The Resurrection: Why You Should Take It Seriously

#1 The historical evidence for the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus is solid.
Father Mark recommends The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel.
It’s the story of a lawyer, whose wife converted to Christianity and she was getting into her christian faith, and he was so frustrated he thought that her Christian faith was nonsense. She kept living and following her christian faith, and finally he decided as a lawyer to study the evidence to prove his wife that Christianity is nonsense. He began to do a little research and discovered there truly is a lot of evidence behind Christianity, so he actually converted himself.

#2 The beautiful, undeniable message of the Resurrection.
If we died with Christ, we’ll also live with Him. He rose so that we could live forever. A person may be somewhat self-interested even if someone offers you eternal life, heaven forever, a place where there’s no tears no pain.. why would you not want that? The message of the Resurrection is that by conquering death, Jesus opened the gates of heaven for us for all of eternity. What a beautiful message.

Father Mark says, “I want to spend eternity in heaven, oh I do, I love this life–having a grand old time, but i know that this life is short, and if there is a loving God who made us and has a place for us in His eternal home, you better believe I want to be there.”

#3 The Resurrection reveals to us as human beings, our identity, our dignity, and our destiny.
Jesus revealed to us as human beings, we have a spiritual dimension, and we’re not just of highly sophisticated organisms that one day are going to cease to be. Recent atheists have kind of lost sight of what is common sense to most, but we’re spiritual and we do have a wonderful dignity. We’re made to be Holy, and to be with the all-Holy God for all of eternity. That’s our identity, dignity and destiny.

The Resurrection is almost like the Lord saying, “hey let me show you, I’m going to die an awful death, I’m going to be buried in a tomb, and then I’m going to rise with a wonderful glorified body, and then raise up to heaven.. that’s a little demo for all of you.”

#4 Many people have encountered the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
When Father Mark was going through his conversion as a teenager, it hit him and he thought, “wait a minute, God is real”. He would meet people and they knew that, and they knew the Lord, and he thought, “wow, there’s people for whom religion just isn’t kind of a set of rituals that was handed down for the last generations, no they know the Lord, they’ve encountered Him, and He’s given them life and joy”. Father Mark realized people were given the gift of faith, even in places around the world where they are persecuted for it.

#5 Not only did the Lord Jesus rise from the dead, but He’s still alive and works His signs among us.
Father Mark sees little miracles happening around his Parish, St. Mary’s. There’s also plenty of different occurrences of Eucharistic Miracles with both scientific and medical evidence supporting them. Furthermore, we have had Marian apparitions and miraculous phenomena associated with Saints.

Father Mark Goring’s Homily during Easter Sunday Mass at St. Mary’s | April 4, 2021

We Have Every Reason to Believe in the Resurrection

Why do we believe Jesus rose from the dead? Saint Paul even said that our faith is useless if Christ has not risen.

  • Empty Tomb. Believers and non-believers alike agreed the tomb where Jesus was laid somehow became empty. In the Gospel of Matthew, there are arguments about who stole the body.
  • Eye witness testimony. Witnesses include Mary Magdalene, Peter, the Apostles in the upper room, and to the disciples at the seashore. Saint Paul tells us that Jesus appeared to 500 people at once, who were still alive when he wrote the letter. Could all these people have made this up or imagined it?
  • Conversion. The apostles were afraid and locked themselves up when Jesus was crucified. But their faith was greatly strengthened after Jesus appeared to them and ascended to heaven. They became fearless to promote Christianity and they all died (exception Saint John) as martyrs.
  • The witnesses of the women. Mary Magdalene was documented as the first witness to the resurrection of Jesus. In Christ’s time, a woman could never give testimony in court. If the story was made up, why would the apostles ‘choose’ Mary Magdalene to be the first witness.
Father Daniel O’Reilly explains the evidence that gives us reason to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Christ’s Resurrection: Bodily or Only Spiritual?

Trent Horn – Catholic Answers Article –

Some atheists reject the resurrection accounts because they say the first Christians only believed that Christ’s spirit rose from the dead. They then explain all the evidence for the resurrection as grief-induced visions or hallucinations while Jesus’ body rotted away in the tomb. For example, atheist Dan Barker claims:

It is perfectly consistent with Christian theology to think that the spirit of Jesus, not his body, was awakened from the grave, as Christians today believe that the spirit of Grandpa has gone to heaven while his body rots in the ground. In fact, just a few verses later Paul confirms this: “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” The physical body is not important to Christian theology (294-295).

The earliest testimony we have about the Resurrection comes from St. Paul’s letters, and they describe Jesus undergoing a bodily resurrection from the dead. Barker tries to get around this fact by claiming Paul used a Greek word for Jesus’ resurrection that refers only to the resurrection of the spirit rather than the resurrection of the body. Specifically, he claims Paul used the word egeiro, which means simply “rise” or “wake up” and that “Paul did not use the word ‘resurrection’ (anastasisanistemi) here, though he certainly knew it.”

However, St. Paul says Jesus was “designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection [Greek, anastaseos] from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). So, contra Barker, Paul does describe Jesus rising from the dead with a form of the Greek word anastasis. Moreover, Paul uses egeiro and anastasis interchangeably when speaking about the relationship between our future resurrection from the dead and the reality of Christ’s resurrection..

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The Resurrection and Evangelization

Eric Sammons – Catholic Answers Article –

Soon after the Ascension of Christ, the eleven remaining apostles gathered to choose someone to replace Judas Iscariot. St. Peter lays out the qualifications needed for an apostle: he must be “one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us” (Acts 1:21-22). But why was another apostle needed? What would this new apostle be doing? Peter tells us: he “must become with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:22).

“A witness to his resurrection.” Even before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the first followers of Jesus understood their primary mission was to tell others about his miraculous Resurrection from the dead and what it means for us. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit confirms this mission and makes their witness more powerful.

The Resurrection of Christ is the most important event in history, both world history, and our history. Without it, our lives are hopelessly confined to this world. But with it, this world can become the beginning of a life of eternal happiness with God in heaven. This is the good news; this is what we need to emphasize in our evangelization. Like St. Peter and St. Paul, we must make the Resurrection the central focus of our preaching, and of our lives.

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