Few people are looking forward to death. If we see something dead, it seems irreversible, total, final. We don’t want it that way for us, but we can’t prevent it or reverse it. That’s the helpless state of humans. We love life and the people in our lives. Being powerless to prevent our separation from them by death, we can only hope to be reunited hereafter. That hope is placed in Someone way beyond ourselves. Someone with the power to infuse life into our bones and dust. Someone who ensures we resurrect as the same person, with the same identity, with the same memories and the same love we had for those close to us in this life.
Jesus rose not as someone else. By showing his disciples the nail-prints, he proved it was the same body they saw on the cross on Passover (Good Friday). Like him, we reincarnate once – as ourselves – not as part of a natural, recurring process, but a re-creation of the same person, from the old person, into a form that cannot die. That enemy of death is behind us forever. Nothing to anticipate with dread or uncertainty ever again.
But how can we be sure that our new life will be joyful and exhilarating? By confessing in this life that Jesus Christ is our Lord and by believing in our heart that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10). But to come back as the identical person – not like that person – but actually that person, there has to be continuity between the person who died and the person who rose. There is no cessation of existence between our first life and second life. We won’t be a clone of ourselves; we’ll be ourselves. Paul wrote in Second Corinthians 5:8 that ‘if we are absent from this body we are present with the Lord’ (in our spirits). And our spirit will infuse our new body at our resurrection when Jesus returns for his church. If we have already died, we will return with him. If we are still alive, our bodies will be transformed into spiritual bodies in the blink of an eye.
This is what Christ’s resurrection means to us. Death is not final, nor total. It is an interim state during which we
continue existing, awaiting the resurrection of our bodies. We make him our Lord. We believe in his bodily
resurrection with zero doubt. Then, we cast out fear of death and live in bright hope. Thank you for it, Lord!
John Pisula, Grand Knight: [email protected]
Joe Cox, Council Lecturer: [email protected]