Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
My beloved Spiritual Words family,
It's this time of the year again where I get to wish all of you a Happy
May the Lord bless your lives and grant you all that your hearts may desire.
Please remember me in your prayers.
The message of H.H. Pope Shenouda III
Dear beloved children and brethren in the lands of immigration, Clergy and
It is my pleasure to congratulate you on the Glorious Feast of Resurrection,
hoping that you have a joyful, holy and blessed life.
Talking about the Resurrection is a joy for the ears, because it makes the
heart full of joy and hope. Why?
Because the Resurrection means that man has been restored to his first state
and even better. God created man for life, "and breathed into his nostrils
the breath of life; and man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7) Then death
entered the world as a result of sin and "thus death spread to all men."
But death was an intruder to human nature that God created for life.
Therefore, due to His love, God wanted to return us once more to life. So, as
He allowed death to enter into our nature, He also allowed the resurrection
to enter into our nature…so that we will return to life.
God has given us examples of resurrection from the dead in the Old Testament
through Elijah the Prophet (I Kings) and Elisha the Prophet (II Kings) and in
the New Testament, the Lord raised the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:42, Luke
8:41) and the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:14-15). And less than two
weeks before His crucifixion the Lord raised Lazarus from the dead so that
His disciples will believe, that if He is able to raise a person from the
dead after four days, He is also able to rise.
And the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and it has been said that He
has become "the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (I Corinthians
15:20). What does it mean "The firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep"
although many were raised from the dead before Him?
The phrase "The firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" that has been
said about the Lord Jesus Christ means two things.
First: He rose where there is no death to follow. Because those who were
raised from the dead before Him, ended up dying later on, and they are
waiting for the general resurrection.
Second: He arose with a glorified body that enabled Him to enter the upper
room while the doors were shut.
He also gave us to rise in a way similar to His Glorious Resurrection. St.
Paul the Apostle said about that: "… The Lord Jesus Christ who will transform
our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body." (Philippians
And by this glorious resurrection that has been granted to us, we will be in
a better state than the first man before the fall.
How is that?
1. Adam and Eve had a materialistic body that lives a materialistic life.
As for us, as St. Paul the Apostle said, we will be resurrected in glory and
(I Corinthians 15:42-44).
2. Adam and Eve, when they were created, they had a body capable of death,
and both have died and all their descendents. But we will have a body that
would not die later on, because God has prepared it for eternal life.
3. Also Adam and Eve, when created, had a simple, pure body that did not know
sin, but could fall in sin. And they actually did fall and both deserved a
punishment. As for us, we will be in bodies that would not know sin, and will
live in an everlasting purity.
4. Adam and Eve lived in a materialistic garden, eating and drinking in a
materialistic manner, enjoying the trees that were there. But in our
resurrection, we will be enjoying what "Eyes have not seen, nor ear heard,
nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for
those who love Him." (I Corinthians 2:9)
5. Adam and Eve lived on earth, in the garden of Eden that was surrounded by
four river heads (Genesis 2:10). As for us, after the resurrection, we will
live in heaven, the kingdom of heaven, in heavenly Jerusalem. (Revelation 21)
6. After the resurrection, we will be elevated to the state, about which the
Lord said: "Like angels of God in heaven" (Matthew 22:30), which was not the
case with Adam and Eve…
7. After the resurrection, we will live with God and His angels, and with the
congregation of the saints, according to the phrase in Revelation: "Behold
the tabernacle of God is with men." (Revelation 21:3)
As for Adam and Eve, they only lived with animals of the wilderness that they
were trying to tame. But we never heard that one of them saw angels.
8. In the resurrection, God will give us to eat from the tree of life
(Revelation 2:7), which was not permitted for Adam and Eve.
For these reasons and others, the fathers rejoiced with the resurrection and
with the life that follows, longing for this life, and "… for the city which
has no foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10), and "they
desire a better, that is, a heavenly country" (Hebrews 11:15). And a great
saint like St. Paul the Apostle used to say that he "Having a desire to
depart and be with Christ, which is far better." (Philippians 1:23)
I refer to all these, while congratulating you on the Glorious Feast of
Resurrection, the feast that represents the living hope and the eternal
May the Lord grant you many such a feast, while you are full of joy and
Be well in the Lord, absolved by the Holy Spirit. Pray for us.
His Holiness Pope Shenouda III