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Why was the Resurrection necessary? Why can we be confident we, too, will rise?

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Hey all.

Thank you for welcoming me into this wonderful community and also providing such a brilliant resource to the world at large. I would like to take advantage both of your kindness and your knowledge, if I may.

I have kinda fallen into the role of de facto leader of a bible study group comprised of me and three others: one, a confirmed evangelical, another a clever man who seems to be coming to the faith because of his attachment to said evangelical and a third raised nominally orthodox but absolutely clueless as to even the trappings of the faith, let alone the basic theology.

I have managed to "answer" some pretty tricky questions such as what does it mean that God is trinity, &c., &c., but I was a little bit stuck as to how to give a convincing response to this double-pronged enquiry from one of the "beginners" in the faith: why was Christ's resurrection necessary and why can we be confident that we, too, will rise?

Obviously, being Christian and Orthodox I have a response to this in my head but I am having massive trouble putting it into words that do not sound highflown and a bit wanky to the mindset of the begginer in Christianity. I keep wanting to say things like "whatever is not assumed is not healed" and "death could not hold the uncircumscribable deity" and things of that nature, but I think I really need to stick to basics and things more concrete in providing an answer.

Any ideas?
 
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Also, any references to scripture would definitely be appreciated, but I am more thinking of how to provide a conceptual/framework type response, rather than just a list of proof-texts.
 

biro

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The Lord raised Lazarus from the dead. I'm sure He didn't only do this because Lazarus was his friend.

Also, Revelation extensively discusses the Resurrection to come, and the New Jerusalem. The Lord has plans, and He will accomplish them. He loves us, and He came to save us.
 
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*Bump for desperation*

Thanks, Biro.

I don't think just pointing to the promises given to us in scripture will help with these guys. I think they need to be shown why the Lord's resurrection was "necessary (for lack of a better word) and really have it spelt out what the Lord's resurrection accomplished for us.

I found it much easier to explain the various ways in which our Lord's saving passion was efficacious for us.
 

Melodist

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It is Christ's resurrection in which we are raised. He died our death so that we could participate in His resurrection.

Acts 4:2, Rom 6:5, 1 Cor 15:20-22, 2 Cor 4:14, Phill 3:10-11 are just a few verses.
 

Mivac

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akimori makoto said:
Hey all.

Thank you for welcoming me into this wonderful community and also providing such a brilliant resource to the world at large. I would like to take advantage both of your kindness and your knowledge, if I may.

I have kinda fallen into the role of de facto leader of a bible study group comprised of me and three others: one, a confirmed evangelical, another a clever man who seems to be coming to the faith because of his attachment to said evangelical and a third raised nominally orthodox but absolutely clueless as to even the trappings of the faith, let alone the basic theology.

I have managed to "answer" some pretty tricky questions such as what does it mean that God is trinity, &c., &c., but I was a little bit stuck as to how to give a convincing response to this double-pronged enquiry from one of the "beginners" in the faith: why was Christ's resurrection necessary and why can we be confident that we, too, will rise?

Obviously, being Christian and Orthodox I have a response to this in my head but I am having massive trouble putting it into words that do not sound highflown and a bit wanky to the mindset of the begginer in Christianity. I keep wanting to say things like "whatever is not assumed is not healed" and "death could not hold the uncircumscribable deity" and things of that nature, but I think I really need to stick to basics and things more concrete in providing an answer.

Any ideas?
Try reading before the next meeting.  On the Incarnation, by St. Athanasius
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.i.html

 
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Thanks, guys!

I am going to tab those pages of my bible and get my hands on St Athanasios.

The better I am armed to answer this question, the better, so please keep the replies coming if there's more that can be said.
 

PoorFoolNicholas

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Death had to be defeated. Christ was the only one that could accomplish this because He was God. How can we be assured of the resurrection ourselves? Because of the lives of the saints testify to the reality of the Risen Christ. Just look at the life of Saint Seraphim of Sarov. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. Which would not be possible if the Resurrection had not occurred.
 

NicholasMyra

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A tidbit I'd add:

What happened to Christ's humanity happened to our humanity. That's part of the mystery of how He took the sins of the world upon Himself. Christ took up His Cross, and calls us to take up ours. Christ died, so we may die in baptism. Christ arose bodily, that we may arise bodily with Him in baptism and finally at the Resurrection of the Dead.

If the question then becomes "why do we need bodily resurrection? Why can't we be floating spirits/balls of energy in heaven forever?" I might answer by explaining that humans are special because we're microcosms of the entire universe. We're matter, spirit, and rational soul. We can offer material/rational/spiritual creation back to God in thanksgiving and praise in a way that the angels cannot, as they are bodiless individuals. That is not to say that angels do not play their part in worship and service of God; but we must play ours. This can be seen in Genesis 1:26 : "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." And for your nominal Orthodox friend, from the Divine Liturgy: "Thine own of Thine own we offer unto thee, on behalf of all and for all."
 

bogdan

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A big "second!" to On the Incarnation for explaining how we share in Christ's resurrection by the Incarnation.

Also, this passage from the Paschal Homily: "It [Death] was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen."

It's not just that the Resurrection was necessary, it was the only possible outcome. How could Death hold captive the Author of Life? One of the services of Holy Friday or Saturday (?) has an interesting series of hymns about the Resurrection from the Devil's perspective. In it, he laments the way in which Christ destroyed his power. It sheds a lot of light on our views on how powerless Death was over Christ.
 
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