus was utterly free to appear to his disciples how and where he wished and under various aspects.

130. How is the Resurrection the work of the Most Holy Trinity?

The Resurrection of Christ is a transcendent work of God. The three Persons act together according to what is proper to them: the Father manifests his power; the Son “takes again” the life which he freely offered (John 10:17), reuniting his soul and his body which the Spirit brings to life and glorifies.

131. What is the saving meaning of the Resurrection?

The Resurrection is the climax of the Incarnation. It confirms the divinity of Christ and all the things which he did and taught. It fulfills all the divine promises made for us. Furthermore the risen Christ, the conqueror of sin and death, is the principle of our justification and our Resurrection. It procures for us now the grace of filial adoption which is a real share in the life of the only begotten Son. At the end of time he will raise up our bodies.

132. What does the Ascension mean?

After forty days during which Jesus showed himself to the apostles with ordinary human features which veiled his glory as the Risen One, Christ ascended into heaven and was seated at the right hand of the Father. He is the Lord who now in his humanity reigns in the everlasting glory of the Son of God and constantly intercedes for us before the Father. He sends us his Spirit and he gives us the hope of one day reaching the place he has prepared for us.

133. How does the Lord Jesus now reign?

As the Lord of the cosmos and of history, the Head of his Church, the glorified Christ mysteriously remains on earth where his kingdom is already present in seed and in its beginning in the Church. One day he will return in glory but we do not know the time. Because of this we live in watchful anticipation, praying “Come, Lord” (Revelation 22:20).

134. How will the coming of the Lord in glory happen?

After the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world the glorious coming of Christ will take place. Then will come the definitive triumph of God in the parousia and the Last Judgment. Thus the Kingdom of God will be realized.

135. How will Christ judge the living and the dead?

Christ will judge with the power he has gained as the Redeemer of the world who came to bring salvation to all. The secrets of hearts will be brought to light as well as the conduct of each one toward God and toward his neighbor. Everyone, according to how he has lived, will either be filled with life or damned for eternity. In this way, “the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians4:13) will come about in which “God will be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).