Monday, March 31, 2008

The Meaning of the Resurrection of Christ

Ok, I know it's still lent for us Orthodox Christians. But for the other half of Christendom, Easter has come and gone, leaving some souls asking the question: "So What?"

I offer the following words, not by me, but by St. John Chrysostom:

If any man be devout and loves God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wiser servant, let him enter rejoicing into the joy of his Lord. If anyone has labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.

If anyone has worked from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If anyone has come at the third hour, let him keep the feast with thanksgiving. If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings;

Because he shall in no way be deprived. Therefore, if anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If anyone has tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him also, not be alarmed of his tardiness; for the Lord who is jealous of his honor will accept the last even as the first; He gives unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has worked from the first hour. And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts.

He accepts the deeds and welcomes the intention, honors the acts and praises the offering. Because of this, enter-all of you-into the joy of your Lord. And receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second.

You rich and poor together, hold high festival! You sober and you heedless, honor the day! Rejoice today, both you who have fasted, and you who have disregarded the fast! The calf is fatted; let no one go away hungry! Enjoy, all of you, the feast of faith! Receive, all of you, the riches of His loving kindness!

Let no one wail about his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed! Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave! Let no one fear death, for the Savior's death has set us free! He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it! By descending into hell, he made hell captive! He vexed it when it tasted of His flesh!

People: IT IS VEXED!

And Isaiah, foretelling this did cry: "Hell, said he was vexed when it encountered You in the lower regions."

People: IT IS VEXED!


It was vexed, for it was abolished.

People: IT IS VEXED!

It is vexed, for it was mocked!

People: IT IS VEXED!


It was vexed, for it was slain!

People: IT IS VEXED!

It was vexed, for it was overthrown!

People: IT IS VEXED!

It was vexed, for it was fettered in chains!

People: IT IS VEXED!


It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen. O death, where is your sting? O hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!

People: INDEED, HE IS RISEN!

Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!

People: INDEED, HE IS RISEN!

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!

People: INDEED, HE IS RISEN!

Christ is risen, and life reigns!

People: INDEED, HE IS RISEN!

Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave!

People: INDEED, HE IS RISEN!

For Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the first fruit of those who have fallen asleep.

To him be glory and dominion unto the ages of ages!

People: Amen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs, bestowing life!

Christ is risen!

Indeed, he is risen!

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Now WHAT are the implications of THAT??????

Death is no longer something to be feared, therefore we can take up the cross, and follow Christ...and die.

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