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Part One

Paragraph 2. On theThird Day He Rose Again from the Dead

638

“We bring you the good news that what God promised to the

fathers, this day he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Je-

sus.”

489

The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in

Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first

Christian community; handed on as fundamental by Tradition; estab­

lished by the documents of the New Testament; and preached as an

essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross:

Christ is risen from the dead!

Dying, he conquered death;

To the dead, he has given life.

490

I.

T

he

H

istorical and

T

ranscendent

E

vent

639

The mystery of Christ’s resurrection is a real event, with

manifestations that were historically verified, as the New Testa-

ment bears witness. In about

a.d.

56, St. Paul could already write

to the Corinthians: “I delivered to you as of first importance what

I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the

scriptures, and that he was buried, that he was raised on the third

day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to

Cephas, then to the Twelve . . .”

491

Apostle speaks here of the

living tradition of the Resurrection which he had learned after his

conversion at the gates of Damascus.

492

The empty tomb

640

“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not

here, but has risen.”

493

The first element we encounter in the

framework of the Easter events is the empty tomb. In itself it is not

a direct proof of Resurrection; the absence of Christ’s body from

the tomb could be explained otherwise.

494

Nonetheless the empty

tomb was still an essential sign for all. Its discovery by the disciples

was the first step toward recognizing the very fact of the Resurrec-

tion. This was the case, first with the holy women, and then with

Peter.

495

The disciple “whom Jesus loved” affirmed that when he

489

Acts

13:32-33.

490 Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion of Easter.

491

1 Cor

15:3-4.

492 Cf.

Acts

9:3-18.

493

Lk

24:5-6.

494 Cf.

Jn

20:13;

Mt

28:11-15.

495 Cf.

Lk

24:3, 12, 22-23.

90

651

991