Holy Pascha - God's Logos Liberates
My beloved in the Risen Lord:
Christ is Risen!
As we celebrated the glorious Pascha Season and chant joyously the hymn proclaiming Christ’s triumph over all forces of darkness, we are renewed by the dignity that comes from our destiny as Orthodox Christians who have been saved by the Crucified and Risen Christ and offered the opportunity to live eternally with Him. With this thought in mind, let us reflect on how God's Logos liberates us.
Our Lord was given the Book of Isaiah in a synagogue, where He went on the Sabbath to pray and teach, and He read the following passage: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:1-2). Then our Lord announced to all in the synagogue: “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk 4:21).
The Lord’s ministry was the start of a liberation movement. God the Father had poured out His Spirit on Jesus at His baptism. Now the Lord, through His presence, as well as through His words and deeds, began the greatest spiritual revolution the world had ever seen. How did the Lord liberate men and women? As we reflect on the above passage in the light of the Lord’s teachings and saving work, we can highlight three basic ways in which the Lord set people free:
1. He brought good news to the poor. The good news was and is God’s love and forgiveness freely offered to the poor, that is, to those who humbly recognize their spiritual poverty.
2. The Lord proclaimed liberty to captives. The worst human captivity is the captivity to sin. The Lord by His sacrifice took away the curse of sin. Repentant sinners receive forgiveness and can approach God’s throne with confidence and hope.
3. The Lord set free the oppressed. The great oppressor of the world is the devil who uses sin and evil to hold the world under his demonic rule. The Lord exorcises the demons from people’s lives. His Kingdom pushes back the frontiers of Satan. For those who choose to live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, salvation means to be rescued from the rule of the devil and to be placed in the Kingdom of God.
Thus the Lord, the Incarnate Logos of God, liberates men and women from the burdens of spiritual poverty, sin and the devil. However, the Lord does much more than this. The Lord also liberates people for a new life. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Saint Paul writes: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Cor 5:17). The Lord’s followers are set free by grace to live a life of love, righteousness, peace, joy and hope in the Holy Spirit.
Christ is Risen! Praying that Christ our true God Who rose from the dead abundantly bless you and may the light of Great and Holy Pascha shine brilliantly within your heart, I humbly remain,
With love and blessings in the Risen Lord,