He is Risen.  He is not just raised from dead like Lazarus, only to die again.  He has not been summoned as a spirit back from the dead as the medium in Endor did in calling back Elijah for King Saul (1 Samuel 28).  He has opened a new realm of existence for us.  One that he demonstrates with his glorified body that is unconstrained by time or space.  One that is even somehow different in appearance.  Mary Magdalene in the garden near the tomb, the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and the Apostles from their boat did not immediately recognize him in this new form.  Yet one that is physically real.  In several instances, he would appear to them, share table fellowship with them, and even eat with them.  This is a new realm that has entered into our world.

This is not merely an isolated event.  It opens the path to eternal life for us.  We can share in his Resurrection.  As Saint Paul writes, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being.  For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).” 

This future possibility is not just a continuation of our present reality.  It is an opening to something far greater.  Saint John writes “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2).”  We shall see him face to face.  Unfiltered.  Not obscured as in this present life.  And we shall be completely happy and fulfilled.  “There is nothing I shall lack (Psalm 23:1).” 

Finite words from finite creatures cannot adequately describe either this Resurrection event of an infinite God or an eternal existence with a God who is infinitely good and the source of all good itself.

This Resurrection is an event that does not just affect us.  It defines us.  It defines our entire future.  It makes possible that for which we were made.  To quote Saint Athanasius yet again, “God became man that we might become God,”

Do we embrace this future possibility?  Do we accept this gift?  Do we truly desire to enter into union with God now in this life?  Do we long for the completion of this union in the next?