St. Mary's Anglican Catholic Church

Diocese of the Midwest

As has been noted repeatedly, there are no dispensable articles of the Creed. However, there is one article upon which all the others rest in terms of their truth & significance; and that is the second clause of the fifth article of the Apostles’ Creed, “The third day He rose again from the dead.” By this we mean that the soul of Jesus Christ that descended to the place of departed spirits at His death was reunited with the body that lay in Joseph’s tomb. But, Christ’s body was not merely reanimated; it was also transformed into a spiritual body fit for eternal life in heaven.
Despite assertions to the contrary, the Resurrection is a fact according to all the canons of history. The Risen Christ was seen by a large number of people who knew Him well on a number of occasions recorded in the NT. (St Mark 16:9; St John 20:14, 20, 26; 21:1-2; St Matthew 18:9, 16; St Luke 24:33-46, 50; 1 Corinthians 156-7) Though this body was able to appear & disappear suddenly, it was clear that these witnesses saw the real body of Jesus, with the marks of the nails and the wound of the spear that contributed to His death on the cross. (St Luke 24:31, 36, 39, 51; St John 20:19, 26-27) Our Lord predicted His death & Resurrection on several occasions; but His disciples were slow to understand and did not anticipate what they experienced over 
forty days beginning on the first Easter Day. (St Matthew 16:21-21-28; 17:22-23; 20:17-19; St Luke 24:25-27) The disciples, particularly the twelve apostles, who had been with Jesus throughout his public ministry until His death on the cross, were chosen by God to be witnesses of His Resurrection. (St John 15:27; Acts 1:22; 10:41) Christ’s enemies asserted that the disciples had stolen Christ’s body to put forward a hoax, though this was contrary to what they knew to be true. (St Matthew 28:2-4, 11-15) But the Apostles and others sealed their witness to Christ’s Resurrection in their own blood, nearly all of them suffering a martyr’s death for the sake of the Risen Christ. The very existence of the Church cannot be explained if Christ did not in fact rise from the dead.

As noted above, the Resurrection establishes the truth of the rest of the articles of the Christian Creed. It proves that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God. (Romans 1:4) That He was without sin. (St John 16:10) That He indeed died to atone for our sins and rising again brought us salvation through faith in the same. (Romans 4:25; 5:10; 10:9; 1 Corinthians 15:17) That He will come again to judge the quick & dead. (Acts 17:31) And that we too will share in His Resurrection at the Last Day. (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)

All of this must be received by a true & open confession of faith. If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.(Romans 10:9-10)  Without the Resurrection of Christ, there is no Christian Faith; for if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins…. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1 Corinthians 15:17) Rather, let these words of the Apostle Paul be our own heart-felt desire. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:10)