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Трохи моїх роздумів про Велику і Святу П"ятницю (англ.)
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So, today is what Christians call the Good Friday. To those followers of Jesus Christ who were with Him in His earthly mission, nothing "good" really happened. The night before, He was arrested and subjected to a hell of moral and physical humiliation. Early Friday morning He had his brief dialogue with Pontius Pilate, basically a wise and good-natured man who was, nonetheless, so afraid of his earthly ruler (emperor Tiberius) that he gave up his moral principles and ordered Jesus to be crucified.

After being flagellated to near death, covered with blood, stumbling and biting the dust under the rain of rods from the lictors' "fasces," the Savior of humankind dragged His "patibula" to the Place of the Skulls. There, at about 9 a.m., He was nailed to the cross and lifted, to slowly die of suffocation (the human diaphragm in a suspended position of the body cannot function more than several hours). By approximately 3 p.m., Jesus was dead. Seeing this, His friends hardly anticipated putting on their "Easter" dresses and participating in a merry egg hunt.

Today, in the afternoon, many Orthodox parishes go through this sorrowful and yet solemn and very beautiful rite of Carrying Out the Shroud. It is based on the text from Matthew 27:59-60, and on the chant from the Divine Liturgy by St. John Chrysosotomos, "The noble Joseph took Your Most Pure Body from the Cross; wrapping it in fine linen and anointing it, he placed it in a new tomb." The clergy as well as the laity participate in this rite, taking the sanctified linen shroud from the Altar, and praying over it outside the church building.

The "new tomb" contained a dead man. Really, really dead. It was not a lethargy or coma, after which Jesus was resuscitated. It was DEATH. But when the dead (really dead!) body of Christ lay in the tomb, His immortal soul descended all the way to hell, preached to its prisoners (1 Peter 3:19) and destroyed its gate, so that everyone who really WANTS to get out of there, CAN get out of there (unfortunately, because of pride, not everyone wants).

I know that some sects (particularly Jehovah's Witnesses, but perhaps others, too) preach that God destroyed, annihilated the dead human body of Christ and created for Him a new, purely spiritual, immaterial body. That's why the New Testament says that His body "did not see decay." But the Orthodox Church teaches that Christ's human body at the moment of His resurrection and later was THE SAME human, material body that He had when walking down the roads of Judea, Samaria and Galilee. It was made of "matter," "stuff," "meat:" the face, the eyes, the arms, the legs, even the "gastrointestinal tract" that processed the eaten fish (Luke 24:42). This material human body, however, was "spiritualized," displaying new properties: it went through locked doors, could be in more than one place at a time etc. As always, in Christianity the matter, the "stuff," the "meat," the body aren't evil per se. The matter is a wonderful creation of God. It was sanctified when God said that it was "very good," and again by Christ when He was immersed into the waters of the Jordan. It is simply vulnerable, corruptible. We need to fight this corruption by receiving the true Body and the true Blood of Christ during the Eucharist, "integrating" our own body and blood with His "spiritualized" and "incorruptible" Body and Blood given to us in the chalice...

So... two more days... [Зображення: 1f642.png]

Долучення Міні-зображення

.jpg   VynesennyaPlashch2.jpg (Розмір: 63,42 KB / Завантажень: 9)
.jpg   VynesennyaPlashch.jpg (Розмір: 101,22 KB / Завантажень: 9)

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