(Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia)
“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17)
Christ is Risen; Truly He is Risen
Our Lord and God Jesus Christ exclaims: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me will live, even though he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
We live in an increasingly secularized and religiously indifferent world. The notions of ‘faith’ and ‘religion’ no longer possess importance or centrality in the fabric of society, but rather have been relegated to personal subjective belief. Indeed, rational reasoning has always been the stronger intellectual trait of the human person, and doubt, springing forth from the inability to transcend the limitations of rationalism, has served as an obstacle for the human person to perceive and acknowledge the eternal truth of God.
The resurrection of Christ, precisely as both reality and mystery, emphatically and unequivocally, defies the limitations of human logic, transcends what is earthly, temporal, and corruptible, and existentially and spiritually raises us up to what is heavenly, eternal, and incorruptible. In and through the entire divine-human dispensation, the passion and death on the cross, and the resurrection from the dead, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ recreates, refashions, and renews the human person according to the measure of His fullness (Eph. 4:13) It is to this “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4) that we are called to embrace with all our heart in faith and love, because this leads to the fullness of true life, which was established “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4).
Today, the Church proclaims with joy “Christ is risen!” for a new reality has been inaugurated – “the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15)- indeed, the kingdom of God is ‘within us’ (Luke 17:21). Christ has “overcome the world” (John 16:33) and gathers “all things together in heaven and on earth” (Eph. 1:10) and calls each one of us to embrace and to be embraced by His absolute and boundless love. Let us therefore strive for true faith and genuine love for Christ, fulfilling His life-giving commandments, that we may be made worthy to receive the abundance of divine blessings and become partakers of the fullness of true life and joy, which are in Christ. In response to the question posed by Christ to each of us “Do you believe this?”, may we exclaim with all our heart, soul, mind and strength: “Lord, I believe” (John 9:38).
Wishing all a blessed and joyous Easter, I remain,
His Eminence, Archbishop Makarios, Primate,
Greek Orthodox Church of Australia