My beloved brothers and sisters in Our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!
THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD, GOD, AND SAVION
THE CENTRALITY OF THE RESURRECTION
"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,
THEN CHRIST IS NOT RISEN. And if Christ is not risen, THEN
OUR PREACHING IS EMPTY AND YOUR FAITH IS ALSO EMPTY…
AND IF CHRIST IS NOT RISEN, YOUR IS FUTILE; YOU ARE STILL
IN YOUR SINS! THEN ALSO THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP
IN CHRIST HAVE PERISHED. If in this life only we have hope in
Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable" (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).
After the Sabbath, during the night on the third day after His suffering and death, the Lord Jesus Christ RESURRECTED BY THE POWER OF HIS DIVINITY. His body was transformed. He left the tomb unseen by the guards, WITHOUT rolling away the stone or breaking the seal placed by the Sanhedrin. From that moment on the guards unknowingly guarded an EMPTY SEPULCHRE. Suddenly there occurred a great earthquake. An Angel of the Lord descended from Heaven. He proceeded to roll back the stone from the entrance to the tomb of the Lord, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning and his raiment white as snow. The soldiers standing guard at the tomb were terrified and became like dead men. Regaining consciousness after the fright, they dispersed.
On this day, THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, at dawn when the Sabbath rest had just ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna, Salome, and other women, having taken the fragrant myrrh which they had prepared, went to the tomb of Jesus Christ to anoint His body, not having had time to do this during the burial. The Church calls these women THE HOLY MYRRHBEARERS. They still did not know that a guard had been placed at the tomb of the Lord and that the entrance to the cave had been sealed. Therefore they did not expect to meet anyone there and said among themselves, ‘Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb?’ the stone was very large, and Mary Magdalene, walking ahead of the other myrrbearing women, arrived at the tomb first. The sun had not yet risen, and it was dark. Seeing that the stone was rolled away from the tomb, Mary hastened to Peter and John and said, ”They have taken the Lord from the tomb and we know not where they have laid Him." Hearing these words, Peter and John immediately ran to the tomb with Mary Magdalene following after them.
At the time the other women, who had been walking with Mary Magdalene, arrived at the tomb and also saw that the stone was rolled away. They suddenly saw a shining Angel sitting on the stone. Turning to them the Angel said: "Fear not, I know that you seek Jesus, Who was crucified, HE IS NOT HERE, FOR HE IS RISEN AS HE SAID WHEN HE WAS WITH YOU. COME, SEE THE PLACE WHERE THE LORD LAY. GO QUICKLY AND TELL HIS DISCIPLES THAT HE IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD."
They entered into the tomb and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. They saw, however, an Angel in white garments seated on the right side of the place where the Lord had lain, and they were struck with fear.
The Angel said to them, "Be not afraid. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. HE IS RISEN, HE IS NOT HERE. BEHOLD THE PLACE WHERE THEY LAID HIM. Go your way, tell His Disciples and Peter (who by his denial fell from the number of the Disciples), that He is going before you to Galilee. There you will see Him, as He told you."
While the women stood in perplexity, behold, two Angels stood by them in dazzling apparel. Since they were frightened the women bowed their faces to the ground in fear.
The Angels said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?" He is not here. He IS RISEN. Remember how He told you while He was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise?
Then the women remembered the works of the Lord. They went out and fled from the tomb, for they were overcome by fear and trembling. Then in awe and with great joy they ran to tell His Disciples. On the road, they said nothing to anyone, since they were afraid. When they reached the Disciples, the women told them everything that they had seen and heard. However, these words seemed to the Disciples like an idle story, and they did not believe them.
In the meantime Peter and John ran to the tomb, John outran Peter and reached the tomb first, but did not enter the tomb.
(To be continued)
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in Our Risen Lord Jesus Christ,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George