Christ is Risen!
On this Third Sunday of Pascha the Orthodox Church draws our attention to the Holy Myrrh-bearing women and also Sts. Joseph of Aramathia and Nicodemus. They are presented to us as eye witnesses of our Lord's Resurrection.
For the early Church, and for every succeeding generation of Christians, their witness is a vital component of our confidence in this great miracle. Establishing the truth of Christ's resurrection has always been the top priority for any real and enduring faith. As St. Paul so bluntly put it, "If Christ is not risen, we are the most miserable of men."
The people who encountered the risen Jesus, before His Ascension, had an experience that was truly unique. Jesus promises a blessing to those who will believe their testimony; who "believe without seeing." We should not expect or require that we have such physical "proof" of the Resurrection ourselves but we are not without sound reasons for our belief. Our faith is not of the "blind" variety. From the earliest days of Christianity those who have chosen to believe the Apostolic message have experienced personal confirmations of Jesus' promised blessing.
From the day of Pentecost, until now, believers have come to "know" Christ through the gifting of the Holy Spirit - the promised Comforter who will "teach us all things." This "Touch of the Masters Hand", in the human heart, is life changing. What book could contain all the life stories; what life was like before, what I experienced when Christ touched me, and, what life is like now? Miracle after miracle of personal transformation because - Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen.