An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Resurrection of Jesus

The belief that Jesus was raised bodily from the dead by God on the third day after Jesus' crucifixion and burial, exalting him to the near presence of God in eternal glory. The resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of Christianity (Acts 2:22-36). Christian faith would be meaningless without the resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor 15:14). The reality of Jesus' resurrection was experienced by chosen witnesses and proclaimed by the early Christian community. Easter is the day of Jesus' resurrection. Jesus is understood to have been raised on the Sunday following the Friday of his crucifixion. The resurrection is to be distinguished both from resuscitation (restoration to the prior mode of human existence) and the immortality of the soul. Jesus' resurrection began the transformation and glorification of the whole cosmos, including the redeemed Christian community. Christ was raised as the “first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20). By Christ's resurrection, this same new mode of existence is made available to all. The Catechism notes that “By his resurrection, Jesus overcame death and opened for us the way of eternal life” (BCP, p. 850). Jesus' resurrection is celebrated by Christians at all times, especially at Easter and throughout the Great Fifty Days of the Easter season, and on Sunday, which is the Lord's Day and the day of resurrection.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.