Today’s Catechism sections discuss the Resurrection as a work of the Trinity. Supporting material comes from St. Leo the Great.

II. THE RESURRECTION - A WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY

648 Christ's Resurrection is an object of faith in that it is a transcendent intervention of God himself in creation and history. In it the three divine persons act together as one, and manifest their own proper characteristics. The Father's power "raised up" Christ his Son and by doing so perfectly introduced his Son's humanity, including his body, into the Trinity. Jesus is conclusively revealed as "Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead".514 St. Paul insists on the manifestation of God's power515 through the working of the Spirit who gave life to Jesus' dead humanity and called it to the glorious state of Lordship.

649 As for the Son, he effects his own Resurrection by virtue of his divine power. Jesus announces that the Son of man will have to suffer much, die, and then rise.516 Elsewhere he affirms explicitly: "I lay down my life, that I may take it again. . . I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."517 "We believe that Jesus died and rose again."518

650 The Fathers contemplate the Resurrection from the perspective of the divine person of Christ who remained united to his soul and body, even when these were separated from each other by death: "By the unity of the divine nature, which remains present in each of the two components of man, these are reunited. For as death is produced by the separation of the human components, so Resurrection is achieved by the union of the two."519

III. THE MEANING AND SAVING SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESURRECTION

651 "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."520 The Resurrection above all constitutes the confirmation of all Christ's works and teachings. All truths, even those most inaccessible to human reason, find their justification if Christ by his Resurrection has given the definitive proof of his divine authority, which he had promised.

652 Christ's Resurrection is the fulfillment of the promises both of the Old Testament and of Jesus himself during his earthly life.521 The phrase "in accordance with the Scriptures"522 indicates that Christ's Resurrection fulfilled these predictions.

653 The truth of Jesus' divinity is confirmed by his Resurrection. He had said: "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he."523 The Resurrection of the crucified one shows that he was truly "I AM", the Son of God and God himself. So St. Paul could declare to the Jews: "What God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, 'You are my Son, today I have begotten you.'"524 Christ's Resurrection is closely linked to the Incarnation of God's Son, and is its fulfillment in accordance with God's eternal plan.

654 The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life. This new life is above all justification that reinstates us in God's grace, "so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." Justification consists in both victory over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace.526 It brings about filial adoption so that men become Christ's brethren, as Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection: "Go and tell my brethren."527 We are brethren not by nature, but by the gift of grace, because that adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of the only Son, which was fully revealed in his Resurrection.

655 Finally, Christ's Resurrection - and the risen Christ himself is the principle and source of our future resurrection: "Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. . . For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."528 The risen Christ lives in the hearts of his faithful while they await that fulfillment. In Christ, Christians "have tasted. . . the powers of the age to come"529 and their lives are swept up by Christ into the heart of divine life, so that they may "live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."530

IN BRIEF

658 Christ, "the first-born from the dead" (⇒ Col 1:18), is the principle of our own resurrection, even now by the justification of our souls (cf ⇒ Rom 6:4), and one day by the new life he will impart to our bodies (cf ⇒ Rom 8:11).

The following comes from St. Leo the Great’s “Surmon on the Lord’s Resurrection”:

Accordingly, since the Apostle says, the first man is of the earth earthy, the second man is from heaven heavenly. As is the earthy, such also are they that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such also are they that are heavenly. As we have borne the image of the earthy, so let us also bear the image of Him Who is from heaven , we must greatly rejoice over this change, whereby we are translated from earthly degradation to heavenly dignity through His unspeakable mercy, Who descended into our estate that He might promote us to His, by assuming not only the substance but also the conditions of sinful nature, and by allowing the impassibility of Godhead to be affected by all the miseries which are the lot of mortal manhood. And hence that the disturbed minds of the disciples might not be racked by prolonged grief, He with such wondrous speed shortened the three days' delay which He had announced, that by joining the last part of the first and the first part of the third day to the whole of the second, He cut off a considerable portion of the period, and yet did not lessen the number of days. The Saviour's Resurrection therefore did not long keep His soul in Hades, nor His flesh in the tomb; and so speedy was the quickening of His uncorrupted flesh that it bore a closer resemblance to slumber than to death, seeing that the Godhead, Which quitted not either part of the Human Nature which He had assumed, reunited by Its power that which Its power had separated.

Footnotes

514 ⇒ Rom I 3-4; cf. ⇒ Acts 2:24.
515 Cf. ⇒ Rom 6:4; ⇒ 2 Cor 13:4; ⇒ Phil 3:10; ⇒ Eph 1:19-22; ⇒ Heb 7:16.
516 Cf. ⇒ Mk 8:31; ⇒ 9:9-31; ⇒ 10:34.
517 ⇒ Jn 10:17-18.
518 ⇒ I Th 4:14.
519 St. Gregory of Nyssa, In Christi res. Orat. I: PG 46, 617B; cf. also DS 325; 359; 369.
520 ⇒ I Cor 15:14.
521 Cf. ⇒ Mt 28:6; ⇒ Mk 16:7; ⇒ Lk 24:6-7, ⇒ 26-27, ⇒ 44-48.
522 Cf. ⇒ I Cor 15:3-4; cf. the Nicene Creed.
523 ⇒ Jn 8:28.
524 ⇒ Acts 13:32-33; cf. ⇒ Ps 2:7[ETML:C/].
526 Cf. ⇒ Eph 2:4-5; ⇒ I Pt 1:3.
527 ⇒ Mt 28:10; ⇒ Jn 20:17.
528 ⇒ I Cor 15:20-22.
529 ⇒ Heb 6:5.
530 ⇒ 2 Cor 5:15; cf. ⇒ Col 3:1-3.