Armodoxy for Today: After the day
If you were in Jerusalem in the early Spring of the year 33, and you happened to see the persecution, mock trial, torture and eventual execution of Jesus of Nazareth, you’d most definitely be confused, as were the people of the time.
The year is 33. Jesus began his ministry only three years earlier. He spoke of love. He healed the sick and miraculously cured the people of their many social and physical ills. He spoke out against the establishment, which got him into trouble with the religious authorities. They persecuted him and finally arranged for his crucifixion. It was Friday afternoon. Word had gotten around that he was, in fact, the Son of God, and so they mocked him, saying, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:42-43)
If on that Friday evening you left town, after witnessing the life beaten out him you would have only been privy to half of the Jesus story. If you witnessed the crucifixion and left, you would understandably believe that the Jesus story ended there and then. You would believe evil has won and the promise of God was merely, words with no action.
Fortunately, we know the story didn’t end of Friday with the crucifixion. That is why we have the audacity and courage to refer to that day as “Good” Friday. We know that on Sunday, Jesus resurrected from the dead.
The Christian has the unique perspective of viewing life through the looking glass of the Resurrection. In other words, we’ve seen the Crucifixion but we know the Resurrection awaits! Viewed from Easter Sunday, from the vantage point of the Resurrection, we can proclaim along with St. Paul, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting.” (I Corinthians 15:55)
Today we stand in witness of the Crucifixion of the Artsakh. As the Armenian Church, we are the witness to the Resurrection. We were there in the year 33 on that Sunday morning at the Empty Tomb. We were there at the end of St. Gregory’s imprisonment at Khor Virap in the 4th century. We were there at Avarayr with St. Vartan in the 5th century. We were there during the persecutions of barbarians through the centuries. We were there in 1915 and in 1918. We mourned the loss of our martyrs and also rang the bells of Sardarabad. We were there through communism and there when communism fell. We are there today, proclaiming the same Truth we have for centuries. The Crucifixion is not the end because there is Resurrection. Good overcomes evil, life is what is lasting over than death. Darkness can never overcome the Light. And Love is always more powerful than evil.
If at all we feel hopeless, we only open our hearts to the message of Resurrection from the Holy Church.
Today’s meditation is from the Resurrection account of St. Luke,
Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’