Resurrection

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Resurrection of Christ by by Noel Coypel

Resurrection means bringing someone back to life after they have died.

Polytheistic religions[change | change source]

The idea of resurrection is found in writings of ancient polytheistic religions in the Middle East. Some Egyptian and Canaanite writings tell of gods being resurrected, such as Osiris and Baal.

In Greek mythology, many men and women were given eternal life by being resurrected from the dead. In their stories, some who came back to life as gods were Alcmene, Castor, Heracles, and Melicertes. But the Greek philosophers at that time did not believe in a physical rebirth.

Abrahamic Religions[change | change source]

Christianity[change | change source]

Christ triumphing over Death and Sin by Rubens

Christians believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected. They also believe in resurrection for all belivers after they die. This is based on the Gospels and on Saint Paul's writings in the New Testament. The resurrection of Jesus is the Christian belief that he returned to life by a miracle. He died by crucifixion on Friday and rose from his tomb to new life on Sunday morning. This belief is celebrated at Easter.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is written about by the evangelists in the New Testament. They are the authors of the four Gospels in the New Testament. Christians believe the resurrection is a central part of the Christian faith. Jesus died on the cross to save mankind. When he was resurrected, Jesus defeated death. He is alive forever and sitting at God's right hand on a throne. This gives Christians the hope of a new life after death. This is because his resurrection mirrors the future for all Christians after they die.

As an example, Saint Paul refers to the resurrection, something mortal transformed into eternity:

"For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? Corinthians 1 15:53-55


Germain Pilon (French sculptor, 1590)

All four Gospels tell about Jesus being raised from the dead. They also write about three times that Jesus brings a dead person back to life:

  • Daughter of Jairus.[Mk 5:21-43] Jairus, a patron of a synagogue, asks Jesus to heal his daughter, but while Jesus is on the way, Jairus is told his daughter was dead. Jesus tells him she was only sleeping, and wakes her with the words Talitha kum.
  • The Young Man from Nain.[Lk 7:11-17] A young man, the son of a widow, was on the way to be burried in Nain. Jesus sees the widows tears and his pity causes him to tell her not to cry. Jesus approaches the dead son and tells the man inside to get up, and he does so.
  • The Raising of Lazarus.[Jn 11:1-44] A close friend of Jesus who had been dead for four days is brought back to life. Jesus goes to his grave and commands him to get up.

Islam[change | change source]

In Islam, the Quran refers to a bodily resurrection of those who died.