There was, of course, only one Resurrection of Our Lord. So, what does “again” mean?
There are two words in Greek that can each mean “again.” The more common is palin. The other word is kainos. Although the Apostles Creed does not use either word, as the “again” is in the prefix of the Greek verb anastemi (to rise again), Our Lord does use an Aramaic word, which is translated under divine inspiration as the Greek adverb kainos, in His address to the Apostles at the Last Supper: “I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new (kaina) in the kingdom of my Father” (Matt. 26:29). And it’s also the same word used in many other verses, such as, “The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new (kaina)” (Rev. 21:5).
It is in this sense that the word “again” can be understood in the Apostles Creed. “And on the third day He
arose anew from the dead.” “Anew,” as in glorified. So, too, did He promise the Apostles that in the kingdom of His Father they would drink the “fruit of the vine” anew, in the state of glory, after the resurrection of the body at the Last Day.
This could be a reference to a Holy Communion for the blessed in heaven after the resurrection. A Communion that would last forever. — Not as a sacrament, because the sacraments are only for this mortal life, but as a Reality, in Vision, of an everlasting Communion in the Body of Christ. This Holy Communion could be the Principle, the Cause, of the glorification of the body after the resurrection.
This could also be the meaning of the promise regarding the Tree of Life that the Alpha and the Omega gave to those of the Church of Ephesus who overcome temptation and trials: “To the victor I will give the right to eat from the tree of life that is in the garden of God” (Rev. 2:7).
Read more in the “Why Do We Do That?” series from Deacon Mike Fritz.