The reason for the resurection

A protestant family member asked me during a conversation on Catholicism, on the subject of people already in heaven, “If people are already in heaven, what is the purpose of the resurrection?”

Can you help with provide an explanation? Thanks

If she means resurrection as a tenet of the Creed, we believe in the resurrection of the body, that is, at the end of this world Christ will raise the bodies of all who have died and their souls will be reunited with their perfected glorified bodies in heaven. That is what Christ taught and what all Christians believe. With the exception of Christ and Mary, whom we know are already in heaven body and soul, the rest of the just there are only the souls as yet.

this is correct and it is also worth considering that when heaven and earth are one with the new heavens and a new earth[Jacob’s ladder]and when His will is done on earth as it is in heaven so with our new heavenly body and soul we will return home to earth “for earth thou art and unto earth shall thou return” - twinc

I believe that the church teaches that the gates of heaven were closed at the fall of Adam and Eve and until the resurrection, there were no people in heaven.

(I’d like to get some verification on that point since the next question is going to be, ‘Where does it say that in the bible…’)

So, in this case, one of the purposes of the resurrection is to let people into heaven.

They believe the resurrection was taught by Christ, and that it will happen. I believe, as the Church teaches, there are those heaven, souls only, or body and soul.

But the question is more to “why” the resurrection. And probably an addendum question that may make the question more clear, is, why the resurrection and the new glorified body?

But the first part of the question is I think more important.

Is it so that we fully partake in Christ’s divine nature, in every way, such as conquering death (through the power of God of course)?

If so, I understand that. Is there more? And then I always come back to “why the glorified body?” Is that part of conquering death?


Why the resurrection?

St Ambrose says in ‘On the death of his brother Satyrus’ - “For the resurrection, as the very form of the word shows, is this, that what has fallen should rise again, that which died should come to life again. And this is the course and ground of justice, that since the action of body and soul is common to both (for what the soul conceived, the body carried out), each should come unto judgement, and each should be either given over to punishment or reserved for glory.”

Tertullian says in his ‘On the resurrection of the flesh’ - “Now, since the entire man consists of the union of the two natures, he must therefore appear in both, as it is right that he should be judged in his entirety. As therefore he lived, so also must he be judged, because he has to be judged concerning the way in which he lived.”

Why the glorified body?

Note for 1 Cor 15:42-44 in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament says “Our risen bodies will be the same bodies that we possessed during earthly life, only transformed by new and spiritual qualities.” and gives reference to CCC 999 & 1017. Another note says that the ‘spiritual’ body will not become a spirit, but is spiritual “because the body will remain immortal and incorruptible through the spirit that enlivens it (St. Fulgentius, On the Faith 70)”

the whole purpose of the resurrection is for restoration of that which was formerly very good but fell from spiritual,mental,material to material,mental,spiritual - twinc

Thanks everyone!

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