“Christ is Risen from the dead by death trampling down upon death and to those in the tombs He has granted life.”
My dear Metropolis of Atlanta family,
“…Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him…likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6: 9-11)
I greet you today with great love and joy in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in prayerful anticipation of His Passion and glorious Resurrection, the center and heart of our faith.
On Great and Holy Friday, we witness again the great tragedy as evil and darkness seem to prevail over the crucified Christ. Then we behold the triumph of Christ, as He rose from death to life, from the darkness of the tomb into the light. With the Resurrection of Christ, all Creation is filled with a new light of life and joy. On this Feast of Feasts, this Holy Day of Holy Days, we all confess the only Truth that matters, the truth that Christ is Risen!
Through this Truth, we are liberated from the power of sin and death, and receive God’s promise to live in eternity. We feel the inexpressible joy of being united with real life in Christ. And we have the eternal hope of salvation, coming from the empty tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are overwhelmed by the awesome love and tender mercy of our God, Who gave Himself up to suffering and death for our sake – yet even that was not enough, for He also rose from the dead to give us new Life and eternal Hope. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”, as St. Paul tells us (1 Corinthians 15:57).
If we truly open our heart to the forgiveness which flows from the empty tomb, if we allow ourselves to be illumined by the glorious light of Pascha, we too will receive the Resurrection in our own hearts and lives.
For the message of the Resurrection is that we can be changed, and Pascha is a call to all mankind to live joyously, to be filled with jubilation, our hearts overflowing with His grace and love. Therefore, let us rejoice and be glad in the Lord’s Pascha, the Feast Day of freedom and life and light.
To Him be the glory and the dominion unto the ages of ages!
May our hearts be filled with peace and may we feel the power of the Resurrection in our lives today and always.
I prayerfully remain, With paternal love in our Risen Lord,