Paschal Homily by Bishop Nikolai (Velimirovic)

1934 - Ochrid

Each Christian feast raises hundreds of questions and gives hundreds of answers. The questions are from men, the answers come from God through the feasts.

This is especially true with the feast of Christ's Resurrection. Here He opens for us with His keys hundreds of locked doors. For God has more answers than man has questions; He has more keys than man has mysteries.

Let us, then, consider a few such questions. Here is a mystery: Why did Christ rise from the dead? The key: Because Life could not remain in the grave.

A thousand years before, the Prophet foretold concerning Christ: ...nor wilt Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption (Ps. 15:10) Christ revealed the living God, the Father, to the world; He revealed the heavens, the living realm of angelic hosts; He revealed life after death and the eternal heavenly kingdom. Would, then, the Restorer of life remain in the darkness of the grave and the embrace of death?

Christ raised Jairus' daughter and the son of the widow of Nain and Lazarus of Bethany. Would He Who raised others not raise up Himself?

Truly He arose; He could not do otherwise by virtue of His essence, His power, His greatness. Weak is the force of death that aspired to hold down the Giver of Life in its abyss. Small is the mouth of death that aspired to strangle the Bestower of resurrection.

Only in the light of the Resurrection can one comprehend Christ's deeds on earth, His love for men and His divinity.

Here is another mystery: How has the belief in the Resurrection of Christ been preserved through so many centuries? The key: In the same way that a well rooted tree withstands the winds, as light is preserved in darkness, and as truth is preserved amidst lies.

A third mystery: Is the Resurrection of Christ still felt today?

The key: It is powerfully felt, throughout the entire world, Gazing with the eyes of the spirit at the resurrected Lord, the weak are strengthened, the sorrowful are comforted, the sad rejoice, sinners repent, the wicked are corrected, the impure are cleansed, the persecuted are. encouraged, the despondent hope, sufferers pray, and those on their deathbeds no longer fear death. Today the Master spoiled hell and raised the prisoners from all ages whom it had held in bitter bondage. (from the Paschal canon)

Edited from

We confidently recommend our web service provider, Orthodox Internet Services: excellent personal customer service, a fast and reliable server, excellent spam filtering, and an easy to use comprehensive control panel.

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas