"Christ is Risen"

"If Christ is not risen from the dead, then our preaching is in vain and so is your faith; Moreover, we are nothing more than liars and false witnesses, because we have been testifying that Christ has risen from the dead. And if Christ has not risen, then your faith is worthless" (1 Corinthians 15:14-15, 17) ~ Paul - 55-56 AD

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Christian believers have a tradition where they greet each other with the words "Christ is risen" and "Truly he is risen," instead of the typical conventional greetings which are used from day to day. This sanctified greeting begins on Easter and continues for forty days. Interestingly, the Greeks use the term "Pascha," which is derived from "pesach" or "Passover," instead of "Easter," which, according to the Venerable Bede, was derived from Ä’astre, the Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. In the Eastern churches, "the liturgy of Pascha" is filled with rich liturgical "symbolism," which, to the Western eye, appears as pure sacerdotalism. However, to those familiar with liturgical theology, the "paschal liturgy" expresses the themes of incarnation, humiliation and conquest. Indeed, the Lord and Savior has humbled himself unto torture, death and burial; but on the third day he has risen again to conquer death even as an exalted king tramples underfoot his enemies. "O grave where is thy victory, o death where is thy sting" (1 Cor 15).

  • Origins of Pascha

  • Paschal Encyclical 333 - Athanasius

  • Paschal Encyclical 2004 - Patriarch Bartholomew

  • In the Roman Catholic Church we have Pope John Paul II giving what could be his very last Easter message to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square:

  • Pope John Paul II's Easter Message 2004

  • And in the Protestant West, where "symbolism" and "liturgical tradition" are not emphasized as in the East, we see Easter approached in an intellectual light, from exegesis to apologetics. For the past few centuries, Protestantism (especially the conservative Christian movements) has been faced with the challenges of naturalism and other hostile philosophies which deny an historical resurrection; thus, many brilliant minds within Protestantism have developed powerful apologetic arguments, not only to defend the historicity of the resurrection, but to assail all liberal hypotheses and expose all weaknesses in the case against the resurrection of Jesus.

  • The Historical Jesus - Numerous Articles by William Lane Craig

  • Easter: Myth, Hallucination, or History? - Yamauchi

  • Contradictions in the Resurrection Narratives?

  • What about Y'shua's Resurrection? - Jews for Jesus