Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan: Easter Message


…we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4-5)

Christ’s eternal presence in the world and in our hearts became humankind’s possession because of His Resurrection. The first witnesses to that Resurrection were His disciples and followers. They transmitted to us what they saw to which they gave witness with dedication and faith, and for which they paid with torture and martyrdom.

The miracle that we try to understand on Easter is considerably above the human mind and logic. When we believe and live accordingly, then a new person is born within us, who enters into a new life and a new way of life with Christ. The most convincing statement is made by the Apostle Paul when he says, “If we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:5). Our defeat of sin mysteriously occurs with our baptism, after which as a new creature—this time as a faithful Christian—we live enjoying the grace that one day will take us to our resurrected life. Our life is the grace given to us by God and our salvation is God’s expressed love. Salvation is not our own doing; it is the gift of God. (Eph 2:8)

Therefore, this new life has a message for us. First, it is our prime duty to be cleansed internally. This takes place when we kill sin in us, for which our Lord sacrificed His life. As long as we remain in sin, we remain slaves of sin through our desire, our greed, our ego which repels us from all humankind created in our image. On the contrary, we must go to all, have compassion and love, serve and help them, so that the sinner in us will not rule, but rather Christ Himself. “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life” (Eph 2:10).

Second, after destroying the sinner in us, it is our duty to gain new life. In order to gain that life, we must sacrifice our life, if necessary, just as Christ sacrificed His life to give us new life. There is no greater proclamation than that of the Apostle Paul, “For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain (Phil 1:21). Blessed are those who can gain that life, a life filled with love, enlightened by sacrifice and enriched by service.

May Christ’s miraculous Resurrection be a message and reminder to us all that in order to live with Him we must completely cleanse ourselves, destroy sin, in order to be worthy of salvation, His grace, new life, and our unity with Him.

Christ is risen from the dead. Blessed is the resurrection of Christ.

Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan
Armenian Apostolic Church of
America (Eastern Prelacy)

Easter 2009

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