Christ God is risen. What does this mean for us? What did Christ accomplish for mankind? Watch this video to find out.
The moment He was in hell, He said, “Take some!” And He gave immense love to all. An Athonite Cell Joys from the Holy Mountain Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages and ages. Amen Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us! Amen. My dear ones, I would very much like to talk to you a little about the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. But of course I find myself in difficulty because so many better people have spoken about this great act in human history. In fact, it’s the most important thing in human history, you should know, the moment when someone managed to overcome death. That’s why I’m going to focus more on a simple explanation of what the Resurrection actually means for us, what Christ actually did. In order to understand the importance of this we must first of all talk about what man is, who man is. We believe today that we are 7 billion people on planet Earth, the exact number matters less in our discussion.
But you should know, brethren, that it is not so. We are not 7 billion people, we are one man. We have discussed this before and I will try to explain it again very briefly because those who follow us on our channel know very well what it is about. In short, and for our discussion, God is one God in many persons, in Three Persons. There is no image to describe this fact, how God is One in Three Persons, but we can say it is like a sound that comes from three musical instruments, or a light that comes from three suns, intertwined with each other, or like how there is the sun’s ray, the sun’s disc and its light, its heat, for example. Do you understand? It’s very hard to describe, but these things which are immaterial, and this is very important, give a certain description of the fact that the Persons of the Holy Trinity are intertwined, or, as this phenomenon is called from the theological point of view, They have perichoresis. Brethren, man being made in the image and likeness of God is, or rather, should have been the same, in the image and likeness of God, that is, one man in many persons. This time, not in 3 people, but in very many people of two genders – male and female. This is why God says: “We made man” – singular “In Our image and likeness” – plural. Yes? So one man in many persons.
And again it says in the Book of Genesis: “And God made man” – singular “Male and female, He made him.” That is, it is talking about one man, not many and that’s why in some Scriptures, for example, in the English Bible, it’s sometimes translated as “mankind” to show that it’s a unity. Good. Why do we today no longer have this awareness of our unity, of our existential unity? This is what I want to insist on. Not on the fact that we are united as football supporters are united, for example, but actually by the fact that we should know each other’s thoughts. You should know that the gift of clairvoyance, the gift of sharing experiences, the gift of sharing feelings is a natural gift that was lost through the fall. Why do we no longer have the same experiences and know each other’s experiences and know each other’s thoughts? Why? Because we are torn apart by sin. This is sin, this is Adam’s fall, this is death – the breaking of us. So at this hour, this body of the global Adam, of the one Adam in the image and likeness of God, is broken, it is chopped up, it is cut to pieces. It’s broken. Do you undertand?
Well, and our Lord Jesus Christ came to earth and said: Look, you are torn up, you’re broken, you’re chopped up, you’re dead. Let’s remake this! I do not pressure you, I do not trample on your freedom, so whoever wishes, come, unite with Me, and through Me, with each other. This is salvation! This is what our Lord Jesus Christ did, without trampling on our freedom. He has healed human nature, making it capable again of this complete union. And on a personal level, meaning on the level of each of us, it is up to us whether we want to accept this unity. As I said, this reality can only be achieved through God. Why? Because we, due to sin, are chopped up, we have shattered states, states of pulverized beings at the edge of existence, and being at the edge of existence, with God being in the center as the giver of existence, we will unite with each other only, and only if, we approach God. If we draw closer to God, we draw closer to each other. And the moment we unite with God, we also unite with each other. So, brethren, you must know that there is no other way to unify than through God alone!
As you can see, the whole history of mankind shows this immense drama of humanity looking for other ways of uniting outside of God. And you should know that this is also the drama of the devil. Because the devil tries to unite all mankind, to do good, but apart from God. And this drama of the devil, as I said, is also the drama of Adam. And God warned Adam from the beginning and said to him, “Hey, be careful, don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil!” That is, do not seek the knowledge of good and evil, full knowledge outside of Me, do not seek it in the tree, that is, in matter, or you will die! God doesn’t say, “I will kill you.” He says, “You are going to die.” Meaning death is there, there is no life there, l am life, don’t go, don’t separate yourself from Me or you won’t get anywhere. Adam went and died. Do you understand? That’s our whole drama! And this is what our Lord Jesus Christ has done: He has given us the possibility of reunion, the possibility of the restoration of this gigantic mind, of this created god that Adam was and is. Now, you should know that this unity has not been completely lost, but is very weakened. If in heaven there will be complete unity, here on earth, we are a networked existence.
That is, there are still spiritual ties between us, but they are very weak. These spiritual bonds are, of course, mainly potentiated on the spiritual level that is, the abbot covers his spiritual children, transmits grace to his spiritual children, or the spiritual father, the confessor, passes on grace to the spiritual children and they are linked to each other and help each other on the spiritual level through prayer. And on an inferior level, there are the familial relationships: mainly the mother feels when her child is doing well or less well, but so does the father. And that is why parents’ prayers have great power towards their children, towards those whom God has given in their care. And because of this, I will open a small parenthesis – I am asking you all: Brethren, pray for your children! It helps much more to talk to God about the children than to talk to children about God. Of course, the latter as well, but have far more words with God about children than with children about God. So don’t try to pressure children because you’re not accomplishing much!
