When you Die will you get a Resurrected Body?

We have now celebrated the greatest feast of the Church. Over three days we especially celebrate the wonderful passion, death and resurrection of the Saviour of the World. The world may very well be puzzled about, or laugh at the fact that we see such a graphically horrendous suffering as being wonderful. It is over these three days of Holy Week, beginning on Holy Thursday that we saw depicted how much God loves us. God the Father sent His one and only begotten Son to die for you, and for me. Christ freely and willingly accepted the Father’s will, “Not my will but yours be done.” The garden of Gethsemane account portrayed the mental anguish that Christ went through for us. While Good Friday illustrated the extreme agonizing torture that Christ suffered for us. This was indeed a marvelous display of Agape, self-giving love.

Through these days we are also reminded of the Genesis account of the Fall of Mankind. Because Adam and Eve wanted God’s power and sought to usurp that power then their ghastly sin was against an infinite Being. Therefore the forgiving of that sin would have to be by a Being who could represent mankind and also God. So the second great feast of the Church is the Incarnation in which God retained his divinity and took on human nature as well. Therefore Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, could be the sacrifice that would atone for the sin of Adam and Eve.

During Christ’s passion on the Cross a solider pierced his side. Immediately blood and water came out. This signifies the sacraments, especially Baptism and Eucharist. This is portrayed vividly by Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” when the soldier falls to his knees in ecstasy. The water cleanses us and gives us life as too does the blood. For the Jews blood represented the very life of a person. To drink His blood, the new covenant [1], signified receiving His life which Christ also said that those who ate the bread of life would receive eternal life. [2]

Lastly the glorious resurrection of Christ conquers death and Satan. That is why one Mass, which celebrates the death and resurrection of Christ and re-presents the one sacrifice to us so that spiritually we are at Calvary, is more powerful than all the evil in the World. The Resurrection also transcends time so that people before Christ could be saved. Thus Our Lady could be saved at the moment of her conception and call her Son her Saviour. The Resurrection of Christ is deeply tied in with Theology of the Body because it is a foreshadowing of the resurrection of our own bodies at the end of our earthly lives. It is the marvelous mystery that should really leave one in deep awe and wonder.

St. Paul reveals that one’s “perishable nature must put on imperishability” and “this mortal nature must put on immortality” [3]. Our bodies will be glorious, powerful, natural, and spiritual [4].

Pope Clement even uses the metaphor of the sun rising and overcoming the darkness in respect to the resurrection of our bodies:

“Let us consider, beloved, how the Master is continually proving to us that there will be a future resurrection, of which he has made the Lord Jesus Christ the firstling, by raising him from the dead. Let us look, beloved, at the resurrection which is taking place seasonally. Day and night make known the resurrection to us. The night sleeps, the day arises.” [5]

Pope John Paul II says that we will be greater than the angels and have another “system of powers.” Therefore, we will have “a new submission of the body to the spirit” [6]. The Pope also speaks about the divinization of ourselves in the next life:

“Participation in the divine nature, participation in the inner life of God himself, penetration and permeation of what is essentially human by what is essentially divine, will then reach its peak, so that the life of the human spirit will reach a fullness that was absolutely inaccessible to it before.” [7].

This will be a “fruit of grace, that is, of God’s self-communication in his very divinity” [8]. In other words, by the grace of God we will share in the love and glory of the Blessed Trinity. This glory will shine forth like the stars or the sun. Christ said, “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” [9]. And St. Paul compares the power of the resurrected body to the splendour of the stars, the moon, and the sun.

Let us indeed rejoice at what God has in store for us. His love is indeed so splendid and transforming. The next time we profess our wonderful Apostles Creed let us remember that we “believe in the resurrection of the body.” Also when we proclaim the Nicene Creed that “we look for the resurrection of dead and the life of the world to come” we include this wonderful mystery.

Brendan Roberts, a writer and Catholic author of three books is from New Zealand. His next book “Crusades Rediscovered: In the Light of Human Sexuality and Our Creator” seeks to bring Theology of the Body to the mainstream. His websites are www.godfact.com and www.kiwig.com.

This article first published at catholic exchange by Brendan Roberts who is an author and writer.

Notes

[1] Luke 22:19-20.

[2] See John 6:58.

[3] 1 Corinthians 15:51.

[4] See 1 Corinthians 15:43-44.

[5] Letter to the Corinthians 24:1–6 [A.D. 80]. See http://www.catholic.com/library/Resurrection_of_the_Body.asp

[6] John Paul II, Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body, Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2006, 66:5, 389.

[7] Ibid., 67:3, 392.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Matthew 13:43.

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