The resurrection of our Lord
The Feasts of feasts, the Triumphs of triumphs, Pascha is the essence of our faith; for Christ rose from the dead, as we will rise from the dead. Pascha is expressed in the victorious hymn:
“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.”
The guards had sealed the tomb and had posted a watch. Suddenly the earth shook and our Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the power of His own divinity. Early in the morning, Mary Magdalene and other pious women hurried to the tomb to anoint the body of Christ. When they arrived there, they found the stone had been moved away and the tomb was empty. They ran to get the Apostles Peter and John. The rest of the myrrh-bearing women came to the grave and went inside. Instead of the Lord, they found two men in bright shining clothes who said to them: “Why seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.”
In the icon, Christ is depicted with a radiant halo. The darkness of Hell is filled by the light of the Divine rays. The Savior tramples under foot the two crossed leaves of Hell’s doors that He pulled down. Below the doors in the black abyss is seen the cast down figure of Satan. Christ is shown freeing Adam and Eve’s souls. To the right and left are the Old Testament saints with the prophets at their head. Seeing the Savior descending into hell, they at once recognize Him and are pointing out to others Him of Whom they had prophesied and Whose coming they foretold. The spiritual raising of Adam is a symbol of the coming resurrection of the body, the first fruit of which was the Resurrection of Christ. The scattered keys and nails in the abyss represent the power of hell that has been destroyed.
(Sermon in Arabic)