Try rather to pray to God, to be good examples and only as a last resort talk to children, because, first of all, the relationships are spiritual. And the last level, after the spiritual leadership level, and the family level, there is the professional level, where the boss, the commander in case of the army, if they pray for their subordinates, their prayer has great, great power, you should know. A great power, beyond, well, their degree of holiness. Why? Because there are these relationships that God validates, professional relationships. That’s why prayer as a connection to God where we take grace and pass it on to those who depend on us, this is a mechanism that is based in creation, it’s based in the structure of Adam that Christ came to restore. So brothers, do not underestimate, let us not underestimate the eminently essential role of prayer! Because we, being fallen, no longer have this conscience and we think that prayer is so, how shall I say… “Yes, I have to do it to satisfy others” or often we don’t even do it anymore, and we actually act like atheists – we say we don’t have time, we say “I am busy working.” Your first work is to pray so that God’s grace will come over you to illumine you, to illumine us and then we will act within this grace gained through Church services, through prayer, we will act in everyday life. Of course there is a need for prayer and there is also a need for practical action, meaning, I can’t pray all day, because I actually have to go and dig or do what is needed. Now, how do we restore this unity? This is, in fact, brethren, you should know, the whole teaching of the Church!
The commandments of God, the so-called commandments, because there is no other word, the commandments of God to us are not the commandments of a boss to his subordinates. They are the doctor’s commandments to his patients and the father’s commandments to his sons. That is to say, God’s commandments do not have the character of the police, are not legalistic, they have an eminently medical, therapeutic character. That is, how we heal from loneliness. Because I said: Heaven is complete unity. Here on earth we are a networked existence, and in hell we are totally alone. Hell is complete loneliness, the inability to open up, the inability to love – this is hell. And now, all the commandments of God, as I said, have a therapeutic character and all these commandments of God try to open man towards another person. Do you understand? Prayer is actually the opening of our mind, our opening towards God. So as I open myself lovingly to my abbot, to my brothers, or you in the world towards your wives, towards your husbands, like so, and that much more, we must open ourselves to God.
Of course, we open ourselves to God not necessarily in a horizontal relationship, but in a vertical relationship because God is King, He is perfect, He sacrificed Himself for us and not only is He King, at the same time, He is also our servant. It is phenomenal that God died for us as a servant. In Holy Week, that’s what we’re actually celebrating. We celebrate Christ’s servitude which He assumed for our sake. So going back, the commandments are instructions for opening up towards others. Or rather a love manual, brethren. Because God is love. Today, because of our fall, we no longer know how to love, and because of this we must open ourselves to God through prayer, as I said, towards others, through listening, through questioning, through advice giving, through almsgiving. And almsgiving, brethren, let’s understand each other… of course giving money, things, gifts, all that, but first of all, brethren, there should be almsgiving of time. That is, to give the other person our attention, to give the other person our time, and this mainly to the family. Meaning, we ask: “How are you? How are you doing? Are you okay?” And when the other person is closed off towards us, let us have respect for him and not hate him, let’s not also close ourselves to him, that is, to generate a tense situation. Because you see the war that’s just around the corner, it’s about the accumulation of years of tensions that have been building up for a while. Do you understand? And right now there’s a dark avalanche of hate that – God forbid! – no one knows how it can stop. So because of that, brethren, don’t escalate hatred, don’t escalate separation. Pray! If the other person makes a remark to you, rightly or wrongly, let it go. There are very few things that are so important that require escalation. Let it pass by you! Don’t deepen the rift, don’t deepen the tear.
The moment we are angry, I have said this many times, we don’t open our mouths. Let’s keep the connection between us even if it’s cooled off a bit. Let’s be a little patient! This is very important in relation to others. And brethren, you should know that we must also be open towards ourselves. This needs to be explained a little more in depth. That is, how to be open towards ourselves and how to paradoxically (careful here!), have love for ourselves, but not sinful love, not selfish love that closes us off from others, but love for ourselves, meaning, I want to go to heaven, I want to be open towards others, and then, in order to be happy, because happiness means openness towards others, that’s why I have to be very careful about my closing off tendencies. So true love for myself means that I will rebuke myself, – that’s what love for myself means – I will rebuke myself I will force myself to be open to others. And I’ll say: “Father Theologos you won’t be hateful, you won’t be selfish! You won’t be insensitive to others!” You always have to think about the other person, to put yourself in the other person’s shoes; What does the other person want from you? Are we perchance bothering them? Do you understand? Always, I should be thinking about how to be open to others, this is very important. But in this, again, we need discernment because, sometimes, in trying to be open to others, we forget God.
