Pascha: The Fountain of Life Eternal
The sacred readings and the divine hymns on the night of the Resurrection fill the hearts of every faithful and sincere Orthodox soul with heavenly sentiments, and strengthen their faith in the great victory of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, against the power of death and against the darkness of our worst enemy, the devil. We believe that all the blessings that derived from the Resurrection of our Lord, are also ours. In this world, we enjoy them within the Church, and we hope in the mercy of God and expect and hope that we will also be enjoying them in the future, eternally. All these blessings and graces emanating from the Resurrection, will become realities in the life of those who live according to His Will, and who have remained close to Him throughout their existence. But how can this be achieved?
When we were baptised, we became one body with the Victor of death; and through this we partake of His triumph, “knowing that Christ having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him” (Rom 6:9). But what type of death has no power over Christ, and all those who follow Him? It is the death that invaded the human being through the disobedience of original man – Adam and Eve. This death ruptures the divine communication between man and the Source of Life, between the God of heaven and of earth. This death kills and mortifies the soul of man, causing eternal death, in the present and the future. That is why the Pascha of the Orthodox stands out as a beacon of hope, the return of the life of the soul through the Resurrection of Him, who is the Victor of death, because it is something deep and meaningful. It is celebrated in the depths of our being, and fills our hearts with the same feelings as those experienced by the Disciples and Myrrh-bearing women on hearing the news that “Christ is risen”!
Pascha is not only an event that happened two thousand years ago, but is alive in the present, in our personal life: the perpetual victory of our Lord over death. Only the Orthodox can celebrate and experience a real Pascha, because they overcome with the grace of the Victor of death, the cause of death, which is sin, and live a resurrected life together with the Risen Christ. “What is that mystery which happened to us? How were we given up to decay, and were yoked to death?” (St John of Damascus, 7th century).
The same question is posed ever since by every person. From the time death entered into the world as a consequence of sin, no one looked upon it with indifference. Why? The answer is obvious. Death comes only once in our lifetime, but we fear it every day! When one of our fellow human beings crosses over to the opposite side, the rest of us remain on this side frightened and bewildered. However, the faithful Orthodox Christians have no doubt that the death and Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, completely conquered the devil, and his evil daughter sin, and abolished the power of death. When a brother or sister of ours leaves us, we feel saddened, whilst we deeply believe that they live in another life.
Source: Lychnos April / May 2017