The Unexpected Encounter
Can you describe the emotion in the depths of your heart when you meet a person very dear to you, whom you had not seen for a long time, so as to be regarded as lost? Your face sparkles as you meet, your eyes fill with tears and your lips can only utter a few simple words!
Such meetings are not so rare. But unique are some meetings which took place 2000 years ago.
The first took place in a garden on the outskirts of Jerusalem, when Mary Magdalene stood outside the empty tomb of Jesus crying. She peers inside the tomb, but sees only two angels sitting inside. As she turns around she sees Jesus standing behind her, but does not recognise Him. He asks her why was she weeping, and then addresses her: Maria! She recognises His voice and cries: Rabboni, meaning Teacher. And fell on her knees to kiss His feet.
Other meetings of the risen Jesus took place also: when He appeared to the ten disciples in a closed room, to the two disciples on their way to Emmaus, to the four disciples as they were fishing in the sea of Tiberias, and again in the planes of Bethany.
All these meetings had the same effect: they were spreading hope and consolation, to all those who were mourning — because next to them there stood Life itself. The risen Jesus. His Resurrection was now an undeniable reality. Its meaning was deep and wide, and its significance world shattering.
As the news of the Resurrection was spreading, the world began to change. Until then wrapped in the black despair of death, it now started assuming a bright appearance. Earth and heaven were filled with the glorious news: The enemy of man, Death, is defeated.
The Paschal hymns of the Orthodox Church chant the great message with enthusiasm and joy. And the hearts of the people are filled with the great expectation of their own Resurrection and their meeting with the risen Lord. Χριστός Ανέστη!
Source: April– May 2014 Lychnos Edition