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Friday, April 22, 2022

A Lesson for the Soul on Great Friday: Be Dead (Archimandrite Athanasios Mitilinaios)

Rembrandt painted himself into the Raising of the Cross.

Be Dead
 
 On Great Friday
we commemorate 
the Holy, Saving and Terrible Passion of our
Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.

"And they crucified Him" (Mark 15:1-41; Col. 1:3-5)

By Archimandrite Athanasios Mitilinaios
 
Great Friday! The Crucifixion!

The greatest crime in history. Man crucifies his God, having previously ridiculed Him.

"Behold the Man".

Fallen man, the way sin made him.

By pointing to Jesus, Pilate was actually showing fallen mankind as undertaken by God's Word. Poor man! The story of Jesus shows your abysmal poverty in the face of His own abysmal wealth. And God insists. He wants to lift you up. He wants to show you the magnitude of your crime to show the richness of His own goodness in forgiveness.

It was from these burning lips on the cross that forgiveness was given. And from His speared side, the "new creation" of man took place. We crucified Him, and from the sufferings we caused Him He gave birth to our salvation.

A famous painter in his painting on the Raising of Jesus on the Cross, among the people who raised the dead body of the Lord, he placed himself. When asked, he answered that he too, through his way of life, had many nails driven into the Body of Christ.

Poor soul! You also were there when they crucified Christ.

Your eyes are now filled with tears. You humbly asked forgiveness. So come and die with Jesus. "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God… Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry." Let me die, Lord, to sin, this is what Your divine Heart longed for!

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
You redeemed us from the curse of the law
by Your precious Blood.
Having been nailed to the Cross and pierced with a spear,
You poured forth immortality upon mankind.
O our Savior, glory to You.