Metaphysical Distinction of the Resurrection
As preachers of the gospel of Jesus, do not expect worldly honors: these Jesus Christ neither took to himself, nor gave to his disciples.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live,
John 11: 25 NRSV
Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection
What does “resurrection” mean? One definition of resurrection is the return of mind and body to their original, unkillable state. It seems easy, but there are essential parts of this definition that we need to figure out first. First, people must realize that God made man in His image and likeness. What does this mean, though? It means that because God is Spirit, we all have something in us that is like Him—something that will never die and is perfect. The prophet of God has to align with this truth to align their way of being with the divine plan for their purpose and nature.
Restoration and Resurrection
The stories about Jesus and Lazarus’s resurrections in the Gospels show that resurrection means bringing a dead body back to life. When we say “life,” we mean that a person goes back to breathing, moving around, eating, etc. But how is a dead body different from a living person? To understand this critical difference, we must first understand what it means to “restore.”
Restoration implies that something is whole and finished, which is necessary for something to work or perform well. The essential Christian belief is that when a person dies, their body and soul are split apart. Thomas Aquinas, a Christian theologian and philosopher was interested in the human soul. He agreed with Aristotle’s idea that we all have an unchangeable soul whose natural state is to be united with the physical body. According to Aquinas, the human soul is the body’s “substantial form,” and it doesn’t usually exist apart from the body.
As Aquinas states in his Questiones de Anima:
. . . one must maintain that the soul is an entity, as being able to subsist per se but not as possessing in itself a complete specific nature, but rather as completing human nature insofar as it is the form of its body; and thus at one and the same time it is a form and an entity.
In De Spiritualibus Creatures, Aquinas says again that the soul and the body are inextricably linked:
Now the soul, although it is incorruptible, is nevertheless in no other genus than the body because, since it is a part of a human nature, to be in a genus or in a species or to be a person or hypostasis is not characteristic of the soul, but of the composite [i.e., soul and body]. And hence, also, it cannot be called ‘this something’, if by this phrase is meant an hypostasis or person, or an individual situated in a genus or in a species. But if ‘this something’ means every thing which is able to be self-subsistent, in this sense the soul is ‘this something.’
But he says later that the soul’s ability to understand does not depend on any organ in the body and that the soul’s ability to exist does not stop when the body stops being. This goes back to what we said earlier, that the resurrection involves restoring the part of us made in the image and likeness of our perfect and divine Creator. But he says later that the soul’s ability to understand does not depend on any organ in the body and that the soul’s ability to exist does not stop when the body stops being. This goes back to what we said earlier, that the resurrection involves restoring the part of us made in the image and likeness of our perfect and divine Creator.
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