Resurrection of the Body and Life Everlasting

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified

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Rising Like Christ Did (988-991)

The righteous will rise and live with the Risen Christ. Our resurrection, like his, is a work of the Trinity. "The Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you" (Rom 8:11).

"The resurrection of the flesh", the literal wording of the Apostles' Creed, means that besides our immortal soul, our "mortal body" will also come to life.

The resurrection of the dead has always been a central Christian belief. "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. But, in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Cor 15:12-14).

Progressively Revealed (992)

God revealed this resurrection of the dead progressively. Hope in bodily resurrection comes from faith in God as Creator of man's body and soul. God both created and remained faithful to his Covenant. The martyrs in Maccabees expressed this hope. "The King of the universe will raise us up to everlasting life because we have died for his laws" (Macc 7:9, 14).

Pharisees and Sadducees (993)

In Jesus' time, the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead. At the same time, Jesus castigated the Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection. "You are wrong. You know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God, for God is the ‘God of the living'" (Mk 12:24-27).

Promises and Signs (994-996)

Even more important, Jesus joined the resurrection of the dead to his own person. "I am the Resurrection and the life" (Jn 11:25). He promised resurrection to those who eat his flesh and drink his blood (Jn 6:53-59). He raised people from the dead as a sign of his future Resurrection (even though his was of another order). He proclaimed the "sign of Jonah," that he would be raised after three days in the tomb (Mt 12:39). The apostles became "witnesses to the Resurrection" because "they ate and drank with Jesus after he rose form the dead" (Acts 10:41).

Faith in the Resurrection of the body has always met opposition. "On no point does the Christian faith encounter more opposition than on the Resurrection of the body" (St. Augustine).

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