No, this was not a back-from-the-dead return to the old life; this is was an entirely new life form. Recognizable to those who knew him, Jesus was transformed, possessing a distinctive change and a “definite otherness,” writes Pope Benedict in his second installment of the Jesus of Nazareth book series.
Jesus’ Resurrection was about breaking out into an entirely new form of life, in to a life that is no longer subject to the law of dying and becoming, but lies beyond it—a life that opens up a new dimension of human existence. Therefore the Resurrection of Jesus in not an isolated event that we could set aside as something limited to the past, but it constitutes an “evolutionary leap” (to draw an analogy, albeit one that is easily misunderstood). In Jesus’ Resurrection a new possibility of human existence is attained that affects everyone and opens up a future, and new kind of future, for mankind (244).
This resurrection is a new and unprecedented dimension for humanity. It represents a kind of reconfiguration or a transformation of the body into a glorified body beyond the boundaries of what we normally conceive. In his book, the pope poses the following rational meditation for those needing a more cogent or analytic assessment of this new dimension of life.
What already exists is not called into question. Rather we are told that there is a further dimension, beyond what was previously known. Does that really contradict science? Can there really only ever be what there has always been? Can there not be something unexpected, something unimaginable, something new? If there really is a God, is he not able to create a new dimension of human existence, a new dimension of reality altogether? Is not creation actually waiting for this last and highest “evolutionary leap,” for the union of the finite with the infinite, for the union of man and God, for the conquest of death? (247)
When we talk about the glorified body, and the reunion of the soul with the body, we’re talking about this new model of body – something unexpected; something unimaginable; something new.