St. John the Apostle writes:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us– that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” (1 Jn 1:1-4)
Today is the day of the resurrection. I tell you that this fellowship to which St. John calls us, with the apostles, the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ that completed our joy, is the very same fellowship experienced by the apostles on the day that the resurrected Lord was revealed to them, and they “did not believe it because of joy and amazement” (Lk 24:36-41). This is the same resurrection and is the same as that which St. Peter calls our new birth:
“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, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet 1:3-4).
St. Peter also offers us a transfer from the rebirth through the resurrection on a personal level to a re-birth. This takes place through the Word, “God’s living word,” because he considered it autonomous, alive with the power of eternal life, able to give life to whoever lives by it: “You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Pet 1:23).
It is amazing that both St. Peter and St. John both considered the living word to be “the seed of God.” It was the seed of eternal life if it inhabited the heart, due to its ability to offer eternal life. It offers the resurrection, in its divine nature that does not sin and cannot sin: “No one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin for he is born of God” (1 Jn 3:9).
For that reason, he who is born of God lives in the resurrection in that he has overcome sinand death. Paul the Apostle therefore says to those who sin after having received the life of the resurrection: “We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin” (Rom 6:6). “Let no sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey your passions” (Rom 6:12).
It is as if the man who obeys sin is trying to make sin once more take hold of his body that was crucified with Christ.”
[Fr. Matta El-Meskeen, Christ is Risen Truly He has Risen]