of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine
to Reverend Archpastors,
Honorable Monastics and All Faithful Children
the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate
and sisters!CHRIST IS RISEN!
“Rejoice!” (Mat. 28, 9). This greeting was the first that Jesus Christ said after His Resurrection. It is deeply significant and consolatory not only for the women myrrh-bearers, to whom it was first addressed, not only for the apostles, but for all Christians who now solemnly celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.
Why does the Resurrection of Christ fill the believers with vivid excitement, elevated spiritual joy? Before Christ’s Resurrection a major part of the humanity had no living faith and hope for resurrection of the dead bodies. In paganism even the greatest wizards had a very unclear and uncertain hope for the life after death. The Jewish people had a faith in resurrection, and the forefathers (Job 19, 25) and the prophets (Isaiah 26, 19; Ezekiel 37,1–10) found consolation in it; however, being based on the expectation of the promised Savior, Who was to destroy death, this faith was still simply a hope, lacking irresistible proof. Besides, the awareness of own sinfulness dismayed man and weakened in him the hope of resurrection for the blissful eternal life... Read Full Text