“I know that he will rise again…”

On the Feast Day of St. Martha, I am thinking about what I consider to be one of the most intriguing sentences in the New Testament – “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” (John 11:24)

This statement demonstrates the forcefulness and solidity of Jewish belief in an eventual resurrection of the dead.

Another pertinent section is 1 Corinthians 15 in which St. Paul discusses the importance of Christ having been raised from the dead saying, “If Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.” (1. Cor. 15:14)

Many questions come to mind:

– How did Martha “know” that her brother will rise again in the resurrection on the last day?
– How did Jewish confidence build in the resurrection?
– What are the sources in reason and revelation for belief in the resurrection?
– How did belief in the resurrection take root and become more differentiated in religious consciousness?
– What role did historical events and metaphysical speculation play in the development of this belief?
– Which events contributed to the emphasis and deemphasis of this belief throughout history?
– What are the crucial differences between those who have been and will be resurrected?
– What is the significance of Jesus being resurrected in a glorified body and unable to be immediately recognized?

Etc., etc.

I look forward to contemplating such questions in the year to come. Let me know what related questions come to your mind about this.

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