Catholic Dictionary




The rising from the dead of Christ on the third day after his death and burial. Christ's Resurrection is a basic truth of Christianity, which is expressed in all the Creeds and in all rules of faith of the ancient Church. He rose through his own power. The source of his Resurrection was the hypostatic union. The principal cause was the Word of God, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit; the instrumental cause was the parts of Christ's humanity, soul, and body, which were hypostatically united with the God-head. When Scripture asserts (Acts 2:24; Galatians 1:1) that Christ was raised by God or by the Father, these statements re to be understood as referring to his humanity. All forms of rationalism in ancient and modern times--deceit hypothesis, apparent death hypothesis, vision hypothesis, symbolism hypothesis--deny Christ's Resurrection. Yet nothing is more central in the faith as attested by Peter's sermon on Pentecost and as defended ever since by the Church's most solemn teaching authority.

The body of the risen Christ was in a state of glory, as is evident from circumstances of the appearances recorded in the Gospels and Acts, and from Christ's supremacy over the limitations of space and time. The risen Christ retained the wounds in his transfigured body as tokens of his triumph over death (John 20:27).

Theologically the Resurrection, unlike the death of Christ, is not the meritorious cause of human redemption. It is the victorious completion of redemption. It belongs to the perfection of redemption and is therefore associated in the Scriptures with Christ's death on the Cross as one complete whole. It is the model and, in the person of the risen Christ, the channel of grace for our spiritual redemption from sin and for our bodily resurrection on the Last Day.