We always do this through God, as I was saying, because two people can only truly meet in God. If there are people who truly have a great love for others and forget about God, then they get lost in social media, they get lost in concerts, they get lost in parties, they get lost in things like that. Not like this, brethren! This is not true love. True love is the love of the person and not the love of amusement. We do not need to be amused, but we must concentrate on loving the other person, and that, as I said, through God, through the Supreme Person. So it requires prayer, a right relationship with God it requires obedience, sacrifice – that means a right relationship with others – and the main sacrifice is of our time – and the right relationship with ourselves which is a relationship of attention, of putting ourselves in order, a gathering of ourselves so that we do not deviate, so that we don’t close ourselves off from others. And of course, the main source of closure is, as God also told Adam, – don’t look in the tree, that is, don’t look in matter. The main source of closure towards others is matter. And of course, the representative, the idol of matter, the symbol of matter, is money. So brothers, beware, one cannot serve two masters: God and money. Mammon, as Christ said. Mamona is the Assyrian goddess of wealth, of money. So brethren, we must not sacrifice to money! There is a big problem here because we have a body of matter, we have to have money, we cannot live without money because we need matter first of all to eat, to cover our body and we need a bed to sleep in, we need a house. So we can’t do without money.
Our Lord Jesus Christ could, but we, being of smaller measures, cannot do without it. That’s why we must be very careful all the time so that money is always a secondary concern and we must always think of money as a means of helping others. So always when we make money, I think about how I can help others with money. And of course, first and foremost is the family and from there by extension, customers, if you like, and everyone else. That’s what professional means – I’ve said that before. A professional is someone who does something to help others, while an amateur does something to satisfy himself. So brethren, let’s be careful not to close ourselves off from others! And for that, as I said, we need the connection with God and we need to get out of matter, that is, to spiritualize ourselves. You see that our Lord Jesus Christ is risen. How did He manage to rise?
Because He never closed Himself off from others, that is, He never died to others, being God, being Life. So death could not cling to Him because it found in Him no form of hatred, no form of closure towards others, no form of selfish pleasure, no form of love of matter. Do you understand? That is why Christ is risen. Because death tried to cling to Him, it could not, and He rose, He overcame death. You should know that there had been resurrections before, – you can read from Scripture – there have been resurrections before that, but the resurrection of Christ is the first that overcame death and Christ rose through Himself. No one resurrected Christ. Meaning He had the phenomenal power to put His own soul back. He had, as He says Himself, He had the power to give His soul as a lure to death and had the power to take His soul back. Because death could not cling to Him. And especially because death could not cling to Him, you should know that He died when He willed it. He didn’t die as a result of… how shall I put it… because they beat Him, because they tortured Him and so on. It is true that people did this as an expression of their hatred of Christ’s perfection. The Savior died when He wished. So if you are being very attentive, read in the Gospel of John: when the Savior was on the cross and, as St. John the Evangelist says, “And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
You must know that no human can do this. Any man’s spirit is, first of all, taken away from him, he gives up his spirit, and only after, his head falls. The Savior said “It is finished” – all is finished – so He, totally alive, without a trace of sin was master over all and everything, so death could not touch Him. He said “It is finished,” bowed His head and gave His spirit as total master over death. After which He entered the tomb so that death might work on Him, that it might be overcome by Him. So He went to hell – think about it – the Savior being Life Himself, the Life without sin, the Life that knew no death, He went to the den of death, and death, when it tried to swallow Him up, He was too big a fish for it, He was the bait, He was the poison by which death itself died. As the hymn, the Troparion of the Resurrection, says, “He hath trampled down death by death.” Understand?
And because of this, how did the Savior take out from hell, those who wanted it? He gave those in hell a huge burst of love. So the moment He was in hell He said: “Take some!” And He gave immense love to all, the possibility for all to unite, to love, and whoever wanted this received Him and were saved. So as you can see the most intense, the most phenomenal work of our Lord Jesus Christ was in hell itself, on Holy Saturday, the descent into hell. He gave all the billions of people from Adam to His descent into hell, who were in the torments of loneliness, He gave them this huge wave, this huge flame of love. And then everyone who wanted to got out of there. They got out, because as I said, heaven is unity. And afterwards, at His Resurrection, our Lord Jesus Christ, being above matter, was of course Master of matter. And this can be seen by the fact that the Savior was resurrected, He not only put His soul back into the body, but resurrected by passing through stone. Yes.
Because if you pay attention to the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew, the stone was rolled away by the Angel in front of the myrrh-bearing women who were there, after our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead and left the tomb. Because the myrrh-bearers who were at the tomb, seeing the rolling stone, (because I don’t know if you know that it was a cylindrical stone) entering the tomb saw the tomb empty. The Savior was already outside. So the Savior rose through the stone. The stone was not rolled away to raise the Lord. The Lord had no need of such a thing because He was beyond matter, He was above matter, His body was spiritualized. This awaits us too, brethren! This is our way. This is what Christ did. He offered us the possibility of complete unity, the possibility of theosis, the possibility of overcoming matter, of overcoming space and, of course, of overcoming time. This is what we need to remember and this is how we prepare for the Resurrection with these thoughts, not with red eggs. Well, eggs are dyed too because we need that too, but first of all we have to rise to another existential level. May the good God help us! CHRIST IS RISEN!
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