St. Paul’s Gospel of the Resurrection

RESURRECTION AS NEW CREATION

“The second element follows the first: Paul perceives the resurrection of Jesus as something more than the validation of a Jewish Messiah in the traditional sense of a restorer of the people. The resurrection of Jesus is more than a historical event like the exodus. It is an eschatological event that begins a new age of humanity. Indeed, the resurrection is best understood as new creation: ‘If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, everything is new’ (2 Cor 5:17).”     (Luke Timothy Johnson in The Cambridge Companion to St. Paul, p 202)

THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY

“This is one of the reasons bodily resurrection-both Christ’s and ours-is so important to Paul. It is a fundamental and non-negotiable building block of his ethic. It has been said that without the resurrection, Christianity collapses.  For Paul, that is certainly true, but it is especially true for his view of how believers ought to live. The body is the means by which we encounter others and serve God. The believer’s new life in the body consists of the offering of one’s body and its various ‘members’ to God as a spiritual sacrifice, like a priest to a deity (Rom 6:11-13). It is because the body was created by God, has been ‘purchased’ by God in the act of redemption (Christ’s cross), and will one day be resurrected by God that Paul can pronounce every bodily deed as a matter of grave spiritual significance (1 Cor 6:12-20).”    (Michael J. Gorman, Reading Paul, pp 106-107)

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