Christ Is Risen!

Photo: Photo:     

We have been forgiven and redeemed. Christ is Risen! In those three words, everything is said. In them lies the foundation of our faith, our hope, our love, the Christian life, all of our wisdom, our enlightenment, the Holy Church, sincere prayer, and all that is to come. With those three words, all human ills—death, evil—are destroyed, and life, happiness, and freedom are given. What miraculous power! Can we ever tire of repeating and of hearing the words “Christ is Risen!”?

But do we really understand the true meaning of those words? What does “Christ is Risen!” mean? After all, Christ’s Resurrection took place not yesterday, but many centuries ago. Who among us today can doubt that Christ truly rose from the dead on the third day? Yet what are we affirming when we answer “Christ is Risen!” with the words “Truly He is Risen!”? Are we bearing witness only to our faith or to something else as well?

Christians must participate in the very Resurrection of Christ: If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain (I Corinthians 15:17), says the Holy Apostle Paul, and consequently we celebrate the greatest Christian Feast, the Feast of Feasts, for Christianity itself is founded on Christ’s Resurrection. What is the internal, spiritual significance of the Feast? Can mere remembrance of Christ’s Resurrection as an important event in the history of the world bring us salvation? No. Christians must participate in the very Resurrection of Christ, participate in the Mysteries of Repentance and Communion of the Savior’s Holy Body and Life-giving Blood, so as to unite with Him, the Risen Redeemer. During Great Lent, in the days of repentance, cleansing, and regeneration, we must renew our hearts, so that Christ might be resurrected in them. Thus, one who does not take part in the very Resurrection of Christ does not understand and does not lodge within himself the true meaning of the words “Christ is Risen!” and the response “Truly He is Risen!”

Just making the response “Truly He is Risen!” is not, in and of itself, proof of Christ’s Resurrection in us, in our hearts. That is confirmed by our joy in the Lord and is proven by our love for Christ. Whoever so loves understands and harbors no doubts about God’s love. However, beloved brothers and sisters, remember your recent confession, remember how you recently repented of sometimes complaining about God, doubting in His mercy, accusing the Lord of causing you undeserved sorrows and unbearable suffering, and even of not wishing to hear your prayers. Remember how, living in sin, you tended to consider the Lord unkind, deaf, and blind to your woes and needs. Now, having united yourselves to Christ, have you recognized that He is a Loving God, a Merciful God, and not a punishing God? If you recognize that Truth, you undoubtedly understand God and His Providence, and love God with a pure heart; Christ is Risen in you, and you now can consciously respond to the joyous Christian greeting “Christ is Risen!” with the words “Truly He is Risen!”

Hieromartyr Seraphim (Chichagov)
Parish Life, May 2022
St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Washington, DC


Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 4000 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 4000

to our mailing list

* indicates required