April 7, 2007

Trampling Down Death by Death

Check out this gem from Alexander Schmemann:

"The last enemy to be destroyed is death..." This destruction, this annihilation of death begins the very moment the Son of God, in His undying love for us, Himself freely descended to death adn fills its darkness, its despair, its horror with the light of His love. This is why on Easter we not only sing that "Christ is risen from the dead...," but that He is also "trampling down death by death."

Only Christ has risen from the dead, but in doing so He destroyed our death, He destroyed its dominion, its hopelessness, its finality. No, it is not nirvana or a shadowy life beyond the grave that Christ promises us, but an eruption of life, a new heaven and a new earth, joy in the universal resurrection. "The dead shall arise and those in the tombs shall rejoice." Christ is risen and life reigns, life lives. This, then, is the meaning and endless joy of [the Creed]...

In this affirmation of resurrection is contained all of Christianity's faith, all its love, all its hope.

-Celebration of Faith, vol. 1, pp96f

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