Revelation 1:18: “I was dead and, see, I am alive forever and ever! I also hold the keys of death and hell”

Dear brothers and sisters,

We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ against the backdrop of the war. Its acute phase began shortly before the time of Lent, and we were reflecting on the suffering of Jesus during our own suffering and helplessly watching the suffering of our fellow citizens. We witnessed violence, lies, and injustice caused by the malicious ideology of the Russian state. We saw that our enemies live in the world of illusion, saying the black is white, lying blatantly, and confusing others while being caught at the scene of obvious crimes. Such statements as “It is not quite clear what’s going on” and “We don’t know the full truth” are heard more and more frequently, while cities are destroyed, and civilians are murdered.

This system, which was based on lies and corruption, has proved to be ineffective. After attempts to intimidate us during the first days of the war, it faced strong resistance from those, who were protecting their home, their lives, and their country, those, who were ready to sacrifice their lives for the freedom of all Ukrainian citizens. Under their blows, the enemy was forced to step back from Kyiv and Mykolaiv and are now desperately trying to target Donbas to justify their aggression and thousands of dead for their illusory values.

But illusion crashes against the authenticity. The watchword for this Easter is a direct word from Jesus: “I was dead and, see, I am alive forever and ever!”. This word is simple and perfectly clear. The grave of Jesus became empty. Dozens of people testified about their meeting with the risen Savior. And finally, the Church, which was built on the faith in His resurrection, carried it through centuries, changing our world beyond recognition.

This cannot be explained as “fake news” or a “special operation” of ancient Roman secret services. A conviction in the reality of the resurrection of Jesus moves us to follow the path of love, sacrificing ourselves for our neighbors, rather than some illusory values. Whether we are serving on the battlefield or helping as volunteers, serving refugees, or following our calling at our workplace – we are approaching the victory of life over death, peace over violence, honesty over hypocrisy, and creativity over destruction.

Jesus says: “I also hold the keys of death and hell”. He promises eternal life to those, who follow him on the path of self-denial and sacrifice. We can trust this promise because it is based on the authenticity of his resurrection.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!