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Credo 25: ... in accordance with the Scriptures.

Thursday, August 23, 2007
In the First Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul writes: 'If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain' (1 Cor 5:14). Strong words indeed. And St. Paul's writings are full of references to the resurrection. We should not be surprised, because his conversion on the road to Damascus was an encounter with the risen Christ, the reality of which forms the entire basis for his preaching missions around the Mediterranean.

Our faith is as nothing if the resurrection did not happen. Why so? Because we would have to admit that, without the resurrection, evil has triumphed - Christ has died and death is the end of the story. This would be against all Christ's works and teachings, and would mean that the promises of the Old Testament have not been fulfilled. It is only because of the resurrection that we can say that we see the truth of Christ's promises.

In the resurrection we see the most powerful manifestation of Christ's divinity. The resurrection shows us that he who claimed to be God, to be the 'I am', is who he claimed to be. In St. John's Gospel we read how Jesus said to his disciples 'when you have lifted up the Son of Man, you will know that I am he' (Jn 8:28). All that Jesus is and was predicted to be in the Old Testament is shown to be true at the resurrection.

And this has a profound impact for us. Right through the whole of the Scriptures, we find a witness to a God who keeps his promises. First we see that God makes the promise to Abraham, our father in faith, that he will be the father of many nations. Despite the fact that both Abraham and Sarah were very old, Abraham trusted in the promise given to him, and became the father of Isaac, the first in the line of the people of Israel. The Letter to the Hebrews praises Abraham's faith because "he considered that God was able to raise people even from the dead; hence he did receive Isaac back, and this was a symbol' (Heb 11:19) - a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus is what is meant.

With Jesus's preaching, we see how God's promises of a homeland and a people are extended beyond territory and beyond a single race, looking towards a kingdom in Heaven. We see in the resurrection how God fulfils his promises, how He fulfils what was written in the Scriptures. This then becomes the basis of our hope that we will one day join the saints in heaven in our true home, which is an eternity with God.

Robert Gay OP


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