Christ?s Resurrection and ours

As we approach Easter, this article looks at some of the consequences of Christ's Resurrection, and ways that we are drawn into the reality of this mystery through the sacraments and the Church. Francis Selman is Dean of Philosophy at Allen Hall Seminary, London.

For many centuries the Church seemed almost to forget in her preaching and devotion that we are not just redeemed by the cross of Jesus Christ but also saved by his resurrection. This omission was reversed by the pioneering book of P?re Fran?ois Xavier Durwell, The Resurrection, which appeared in 1950 (English translation 1960). P?re Durwell reminded us that Christ's death only became the source of our salvation because of the resurrection: the cross was made effective by the resurrection and Christ's death redeems us because it resulted in his resurrection.1 Christ's death would not have opened up new life for us unless he had also risen again. It remains equally true of course that Christ only gained the glory of his resurrection by the path of his passion. We need to keep the two together, to reflect on the one in view of the other. The connection of the two is already plain in Scripture: the suffering of the Servant ends in exaltation (Isaiah 53.10, 12; Phil 2.9).

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