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Resurrection Body

In St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, he devotes an entire section (15) to address the question of whether or not the teaching of the resurrection of the body is valid. He had noted that some of those in the church at Corinth had accepted the fact that Jesus was resurrected after the crucifixion, but did not then except the resurrection of others. He argues that the resurrection of the body of man is assured by the resurrection of Christ, saying (15: 16-17): "For if the dead are not raised, neither is Christ and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is pointless…." That is to say, resurrection is either a real phenomena affecting humans, or it is not. If you come to believe that it is not real, then Jesus, who had a human body, was not resurrected. But, the people at Corinth who had expressed their doubts about resurrection weren't arguing that He was not resurrected. So, Paul would argue conversely that if resurrection is real, then it is a phenomenon available to all. Those in Corinth who say it can not occur for others must be wrong.

This line of reasoning may appear strange, because the uniqueness of Christ makes it seem possible to take the stance that St. Paul is arguing against: resurrection was His alone. But, this is precisely the point that St. Paul understands must be made abundantly clear: that God became man, that Jesus, like all men, could die, and that Jesus, like all men, could be resurrected. That Jesus was human and died is a key element in this discussion. Nothing in this changes by noting that Jesus was also divine, because Jesus came to bring divinity to man.

One of St. Paul's most famous passages depicts this (Philippians 2: 6-8):

Who, being in the form of God
did not count equality with God
something to be grasped.

But he emptied himself
taking the form of a slave
becoming as human beings are;
and being in very way like a human being,
he was humbler yet,
even to accepting death,
death on a cross.

This subject of death and resurrection is part of a great a mystery that is beyond our grasp, and is a matter for contemplation for which the articles in this section are relevant.

Jesus' body before and after
What did Thomas doubt?
Stations of the Resurrection
Road to Emmaus
The Crucifix and Catholic Christianity