Paschal Epistle: Archbishop Vladimir (ROCOR-V)

Christ is Risen!
Beloved in the Lord, fathers, brothers and sisters!
I congratulate you on the great and joyful feast of the Passover of the Lord –Bright Resurrection of Christ!

       “Easter is sacred to us this day the show: Easter holy nova, the mysterious Easter, Easter reverend, Easter, Christ the Redeemer” – now sings in these bright days of the Holy Church.

       The word “Easter” – means the outcome, deliverance, liberation. Easter in the Old Testament time, celebrated in remembrance of the exodus from Egypt and rid the people of Israel from Egyptian slavery. The New Testament Passover replaced the Old Testament: we celebrate our deliverance from the bondage of sin and eternal enemy of our salvation – through the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ.

       This Holiday Feast and Celebration of Celebrations indeed – the foundation of our Orthodox Christian faith, for, as says St. Paul: If Christ is not risen – your faith is vain (1 Cor. 15, 17). The Resurrection of Christ is the greatest miracle. Until that time, there were cases where the holy men of God (the prophet Elijah, Elisha), raised the dead, and the Savior Himself back to life the widow’s son from the city of Nain, maiden daughter of Jairus, and Lazarus. But they were returning to life on earth, life, time and again, resurrected people died. They lived and were raised not by themselves, but by fervent prayer to resurrect them and by God’s power. And our Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected Himself, His power and eternal life for ever (Rom. 6, 9) – the greatest miracle and an extraordinary showing Divine Saviour.

       His resurrection Christ showed and proved that he is truly God, the Son of God, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead “(Colossians 2, 9), He-Man and His teachings of the true, heavenly and saving.

       The apostles were troubled when Christ died on the cross, and lose hope, as is evident from the conversation of the Savior with Luke and Cleopas on their way to Emmaus. But the Lord opened their eyes and enlighten the heart, in a conversation with them and they knew him: “Do not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24, 32). If the Apostles themselves questioned, what would be the belief, if Christ is not risen?

       But Christ not only resurrected, He took our curse of the law, which were punished for disobedience of our first parents Adam and Eve and the entire human race. From Adam the whole human race caught the poison of sin and death succeeded. But God created man to eternal life and bliss, and not for death. Therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ – the New Adam, the sinless One, who took upon Himself the sins of all mankind, and nailed them to the cross.

       Before people were dying with no hope of resurrection, they were all in the power of hell, and Christ His death trampled upon death, deliver us from it and now it is for the believers in Him shall not die – and Dormition, the separation of body and soul, the transition from a temporary stay here forever .

      One drop of blood of the Savior can clean all the sins of the mira. That’s why the Savior suffered outside the city walls, outside the gates “to show that He came to redeem not only one nation of Israel, but the entire mir.

       Why is the Resurrection of Christ was not in public, did not have a lot of witnesses? Why Christ did not appear nor the Sanhedrin, or Caiaphas, or Pilate, or the people who shouted: “Crucify him!”, Why has not passed through the streets of Jerusalem? Why then, why not come down from the Cross, because true faith can not be forced to – only in his free expression of will.

      “Celebrate the death of the killing, the destruction of hell, otherwise the lives of the eternal beginning,” “Easter, the door hath opened Paradise to us!”. All the people who lived on earth, one and all rise, but only one to everlasting life, others to eternal damnation – depending on how we fulfill the law of Christ in this temporal life.

     Let us therefore, beloved in Christ, brothers and sisters, yet we are given some more time, try to send their will on the commandments of Christ, all conform their will to the will of God, and implore the Lord of Glory, so that the doors were opened to us and the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

       Truly Christ is risen!
+ Archbishop Vladimir.Pascha, 2011