Holy Pascha

The Christian world celebrates the Glorious Resurrection Feast or Holy Pascha, the Feast of Feasts and Season of Seasons. The feast of crossing from death to Life and from hell to Paradise.

The Resurrection Feast is the fundamental event in the life of the church because it is not only about the Resurrection of Christ, but the resurrection of every human being; projecting to the celebration of the Resurrection at every Sunday Liturgy.

The Paschal Gospel reading is John 1:1-17, however, it is not directly related to the event of the Resurrection of Christ, as the Gospel of the resurrection event is read at the Rush Service that precedes the Divine Liturgy on Easter day. But at the Paschal Liturgy, the Gospel reading speaks of the divine plan for our salvation, emphasizing that “God is love”, the “Light” that shines in the darkness and the new creation. Generally speaking, the Gospel is about the renewal that was accomplished on the day of the Resurrection.

Sin and death have entered into the world, at the fall, and death became “the last enemy invalidated.” (1Cor 15:26). All philosophies throughout time and ideologies, including Medicine and Science, has tried throughout the ages to put an end to death; all are but attempts to delay death and to push it away from us however in fact death is inevitable for everyone and for every creature. Only the Risen Christ from among the dead puts an end to death; as we sing the hymn “Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling down death by death and bestowing Life on those in the tombs”. In other words, He trampled death by his death and by his Resurrection.

The event of the Resurrection is an imperative action of the Saviour, as He is God-Man. Death could not keep him in the grave and keep Him under his dominion. The Lord Jesus has demonstrated through his Resurrection that the end of man is not the cross and death but resurrection. Good Friday is not the final objective and purpose of the Church rather the Resurrection and the Empty Tomb.

The Resurrection is not just something that happened to Jesus. It is not just hearsay. We can experience it personally today when we invite the Lord Jesus into our lives and we take Him as God and Saviour.

Without the Resurrection, it would appear that everything was an illusion and our “Faith is False” as the Apostle Paul says. If Christ did not Arise and fill his disciples with His life-giving power and His wisdom; How did the Apostles, who were fishermen, full of fear and scattered go out preaching the “Gospel” to the end of the world and suffer what they suffered: persecution, death, torture, crucifixion and other trials? The power of the Resurrection has given these Saints and today it gives us the strength and grace to live our Christianity in a world that denies the fact of the Resurrection and doesn’t want to live by its blessings.

The Resurrection is not something that will happen in the future only but starts now and continues to eternity: “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. It starts when we take Christ in our life as Lord and Saviour.

We Christians are confident and believe that the Resurrection occurred, and as a consequence of this, we can endure all things in life with patience, including suffering and death, knowing it is not the end. That’s what helps us prevail over despair and fills us with Hope that our faith in the Risen Lord Jesus, means we too will be raised with Him on the last day.

Glorious Pascha

Metropolitan Basilios