“Now all things have been filled with light, both heaven and earth and those beneath the earth; so let all creation sing of Christ’s rising, by which it is established.”
With these words, beloved sons and daughters in Christ, the author of the Canon of Pascha addresses us, sending the joyous and luminous message of resurrection of Christ and inviting us to drink a “new drink” which is the Source of incorruption and which pours out from the tomb of Christ as an inexhaustible Source of life, light and joy.
Jesus is risen from the tomb as “He said before”. The resurrection of Christ is not only an historical event which took place once in the history and was forgotten and extinguished by the passing of time. The resurrection of Christ is the basis of our faith. As St. Paul says: “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15: 14) It is also the source of our own life from which we are watered everyday by living this resurrection proclaiming: “Having seen the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless one. For having endured the Cross for us, he has destroyed death by death”.
As Christ descended to the Hell by his death for us, the shackled with the chains of Hell saw him, and when they noticed his indescribable clemency, pressed forward with joyful steps feasting the eternal Pascha and hurrying up to receive light and life from “the light that is not overtaken by light”. The myrrh-bearing women went to the tomb seeking with tears the body of Christ as a dead person, but they worshipped him as risen Lord and were fulfilled with joy. Then they announced the mystical Pasha to the disciples. So we also press forward to the Church of Christ in order to live the joy of resurrection. Let us transfer the same joy to the entire world and announce the resurrection to all the earth offering to all mankind the new fruit of the vine saying: “Receive from us the good tidings of joy, of Christ’s Resurrection, taste and see that the Lord is Good”.
The day of Resurrection; let us be radiant for the festival, and let us embrace one another. Let us say, brethren, even to those that hate us, Let us forgive all things on the Resurrection. Enter into the joy of our Lord, Let no one fear death: for the Saviour’s death has freed us. Let us shout with prophet Isaiah: “Where, death, is your sting? Where hell, is your victory?” Christ has risen, and Angels have rejoiced! Christ has risen and the demons have fallen! Christ has risen, and there is no corpse in the grave! For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the first fruits of those who sleep.
From the depths of my heart I ask the resurrected Lord that He will shed the holy light of resurrection on you and fulfil your life with his own and grant you his own joy, a joy of which no one can deprive you.
Christ is risen, indeed He is risen.
Author: Metropolitan John (Yazigi)