THE SOUL is shaped by words, images, & experiences.

THIS BLOG is about those things that have left their impression on me. I'd love for you to comment on what affects you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

He is Risen

Excitement charges the air this "holy week" as people hustle to prepare for Pascha, the eternal Passover, or Easter, as it is known in the West. Pascha is the biggest holiday in Greece, because it commemorates the most significant event in the history of mankind. The event, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, was so important, the Apostle Paul had this to say about it:

"And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."

Greeks and the Orthodox Church have constructed an elaborate set of traditions, surrounding the observance of Christ's resurrection. Red-dyed eggs, tall lambada candles, processions, fireworks, and family gatherings--all these things are supposed to add to both the gravity and the joy of the occasion. But I often wonder if the traditions don't detract from the observance, instead. It seems the embellishments have become more important to people than the actual event they were meant to honor. Are celebrants really rejoicing because Jesus Christ paid the price for their sins and rose to ever make intercession for them? Are they looking forward to His coming again, as the Bible admonishes us to do? The litmus test for true belief is what a person does with Jesus Christ when the holiday is over. Because Christ lives, we can rejoice in Him daily.

Pascha Sunday, Greeks will greet one another with: "Christos anesti." Christ is risen.

Alithos anesti. He is risen indeed!

Christ Arose, hymn by Robert Lowry

Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior,

waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!
Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o'er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

2. Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior,
vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!

3. Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior;
he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

No comments: