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Saturday, 23 April 2011

Easter Greetings

The Easter icon traditionally depicts the descent of Christ into hell after the crucifixion. Our Lord stands on the Cross, portraying his own victory. He takes Adam by the hand and raises him to life; Eve awaits resurrection with her hands outstretched. Christ is surrounded by figures of the prophets, Old Testament kings, John the Baptist, the Apostles. But what I find interesting is the young person to Christ's left, with a shepherd's staff. It is Abel, the first victim of violence, killed by his brother Cain. 

So much more than an empty tomb: Easter is about Christ our Victorious God who reaches into the depths of human hell to bring new life, new hope and a reign of peace.

You rose from the tomb as God in glory,
and raised the world up with you.
Mortal nature sang your praise as God,
and death disappeared.
Adam dances, Master, and Eve, now freed from her chains,
rejoices as she cries:
It is you, O Christ, who grant Resurrection to all.
(Orthodox Kontakion for the Resurrection)

May the peace and joy of the Risen Christ fill your hearts this Easter.

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