Reflection on Easter Day
Friends of the Holy Land

The Most Reverend Dr. Hosam E. Noum
Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am 

convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to 
come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to 
separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39

On the fateful morning of 7 October, 2023, our beloved Holy Land was plunged into a 
devastating war. As I write these words, that war continues unabated. Tens of thousands of 
innocent victims from every side have been killed or severely wounded, the majority of them 
women and children. Millions more have had their homes destroyed and are now displaced.
They face hunger, exposure to the elements, and danger of bombardment or sniper attack.
We might therefore say that Lent began early for us this year in the Holy Land. The war cast 
such a pall over our Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany commemorations that it seems as though 
our Lenten observances were just a continuation of the previous months. 

But there is now at least one major difference. Since the start of Lent, much of the Christian 
world has joined with us in hearing Christ’s call to take up our crosses and follow in his 
footsteps. As we do, we together stand in solidarity with not only him, but also with those who 
continue to suffer under the crushing weight of sin and death. 

Christ’s offering of himself on the cross for our behalf was God’s ultimate demonstration of 
his great love for us all. Because of it, as the Apostle Paul writes above, nothing is able to 
separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

And so here in Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre contains both the Rock of Calvary
and the Empty Tomb. That’s because we cannot separate one from the other. The suffering of 
Good Friday leads to the joy and triumph of Easter morn. 

Reflecting upon this spiritual reality, I wrote these words in my Pastoral Letter to our Diocese 
at the start of our Lenten Season:

When the Lord Jesus was incarnate and became human (Philippians 2:7), he shared in 
human suffering. He saved humanity through his suffering, crucifixion, death, and 
resurrection. We must therefore unite with the sufferings of Christ through the suffering 
and injustice we experience in our earthly lives. Only by our passage through the cross 
can we understand the meaning of resurrection and victory. Only in this way can we 
affirm the triumph of life over death, and of peace over war. Without pain and death, 
there would be no resurrection. So let us journey with Christ on the path of the cross 
until we see with him the light of the resurrection in all its glory, leading us to new life.
In this same spirit, I invite all of you to continue to see the heavenly joys of this Easter morn 
in light of the earthly sufferings that our Lord experienced for us on the cross. By doing so, we 
will continue to carry forth in our very lives the message of God’s unfathomable love for all 
His children as revealed in Christ’s sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection. 

Alleluia, Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!