Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
In the Orthodox Creed, we proclaim “We look for the Resurrection of the dead and the life of the coming age, Amen,” even repeating it in a tune during the liturgical worship. Several times a day, week, month and year do we declare “…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…” (3-5) but does our declaration mirror our daily lives and interactions? Are we carnal people, who have only obtained and embraced the man of dust, making the natural man first? If so, we have not accepted to live in the Resurrection, having crucified our old man on the Cross!
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His Resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin” (Romans 6:5-7).
“There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body…the first Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit…and we have borne in the image of the man dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man” (44-45, 49).
The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a chance at life again, taking off the old man and putting the new one. The chance to be children of the Light, constantly renewing the spirit of our minds, wearing righteousness and holiness. A practical way for us to live the life of the Resurrection is repentance.
“Repentance is a complete change in a person's life, not a temporary emotion. It is a real and fundamental change felt by the person, as well as by everyone that deals with him. His thoughts change, as well as his principles and values, his outlook on life and his manner of speech, his habits and dealings with people, and most importantly, his dealings with God. The person also changes from within, with a heart refusing the once-beloved sins. The love of God enters his heart and he becomes spiritually revived, in a state of spiritual ecstasy”- H.H. Pope Shenouda III (The Life of Repentance and Purity).
Repentance is our re-birth, our second baptism in which we die, are buried, and resurrect giving us entry into the Kingdom of God and the eternal life.
Lord, I thank You for your endless mercies every day. I thank You for a new day, giving us the chance to be renewed, becoming closer and closer into Your image. Lord, there are times when I am just satisfied in my old ways, desiring the temporal things in this world because of the quick satisfaction that I receive. My laziness and lacking in steadfastness in my walk has caused me to not desire enduring the pain and suffering of my flesh and its desires, bringing me back into the pit of misery. Lord, I pray that you give me the grace to see Your goodness, to taste the sweetness of Your resurrection. Allow me to receive your strength to endure crucifying myself and my ways so that I may receive Your freedom. Your Kingdom is not only in the heavens, but it lies within us. Our Father who are in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come to use here on earth. I pray that you allow me to be like the righteous man who keeps Your covenant, controlling the evil feelings, to be able to walk upright in the ways of God finding pleasure in it and giving You the pleasure by doing so. I pray to be like the perfect man who walks in Your ways, never questioning Your law and decrees. I pray to be like the repentant man, who breaks down the walls of sin that break us in order to return to You. You have given me the means of Life, full of Your spirit and truth. Allow me to be embraced in Your Holiness. Amen.
Posted on Tue, February 14, 2017
by Mathew Shehata