The Resurrection Is The Pathway To Life
The majesty of the Easter season with its splendorous offerings is once again upon us, a time to exult in the divine blessings of our Lord and glorify Him for the priceless gift He conferred to us on that first Easter morning by the Resurrection of His Only-Begotten Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.
The most supreme of all divine miracles, the victory of victories, set a new path for humanity, awakening our spirits and replenishing our souls with new strength, new joy, new hope, and new life. The Resurrection opened a new door, giving meaning and direction to an otherwise empty and mortal life; it is the passage into God’s presence. “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.” (John 10:9)
With the fall of Adam and Eve from grace, the nature of man was forever changed. Mankind died spiritually, bringing himself and all of creation into a state of corruption and death. God’s compassion and great love for mankind established a new and everlasting covenant through His Son Jesus Christ Who became the true Lamb of God, took away the sins of the world and restored the broken relationship between God and His people once and for all. “But now Christ is risen from the dead…For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive”. (1 Corinthians 15:20-22) Mankind, which was destined for eternal punishment, was restored by the redeeming sacrifice of Christ. His Resurrection and triumph over death transformed the course of mankind, gave us a whole new perspective of life itself.
In the days leading to that first Easter Sunday, the apostles and disciples with great agony witnessed the suffering and torture our Lord had to endure, culminating in His Crucifixion. On the third day, their despair turned to delight when they witnessed the Risen Christ. They were revitalized in faith, and filled with new joy and hope. They took on a new life. “Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4) The Resurrection miraculously transformed the lives of the apostles and disciples and all those who received the Good News, among them the founding fathers of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Our forefathers received and embraced the testimony of the Resurrection, and that message and promise became the lighthouse of our spiritual life. It was the birth of a new nation. They chose the path illuminated by the Truth and Light of Christ’s Resurrection and breathed new life into our nation, changing the course of our history forever.
In Christ alone is there true life. Easter is an invitation to choose the path of light and life, to adopt the path of goodness, and sow seeds of love, kindness and mercy in the perfect example of our Risen Savior. It is never too late to repent, to leave behind our old life and embark on a new path and new life cleansed by the sacrificial blood of our Savior. We are reassured in this by the story of the two thieves on the cross at the Crucifixion of Jesus. In the last moments of his life, one of the thieves chose to live in the light of Christ’s Resurrection and cried out to Jesus to remember Him in His kingdom. “And Jesus said to him, Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
God sent His Only-Begotten Son to deliver us from sin and death and deliver us to righteousness and salvation. God, however, created man with self-determination, with the free will to make moral choices between good and evil, between God and sin. Jesus Christ knocks on the door, but it is up to us to choose whether we welcome Him in our hearts and live our lives full of meaning and purpose in the Light of the Resurrection, or in the path of darkness blinded by sin and evil.
The forefathers of our faith chose the rightful path of life. Let us follow in their ideal example by making our faith the driving force of our lives, be expelling evil, hatred, and darkness from our individual and collective lives and following the one true source of Light which leads to the abundant life promised by our Savior. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) This Easter, let us vow to continue the legacy of our forefathers by remaining active witnesses and valiant preachers of our faith, by choosing the path of Light and adopting goodness, love, and truth as the creed of our lives and mission.
On this joyous occasion, we extend our paternal love and well wishes to our clergy, Executive Council members, delegates, parish representatives, educational institutions, sister organizations, and our faithful parishioners. During our Easter celebrations and all the days of our lives let us give praise and glory unto Almighty God for the undeserved gift and promise of redemption and salvation. Let us always remember the extent of His sacrificial love and the suffering He endured to grant us the pathway to life.
May the triumphant tidings of the Resurrection brighten and enliven our lives, illuminate our hearts, and fortify our souls with the spirit of victory, with the hope of immortality, and with the assurance of eternal life. Inspired by the life-bearing message and promise of the Resurrection, let us join the angels of the Lord in triumphantly proclaiming, Christ is Risen from the dead. He conquered death by death. By His Resurrection He gave us new life. Blessed is the Resurrection of the Christ.
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian
Prelate, Western United States