A Pascha of incorruption, Pascha the Lord’s Pascha
“Bearing lights, let us go forth to meet Christ, Who cometh forth from the grave like a bridegroom. And with the ranks of them that love and keep this festival,
let us celebrate the saving Pascha of God.” Ode 5, Paschal Canon
The Lord rises from the dead, like the Bridegroom coming out of the bridal chamber. The Resurrection of Christ is a victory over death. “We celebrate the annihilation of death,
the destruction of Hades, the eternal outset of another life”. “Christ, going down alone to the struggle with Hades, Came forth again and brought with Him plenteous spoils of victory.”
With His Resurrection, all of mankind and all human nature are co-resurrected with Christ,”humanity is clad in a garment that is pure as linen, allowing us to enter the feast. “We celebrate the death of death, the destruction of Hades, the beginning of an everlasting life. And with leaps of joy we praise the Cause thereof, the only blest and most glorious God of our Fathers.” Ode 7 Paschal Canon
Our human flesh is restored and we can partake of the divine nature:
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter: 3-4
Death still exists in the world, so how is it the Resurrection of the Savior has conquered it? The despair over death has been eliminated. Death has become powerless and is no longer the infinite power.
“King is Hades, but not king for ever, over the race of mortalkind; for when Thou hadst been buried, with Thy life-engend’ring hand, O Strong One, Thou brakest ‘sunder the unbroken bars of death and to them that slept there from all ages, O Saviour, Thou didst proclaim true deliverance, For Thou wast become the First-born of the dead. ” Ode Six Canon Holy Saturday
Hades is no longer king for Christ has broken down the brazen gates that held mankind captive. Only God could crush the dominion of death and open the gates to the Kingdom. Man is not born to die, man is created in God’s image and likeness so that we can live with Him forever. In this life, we have the propensity to yearn for Him and seek Him out. This is by choice. Every man has the inkling, an inbred sense of the Creator, though not everyone heeds this desire to know the Creator of all things.
Whether man believes in God, the power of resurrection has been bestowed on all human nature. This is not a choice but a fact. For some the resurrection in the last times will be a resurrection of delight, for others a resurrection of despair for they rejected God’s love. Christ’s victory over death is the restoration of fallen humanity.
No other prophet, soothsayer or shaman has been able to defeat death. No other has ever been able to say these awesome words:
I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11, 25-26
The Resurrection becomes the very foundation of our faith. The Apostle Paul makes this absolutely clear: “If there were no Resurrection from the dead, then Christ would not have risen; And if the dead cannot be risen, then Christ could not have risen” (1 Corinthians. 15, 13, 16). ” If Christ is not risen, then our faith is futile” (verse 17). Beyond the hope of the general Resurrection, faith in Christ would have been futile and without purpose; it would have been mere vainglory. “And now Christ has risen from the dead, as the first fruit of the slumbering souls” (1 Corinthians. 15,20) and this is where the victory of life is found.
Christ is risen ~ truly the Lord is risen!