I was recently instructed in a class I’ve been taking through the church I’ve been attending the past few weeks to write a short paper describing what comes to mind when I hear the word “resurrection”, or to ask someone else what comes to their mind when they hear that word. Here is the paper that I turned in…
I have been a Christian for a little over 5 years now. It’s a bit strange, but I have a hard time trying to recall what came to mind when I heard the word “Resurrection” before that. Generally I suppose I would have said it simply means to “rise from the dead, or “to be raised from the dead.”
In preparation of writing this, and at the urging of our instructor I decided to ask an older gentleman that I work with, what came to his mind when he heard the word “resurrection”.
This gentleman is a believer in Jesus, though I believe his theology is rather amiss many times. Still I was very interested to see what he had to say. I was a bit surprised to get quite a “nugget of wisdom” from him, though I’m not completely sure it was intentional on his part. Either way, I was quite impressed with his answer.
When asked what came to mind when he heard the word “resurrection” the first thing that came out of his mouth was, “Well the Lord of course!” He knows my faith as we have had religious discussions several times, so I figured maybe he was just giving me the “right” answer that I wanted to hear, so I pressed him a little more. I said, “…well yeah, that is true, but what about outside of a Christian context, what would you say comes to mind, if you weren’t thinking about Jesus?” He had to think for a minute, and finally said, “Well, I suppose I would just say it means to rise from the dead, but I really don’t see how you could hear the word “resurrection” and not think about Jesus…”
I love this answer, and surprisingly it seems like Merriam-Webster might agree. I looked up the word in the dictionary, and this is the definition I found: “1 a capitalized : the rising of Christ from the dead b often capitalized : the rising again to life of all the human dead before the final judgment c : the state of one risen from the dead.”
I decided to look the word up in another of my dictionaries that I have on my Mac-Book and found several similar definitions. Even the sentences to give the context of how to use the word mentioned something about Christ.
So it seems that my old friend on this particular day had his theology just right. You really can’t think of the word “resurrection” without thinking of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As I mentioned before becoming a Christian I would have given a definition akin to something like, “to rise from the dead, or “to be raised from the dead.” Now I see so much more to the word. The following verses I’m about to quote really are what the word now encompasses to me, and gives me such hope and such wonderful promises, now that I am a believer:
Romans 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
Romans 8:11, If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
The word doesn’t simply mean to “rise from the dead anymore, but it means a newness of life. We are not just restored to our old selves, but we are something completely new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Soli Deo Gloria