Theology Essay

Topics: Christianity, Christian terms, Jesus Pages: 5 (1732 words) Published: April 11, 2013
The term Paschal Mystery refers to Christ’s life, death and resurrection. It is a way of symbolising those events that lie at the heart of the Christian experience of salvation. The term “Paschal” comes from the Hebrew word “pesach” which refers to Israel’s annual commemoration of the first Passover where the Israelites were liberated from slavery in Egypt. It becomes, then, a fitting image for Jesus’ own Passover from death into the fullness of divine life in which we participate in. The Paschal Mystery does not just refer to Jesus’ death and resurrection, but also and very importantly to our participation in that mystery and as the central, ongoing reality in the life of the church. Therefore, what we are only beginning to grasp is the astounding concept that this mystery, is our mystery. We, who live, die and rise today as the body of Christ in the world. The Paschal Mystery occurs in the life of every one of us individually and in the life of the church as a whole. It plays itself out constantly in our daily lives as we choose fidelity to Christian discipleship by dying to self so that we, and others, may have fuller life. And it plays itself out in liturgy where we celebrate it in ritualised form. Everytime we gather for liturgy, we are the church visibly united in communal surrender to this dying and rising mystery which defines our lives. Within and through rite, we surrender as one body to this redemptive mystery, and as one body, we undergo transformation to new life. In this essay, I will be discussing how Christ is involved in the Paschal mystery, how we as a Church are involved in the Paschal mystery, how we have access to this mystery in Liturgy and finally why Paschal mystery is so important to the understanding of what it is to be Christian.

HOW IS THE PASCHAL MYSTERY ABOUT JESUS? talk about life, death resurrection, The notion of Paschal mystery revolves around Jesus – the event of his whole life, his death and his resurrection which accomplished our salvation. Christ is our Pasch. He is the word made flesh for our salvation. He suffered for our sake and passed over from death to life showing us the way. “In the most biblical sense, the great mystery is that of secondarily the saving plan of God for humankind. This plan is a hidden reality made known only through revelation and therefore available in faith. ” It is only with the resurrection that we perceive fully the Trinitarian character of the paschal event. In the resurrection, the revelation of the trinity appears in clear light – the father to whom is attributed the initiative in raising the son, the son who appears as the living one, and the spirit who is sent forth into the world. While the father takes the initiative in raising the Son and, as creator, brings his salvific plan for creation to its completion in the resurrection, the resurrection of Jesus is actually accomplished in the powerful transfiguring action of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is also the milieu of the resurrection. It was the spirit who held open and bridged over the separation of the Father and the Son in the cross and descent into hell. In Jesus’ life out of death, the wounds of his self surrendering love remain. He is the slain lamb. “This image of the slain lamb is an emblem of the vision of the Trinitarian relations as relations of total self surrender in love, as revealed in the paschal mystery.”


Christ is the head, and the church is the fullness of his body. It is through the church that the mystery of salvation is revealed. The relationship between Christ, who is the great sacrament of salvation, and the church, which is his body, is a great mystery. The figure of the church as the body of Christ is the basis of pauls appeal for Christian unity and fellowship. This unity is symbolized by the one bread of...
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