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The resurrection is the work of the Trinity. The Father raises the Son through the power of the Spirit thus now at the heart of God, at the heart of the Blessed Trinity at the heart of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is a human body, a human nature, a human soul eternaly risen in glory.
Date: 16 Feb 2020
A simple way to describe the resurrection would be to say “Jesus gives everything in sacrifice to the Father, even his life on our behalf and the Father’s response is the resurrection. ‘I accept your offering, I forgive you, I open the gates of heaven to you, I create you anew, I give you life’”. If we share in the death of Christ we share in his resurrection too. It’s good to remind ourselves that no one saw Jesus rise from the dead. There are no eyewitnesses to the moment when Jesus changed from being dead to being alive. At its heart the resurrection is the great mysterious act of Divine love at the very heart of God and the very heart of human history.
The resurrection is the work of the Trinity. The Father raises the Son through the power of the Spirit thus now at the heart of God, at the heart of the Blessed Trinity at the heart of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is a human body, a human nature, a human soul eternaly risen in glory. You might say God’s creation as it was always intended to be. This act of God in history is the confirmation of all Jesus did and said, it is the fulfilment of the scriptures, it confirms that Jesus is the Son of God. The death of Christ frees us from our sins by redeeming us, paying the price for us – and his resurrection opens a new life for us as redeemed members of his Church, finally in our union with him rests our hope of resurrection, we to can be in glory at the heart of God. With the ascension comes the irreversible entry of risen humanity into divine glory. The Church herself and each of us must follow our Lord in his death and resurrection and then in loving judgement Christ the King will recognise and confirm the loving choices all have made.
As I said there are no eyewitnesses to the actual resurrection. The empty tomb, though not in itself conclusive is the beginning of the revelation of Jesus’ resurrection. The shock caused by the passion and death of Jesus tested the faith of the disciples and even when the risen Jesus appears to them there is hesitation and doubt (some of the Fathers liken the three days looking for Jesus in Jerusalem to this mystery). Gradually the cumulative effect of the appearances, confirmed by Peter, brings the first members of the Church to faith in the resurrection. Over 40 days Jesus appears to his disciples and certain things become clear , it is clear that Jesus’ risen body is not bound by space and time, he appears in rooms where the doors are locked, he appears in different places at the same time, the risen human body of Jesus is different, sometimes they don’t recognise him and yet it remains in some ways the same Jesus can still eat and drink. He bears the marks of his passion, the holes made by the nails, and this is important it is the sign that the one who is risen is the one who died, he has risen as the one who now, in heaven, eternally offers his life for us on the cross.
At the same time it becomes clear that the Risen Jesus cannot stay, ‘don’t cling on to me’ he tells Mary Magdalene’ I have not yet ascended to my Father and your Father’. The risen Jesus, his risen humanity belongs with God at the heart of divine love, the world which will one day end, cannot hold him. This is our destiny in Jesus our human nature is risen, in Jesus our human nature is at the heart of divine love, the heart of the Trinity. Because of the death and resurrection we are redeemed from our sins and a place is prepared for each of us in heaven. The only question now for us is’ what must we do to get there’?
Finally, the phrase in the apostles’ creed ‘he descended into hell’. Before Jesus died and rose from the dead heaven was closed. No one could go to heaven. The unity between God and man was disrupted by original sin. So when he died Jesus descended to that place where all the good people who had ever existed were waiting. We might call it limbo rather than hell. Ancient pictures show Jesus battering down the doors with his cross, the devil fleeing in terror and the good people grasping Jesus hand as he leads them to the now open door of heaven.