“He Is Risen, Indeed” – the Paschal Greeting
In Easter, it has become a tradition for Christians to greet each other with the phrase “He is risen. He is risen, indeed.” This greeting originated from the Hebrew word, Pesach which points to the Jewish Passover. Grecians will usually say, Christos anesti” (Christ is risen), and those that are greeted will then respond “Alithos anesti” (truly, He has risen), this is known as the Paschal Greeting, which is also known as the Easter Acclamation. This greeting is often accompanied by the exchange of three kisses, on each cheek.
Some claim that the phrase “He is Risen, Indeed” is based on Luke 24:34 or on Luke 24:33-34, when Jesus revealed Himself to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. “… they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!'” Others claim that according to tradition, the phrase came from Mary Magdalene when she supposedly addressed Emperor Tiberius with the words, “Christ is risen.” Then, she told him the truth about the crucifixion of Christ and His sufferings.
The Resurrection of Christ
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the basis of the Christian faith. Without this significant blessed event, there is no future hope. When Christ rose, He proved that He is the King of Kings and the Savior of mankind from the clutches of Satan. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). The resurrection of Christ proves that death has been eternally conquered. It became the seal of God’s approval on the sacrificial work of Christ. The resurrected Christ is the guarantee of the eternal destiny of the saints.
Both the Old and the New Testament speak of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Lord Himself testified of His own resurrection, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it” (Luke 24:7 also Matthew 17:22-23; Mark 9:30-32)
After Christ’s resurrection, the angels of the Lord confirmed the truth of the resurrection saying, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you” (Matthew 28:5-7). Empowered by this hope, after His ascension, the disciples went to spread the Gospel to all the world.
The words “He is risen” gives us the assurance of our own resurrection at the end of time. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:14). Jesus’ victory is a sure victory for those who accepted His sacrificial death on their behalf by faith and walk in His path. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). There is no greater love than this (John 15:13).
In His service,