“Truly he is risen!”

“Truly he is risen!” April 21, 2019


Jesus and Mary M
Явление Христа Марии Магдалене после Воскресения
“Christ’s Appearance to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection”
Alexander Ivanov (1835)  (Wikimedia Commons public domain)
Along with numerous other depictions and descriptions, this painting suggests a reserved coolness and a distance that, according to my reading of the original Greek text, weren’t there between Mary Magdalene and the resurrected Jesus.


Χριστός ἀνέστη!


Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!


In Greek, the language of the New Testament — and in equivalent phrases in other languages influenced by Greek Orthodox usage — it is customary to greet one another on Easter Sunday with Khristos anesti!  To which the traditional response is Alithos anesti!


Christ is risen!


Truly he is risen!


I’ve been quite moved by the 2019 Easter video message issued by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — not much more than a minute long and featuring the voice, I’m guessing, of Alex Boyé:




This eight-minute video, titled “He is Risen” and also from the Church, may help you to share the story of Easter with family and friends:




I offer, yet again, part of an Easter reflection of my own from 2012 (written, by the way, just a week or so after the entirely unexpected death of my beloved only brother, which devastated me).  In this passage from that brief article, I offer a re-reading — in my judgment, a very important one — of the story of Mary Magdalene’s encounter on that first Easter morning with the Risen Lord at the tomb:


The Gospel of John records Mary Magdalene’s meeting with the newly risen Savior near his garden tomb: “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father” (20:17).

I’ve heard lessons, sermons and class comments seeking to explain why Mary was forbidden to touch the resurrected Lord.

But she wasn’t. 

The King James Bible misrepresents the original Greek, which actually has Christ telling Mary, “Don’t cling to me,” or, as the Joseph Smith Translation puts it, “Hold me not.” [I notice that it was this rendition, not that of the King James Version, that was used in last night’s Tabernacle Choir broadcast.]  And, in fact, the Greek verb implies that she was already clinging to him; in Greek, the Savior doesn’t tell her not to hold on to him but to stop doing so.

Filled with sheer, overwhelming happiness, Mary had thrown her arms around the Master in an exuberant embrace. But he needed to leave. That’s all. Nothing mysterious, but something very wonderful nonetheless: “Weeping may endure for a night,” says the Psalmist (30:5), “but joy cometh in the morning.”


From: “The gospel truly brings joyful news”


Thus, I would have made a somewhat different version of the rather staid and even unemotional Church film to which I link above — a considerably more joyful and exuberant one.  I understand the solemnity of the doctrine of eternal life, and the formality of the language (inaccurate, in this case) of the King James Version of the Bible.  But the sheer, humanly unforeseen joy of Christ’s resurrection must be remembered.


Χριστός ἀνέστη!


Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!


Share the good news!


There is none greater.



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