I have sometime wondered precisely what these words in the liturgy concerning Christ and us mean: “dying you destroyed our death; rising you restored our life.” But then I realized, why simply wonder, when the people here could help me understand these words?
God created us to live forever.
However, when sin came into the world… death came along with it.
We were not intended to die, but to live forever.
When Christ succumbed to this world, He knew he too would die. But Christ is GOD… and in His resurrection opened the gates of heaven for us all… where we will continue to live forever…
These words refer to Christ’s physical death and resurrection. ‘Dying, you destroyed our death’ means that Christ’s death opened the way for us to have eternal life, in spite of our physical death, effectively rendering death powerless over those who belive in Him. This comes from the scripture verse of Jesus to Martha: ‘he who believes in me, even though he dies, will live’.
‘Rising, you restored our life’ refers to the fact that prior to Christ’s resurrection heaven (eternal life) was not open to even the most righteous soul. Christ, being true God and true Man, was the only one able by his own death, and equally importantly by his resurrection, to open heaven and eternal life once again to all humanity.
Original sin of Adam and Eve deprived mankind of eternal life.
No matter how many sacrifice of animal blood offered in the Old Testament, our sins could not be redeemed, animal blood is not our blood.
God love the world so much that he does not want man to have eternal death. Though God is love, God is also just. The gap between man and God has to be mended and can only be mended by the sacrifice of his only begotten son, Jesus.
Jesus, the second person of God came to this world, became man and died for us.
Jesus, as one of us, used His precious and mighty blood to pay our debt once and for all. His holy death on the Cross destroyed our eternal death. This is what dying you destroyed our death means.
After being in the tomb for three days, Jesus was resurrected. Because of His resurrection, our faith is not in vain. We too, because of the resurrection of our Lord, may have eternal life. This is what rising you restored our life means.
in formal Catholic theology the effect of Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection was to “break the power of sin and death.” in other words, in His Passion Jesus felt the full burden of the sins (the evil, the malice, the hatred, the envy, the anger, etc) of those who opposed, tortured, and killed him. but the Father led His Son through all sin and death, causing Him to rise into new life as the Risen Christ in Glory. in so doing the Father and Son (working in the power of the Holy Spirit) broke the power of sin and death to constrain or limit us ultimately. we may have all kinds of sin done to us in our lives, as Jesus of Nazareth did, and we may commit all kinds of sin in our lives. but the power and the love of God ensures us that this sin will never hurt or limit or condemn us ultimately. as we believe, as we make ourselves one with the Risen Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit, their saving power, their love abides with us, and we are saved.
concretely, this means that we can face experiences in this life that are our times of fear and anxiety in Gethsemane, accused before leaders, and crucified on the cross. in all these experiences we have the power and love of God always with us to carry us through these experiences into new life in this life and in the world to come. i can attest to this reality in my own experience. Good News indeed!
Howdy Father (do you prefer Fr Ben or Fr Hawley?)
Welcome to the Forums!
We have a handful of priests around here, but being busy chappies as most all priests are, we aren’t blessed often enough with a priestly presence :angel1:
These are helpful posts. I wonder though if these words show that there is a specific connection, for example, between Christ’s resurrection and our own entrance into eternal life, so that if Christ had died but if his body had not risen again, we would never be able to enter heaven. Or is rather a poetic statement providing no actual connections of this sort?
There is a connecion. Resurrection is the critical point of our faith. If Christ died and has not resurrected, we would not have eternal life. Christ’s resurrection overcame death. That is the bottom line. There is no other religion other than Christianity has “resurrection” in it.
Prior to His death and Resurrection, no one went to Heaven.