Monday, May 2, 2016

Death and Resurrection

The Resurrection is a joyful event. However, before it we must endure the death, the Crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, after the Crucifixion comes the Resurrection, which verifies our faith, as St Paul claims: ‘Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.’ (1 Corinthians 15: 12-19). Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh additionally states:

‘The joy of the resurrection is something which we, too, must learn to experience, but we can experience it only if we first learn the tragedy of the cross. To rise again, we must die. Die to our hampering selfishness, die to our fears, die to everything which makes the world so narrow, so cold, so poor, so cruel.  Die so that our souls may live, may rejoice, may discover the spring of life. If we do this then the resurrection of Christ will have come down to us also.
But without the death on the cross there is no resurrection, the resurrection which is joy, the joy of life recovered, the joy of the life that no one can take away from us any more! The joy of a life which is superabundant, which like a stream runs down the hills, carrying with it heaven itself reflected in its sparkling waters.
The resurrection of Christ is reality in history as his death on the cross was real, and it is because it belongs to history that we believe in it. It is not only with our hearts but with the totality of our experience that we know the risen Christ. We can know him day after day as the Apostles knew him. Not the Christ of the flesh, but the ever-living Christ. The Christ of the spirit of whom St Paul speaks, the risen Christ who belongs to time and eternity because he died once upon the cross but lives for ever.’[1] 

[1] Anthony of Sourozh, Creative Pryaer, 2004, p. 74. 

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