Holy Fire burns today

The Old Testament is the preamble of the New Testament, and the entire Bible is one unit.

The Holy Fire was in the Old Testament and so it should come in the New Testament.

Is the Holy Fire in existence today? The answer is yes.

In Leviticus 9:23-24, “Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. Fire came out of the presence of the Lord and consumed the burn offering and the fat portion of the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell face down.”

In 1 Kings and 2 Kings, there is the prophet Elijah, who handled the fire from God more than anyone else of the Old Testament. In 1 Kings 18:23, “And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.”

And in 1 Kings 18:38, “Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.”

2 Chronicles 7:1 reads “When Solomon finished praying, the fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord. … When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshipped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, He is good, His love endures forever.”

These are some of many places mentioned in the Bible about the fire.

For the same purpose the Holy Fire comes today, once a year.

Today, Holy Saturday, the day before Pascha, Easter Sunday, the Orthodox Patriarch of the Holy Land comes to the Holy Sepulchra Church (The Church of the Tomb of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the place of His Resurrection) in Jerusalem, and enters into the small chapel. It has been sealed since Holy Friday night, after the service of the burial of Jesus.

The Patriarch is checked to make sure he has no mean of starting a fire. After he enters the tomb, he kneels and prays over the stone of the tomb and the Holy Fire appears. He places it into two chalices and lights two bunches of 33 candles to represent the age of Jesus. The Patriarch gives the light to everyone there.

This fire is used at a midnight service called the Resurrection Service or the service of New Light. At this service, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord is proclaimed in all the languages of the world.

The Resurrection of our Lord is the central pillar of Christianity. It transformed the apostles and all those who believe in Him. By His Resurrection, Jesus conquered death and sin. He offers eternal life and a new life to all of us.

The passage, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” is in Matthew 17: 9 and John 11:25. In John 8:12, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

For 40 days after Pascha, the Orthodox say “Christ is Risen!” with the answer of “Indeed He is Risen!” This salute was predicted by Isaiah some 800 years before it happened.

The Eastern Orthodox Clergy Association of Mahoning Valley sends the message, “May the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the feast of feasts, brings you health, peace, prosperity and His wonderful blessings along with His light who illumines souls and bodies for His Kingdom of Heaven/Paradise.”

The Rev. Remus Bleahu is a missionary priest and member of Eastern Orthodox Clergy Association of Mahoning Valley.

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