The phrase “Christ is risen from the dead” reveals the peak of our faith. It also became common as a consolation expression for those who feel the resurrection. St. Seraphim of Sarov has made up an expression to salute others in every encounter: “My joy, Christ is risen”. Also, we, who don’t feel ashamed of faith in our Paschal visits, still greet by saying: “Christ is risen”.

Should we consider it only as a common phrase for Orthodox people? Or should it be a phrase that comes from the bottoms of the heart into the tongue in order to revive a friend that we are greeting and support his faith and encourage him to accept the Savior’s Resurrection as a new power and life for him? If we meant to say it, we would do so whether we were happy or tired, sick or healthy, rich or poor. This expression is superior to any situation and life circumstances. It is valid and effective and it transfers the grace from our mouths to the ears and consequently the heart of the other.

We repeat this expression from the Paschal liturgy to the Thursday of Ascension so that we feel satisfaction from the vitality of resurrection knowing that we have moved from death – any kind of death – into life. There wasn’t any joy in the depth of human soul when death was triumphant and when people knew nothing but death. But when they knew the new life in Christ, death stopped being an existing truth and we started calling death “dormition” because we know that, through Christ, we are transferred to a new life in heaven.

The whole problem of man is death while all things before death are difficulties that we can overcome. When Christ came, he solved this problem and gave us the promise of resurrection. This is called the Final or General Resurrection. However, this is preceded by a first resurrection which is baptism in addition to many other resurrections which are our continuous repentances and receiving Holy Communion. All of these are a preparation for the Final Resurrection. This means that our life has become, in Christ, a permanent resurrection and that if we fell, Christ’s body and blood will revive us and make us rise in the hope of coming resurrections.

Our pattern of life, we as Paschal people, is a resurrectional pattern. Our chants are also resurrectional because all words in Church lead to resurrection and contain it in a way or another. Therefore, we stressed that every Sunday, being the beginning of the week, is a Pascha in which we mention the one that is risen from the dead. Without any doubt, celebrating Sundays preceded historically our celebration of Pascha.

In order for the Paschal joy to be fulfilled in us every day, we must not forget that the Son of God was incarnated to live our life and to share with us everything except sin. “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord” (Romans 14: 8).

Jesus lives with us through life and death. And if He was attached to us in death, He would revive us immediately even if this was in an unseen way. He lets us become with Him and for Him until He gathers us in the last day. If you read this, say: “Truly, He is risen”.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “الفصح” –Raiati 16- 15.04.2012