Grigory Ryzhakov – Russian Writer

Easter. Ascend and Renew.

First blogger’s rule – Don’t write about religion and politics unless it’s your speciality or you want to alienate people.

I would make an amendment to that rule: write as much as you want but just stay positive and respect your reader who may think otherwise on the subject.

Happy Easter!

Easter is all about hope and revival. It’s about spring. To me it also symbolizes eternal life and the ultimate victory of justice.

It’s about someone, who suffered for others, finally getting credit for his deeds. Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus is my favorite story in the Bible.

Transfiguration, the last work of Rafael

When you read it on your own, you are following his steps in your imagination and trying to imagine how it must have felt for Jesus to be betrayed like that and subjected to public loathing and humiliation, to doubt his divine origin, to go through that emotional and physical pain. And still to be able to forgive.

I’m not a believer or an atheist; I don’t see a point in faking faith or rejecting the idea of God’s existence due to the lack of scientific evidence.

If you believe in something that makes you feel good it’s up to no one to tell you if you are right or wrong (as long as you don’t break the law or force your beliefs on someone else).

Easter is a kind of thing I believe in, and the issue of whether the whole story behind it a historical truth or fiction doesn’t bother me.

Every spring I feel like starting from zero, I’m grateful to have Easter holidays – once again I can shake up my mindset, make changes and improve myself. It may sound cheesy, but I secretly want to be worth of the sacrifice made by Jesus. It’s natural to wish to be a better person, but, because it’s a hard thing to achieve in our world (was it ever easy?), this ambition is often ridiculed in the society. Decadent literature made Sin accepted as something terminal and irredeemable, a part of evil human nature. I defy this point of view and maintain that being good is our default quality, and evil is an abnormality, a reaction to stress, competition, shortage of resources, and, most importantly, something that can be changed, turned into positive.

Last month I visited Israel for the first time. I went to Jerusalem, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and saw the rocks of Golgotha where Jesus was crucified and also his tomb, which was surrounded by pilgrims, as it should be as it’s the most important place in the Christendom.

The Stone of Unction: according to the traditional beliefs it’s a spot where the body of Jesus was prepared for burial. The present stone is dated 1810.

I went to the service, but I did not feel anything special.  I did not feel it as a sacred place. This place was not awe-inspiring like San Pedro in Vatican or St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. Yet, in my mind this story from the Bible became more real as now I have seen Jerusalem and breathed its air.  And I saw all these people around me calm and joyful as they touched the legend, mythic or real, and moved closer to Jesus.

P.S. In Russian the word Sunday or Воскресение (Voskresenie) means Resurrection. It’s good to be reminded every week that one can start afresh again and again.

So, how are you spending your Easter holidays? If I don’t hear from you, I’d just assume you are too busy enjoying it. Happy Easter!


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