The Resurrection of Christ

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The word Pascha is a Hebrew word meaning Passover. In the Old Testament, the word was used to signify the crossing of the Red Sea by the Jews and their miraculous salvation from their persecutor Pharaoh. In the New Testament, Pascha, is the name for the feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and His victorious passage from death unto life.

Christian Pascha, the Resurrection of Christ, has a particular importance for all people, and this is why it is the central message of the church and a cause for joy and celebration.

The fact of Christ’s Resurrection also provides the answer to the question of why evil, sorrows, pain and death are found in the world.

Evil, death, and everything that wounds us were not created by God. All these things were caused by us, and we are the ones who perpetuate them by making bad use of the freedom that God has given to us.

If today there are children who die from hunger, this is not God’s doing. It is our fault, for we do not wish to sacrifice our comfortable lives, and we prefer to bury various kinds of food to prevent prices from falling and to generate higher profits.

If today there are poor and homeless people, this is not God’s doing. It is our fault—instead of helping those in need we prefer to gamble our money on the Stock Exchange.

If today there are wars, this is not God’s doing. It is our fault, with our insatiable avarice.

If today people suffer from loneliness and depression, this is not God’s doing. It is our fault, for we live egotistical lives and do not wish to open our hearts and draw near to our fellow human beings.

If today the natural environment is being destroyed, this is not God’s doing. It is our fault, for we destroy everything thoughtlessly for our own financial interest.

The Resurrection of Christ comes to show us how much evil we have done to ourselves and to the whole of creation by distancing ourselves from God and attaching ourselves to sinful passions.  We boast of our achievements, but the tragic truth is that we have ended up slaves to our egoism and avarice.  What we call life is in fact a kind of death.  We want to escape from this dark reality that we have created, but we cannot find a way out.  Christ offers us the solution through his Resurrection.  The Resurrection is the true life.  It is the passing from death, that reigns here in this world, to the life of the love of the Triune God.  The Resurrection is not only the continuation of existence after death, but it offers us something more than this: the possibility to partake of the way of life of the Holy Trinity and to have a direct relationship with God.  The continuation of a way of life that has death at its heart is a terrible and terrifying prospect, since it does not free us from necessity and suffering.  Christ Resurrected is a truly free person.  And because he is not just a man but the God-man he can offer us a “new life”.

Within the Church, which is the mystical resurrected Body of Christ, we experience daily this passing from death to true life.  It is not something that we expect to come in the future, but it is among and with us right now and right here.  A countless number of people have entered the Church with their sins and their passions, and have managed through the grace of the Resurrected Christ to become saints.  That is, to become truly free people, friends of God.  This wondrous fact shows us that Christianity is not a philosophical idea, or an organization, but a way of life.  It is the life of the Resurrection.  It is the life of love and freedom.

(Metropolitan Nektarios’ Pascha Message 2011)

In Chinese

Pascha這詞是一個希伯來文,意思逾越節。在舊約中,這個詞被用來表示穿越紅海的猶太人和他們的奇蹟般的從法老對他們的迫害中得救。在新約,Pascha,這個名稱是在復活的節日我們的主耶穌基督和他勝利進死亡到生命。

基督徒的Pascha,復活的基督,對所有的人具有特別重要的意義,這就是為什麼這是教會核心信息及令人喜悅的慶典。
事實上基督的復活也答覆為什麼有罪惡,悲傷,痛苦和死亡在世界的疑問。

邪惡,死亡和所有一切會導致我們傷痛這不是上帝所創造的。這些事情都是由我們所造成的,而我們這些濫用上帝賜給我們的自由。
如果今日兒童死於飢餓,這是不是上帝所做的。這是我們的錯,因為我們不願犧牲我們舒適的生活環境,我們寧願埋葬各種食物去防止產品價格下跌以製造更高的利潤。

如果今日有窮人和無家可歸的人,這不是上帝做的。這是我們的錯 — 不來幫助有需要的人取而代之的是將我們的錢賭在股市交易所。

如果今日有戰爭,這是不是上帝造成的。這是我們的錯,由於我們的貪婪無法滿足。
如果今日有人感受孤獨和抑鬱,這是不是上帝造成的。這是我們的錯,因為自我高大及利己生活然而不願打開我們的心房去親近我們同胞人類。
如果今日自然環境遭受到破壞污染,這是不是上帝造成的。這是我們的錯,因為我們摧毀一切不加思考只為我們自己經濟的利益。

復活的基督來向我們顯示了多少的罪惡我們對我們自己所做及對整個受造物因我們自己熱愛並眷戀罪惡將我們自己遠遠與上帝疏離。我們誇耀自我的成就,但悲慘事實的背後是我們成為利己主義和貪婪的奴隸。我們所謂的生活其實是一種死亡。我們要擺脫這種黑暗現實是我們所造成的,但我們找不到出路。基督為我們提供了解決方法透過他的復活。復活是真生命。通過死亡駕馭這個世界,為愛為生命為三位一體的神。復活不僅是在死後繼續存在,但提供我們更多的:可能性去參與聖三位一體神生活的方式,擁有一個直接與上帝的關係。生命繼續的方式然而死亡就是它的核心這是一個可怕及恐怖的前景,因為這不能將我們從必要性和痛苦中釋放出來。基督已經復活是一個真實的自由人。而且因為祂不只是人,而是神–人,祂可以提供我們一個“新生命”。
教會,基督是神秘的復活的身體,每日我們經歷從死亡到真生命。這不是我們期望在未來發生的,但此時和此地卻環繞著我們。數不完的人們進入教會帶著他們的罪和他們的情慾,藉著復活的基督經歷恩典克服苦難成為聖徒。這就是,要成為真的實自由人,神的朋友。這個奇妙的事實告訴我們,基督教不是一個哲學概念,或一個組織,而是生命的樣式。這是復活的生命。是生命是愛和自由。

About the Author

His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Hong Kong and South East Asia was born in 1969 in Ioannina, Greece. He is a graduate of Theological Academy of Athens and the Theological School of the University of Athens. He has also successfully completed courses and seminars on the structure, organization, and information technologies of the European Union. He was ordained deacon in 1990 and priest in 1995. On January 9, 2008, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate selected him to be the new Metropolitan of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. He was consecrated as Bishop on January 20,2008, at the Saint George Patriarchal Cathedral in Fanar, Constantinople, and on March 1, 2008, he was enthroned in Hong Kong.

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