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  • Writer's pictureMike Creavey

The Deeper Meaning of "Resurrection"

The word "resurrection" is practically, and in my opinion somewhat blandly, defined as "a rising again, as from decay or disuse." This notion of disuse might lead us into some helpful territory for reflecting more deeply on Christ's own Resurrection.

Recall for a moment the "disuse" by Adam and Eve of the blessed primordial human condition of paradise. Coming through disobedience to view one another as the means to lustful fulfillment rather than complementary partners making visible God's loving plan to infuse Trinitarian love into creation, they discarded the beauty of pure humanity for the waste and nothingness of pride and death. Our ancestral parents introduced death into our human experience by turning away from the Author of Life, who is Love itself.

Any being possessing a truly free will must necessarily be capable of choosing to reject the good. God loved the man and the woman he had created so much that he did not impede their decision to betray him in Eden. However he did not deny, indeed he could not, the just judgment their deed warranted. Death, decay, a decomposition of the natural order ensued. Man was thrust into a state that he and countless future generations would never be able to escape through their own efforts.

Nor can the "sons and daughters of Adam" begin to comprehend the immensity of the curse of sin into which we are born, for the ones caught within the terrible storm can never quite discern its boundaries and scope. Only someone outside the storm, the One who sees and comprehends all things, could have the prospect of coming into the storm to quiet it. And that is precisely what he has done.

And so, the Christian can look beyond archaic and ambiguous notions of the resurrection to the truth Jesus reveals to us all through his words to Mary, the sister of Christ's friend Lazarus who had been dead for four whole days: "I AM the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25) Jesus, as the Word by which the Father created the universe and breathed into it life, brings with him the life lost long ago. Even more so, because he lived without sin, he brings an entirely new kind of life that is unlike anything mankind has ever known - his own divine life.

Thus, the resurrection is not merely a freedom from sin and death, but a freedom for the unfathomable experience of being drawn into God's own mode of being, the infinite and eternal self-gift of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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