On the Prayer of the Holy Week

Title : Thine is the Power and the Glory.
Author : H. H. Pope Shenouda III.
Translated By : St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church,
Los Angele's.
Revised By : Mrs. Wedad Abbas.
Illustrated By : Sister Sawsan.
Edition : The second April 1992.
Typesetting : J.C. Center, Heliopolis.
Printing : Dar El Tebaa El Kawmia, Cairo.
Legal Deposit No. : 3 6 5 4 /1992.
I.S.B.N. : 977-00-
Revised : COEPA -1997

H.H. Pope Shenouda III, 117th Pope of
Alexandria and the See of St. Mark


E The Importance of the Passion Week:
E The passion week's Rite
E How did the Suffering Start?
E General Prayer for the Departed
E Outside the Camp
E Thine is the Power:
E He was powerful in His Miracles & His Holiness
E The Lord's New Concept of Power
E He was Powerful in accepting Death
E He was Powerful while Being Arrested
E He was Powerful during the Trial
E He was Powerful during His Crucifixion & Death
E He was Powerful in His Death
E He was Powerful after His Death
E The Lord Hid His Power from the Devil
E And the Glory:
E despised & Rejected by Men!!
E You are our Glorified God
E We also Glorify You
E And the Blessing:
E Thine is the Blessing
E And the Honour:

The Passion Week or the Holy Pascha (Passover) is the most
important period in the year and the richest spiritually. It is a
week full of Holy memories of the most crucial stage of
salvation and the outstanding chapter in the story of
The Church chose for this week certain readings from both the
Old and the New Testaments, which reflect, the most passionate
feelings that explain God's relation with Man. The Church also
chose some deep hymns and spiritual contemplation to suit the
In the early Church, our Saintly Fathers used to receive
this week with respect and reverence, and act in great

While fasting, they abstained from eating any sweet food like
honey or jam, as they considered it not appropriate to taste any
sweet thing while commemorating the Lord's suffering for them.
Some used not to cook anything during that week, as a matter
of devotion, and lest cooking should distract them from
worshipping. The majority of Christians used to eat nothing but
bread and salt. Those who were physically capable abstained
from Friday night till Easter Sunday.
As a sign of devotion during this week, women used not to put
make up or wear jewellery. People devoted all their time for

worshipping; they gathered in Churches for prayer and
The Great Emperor Theodosius was one of the Christian Kings
and Rulers who ordered all Government Houses and Business
to cease work, to enable people to concentrate on worshipping.
Prisoners were also allowed to go to Church and join in the
ceremonies of this Great Week, hoping that it would help them
to reform. Christian masters also used to relieve their slaves
from work all the Pascha Week to enable them to worship the
Lord like their masters, without any discrimination. So both
masters and slaves were able to worship God and enjoy the
effectiveness and depth of this week.
The Passion Week's Rite:
During this week, the Holy Church concentrates on one
subject: The Lord Christ's suffering
. For this reason, the
Psalm readings and the Canonical Hours which cover various
subjects relating to the Lord Jesus Christ including His birth,
His ministry, His Resurrection, Ascension and sitting on the
Father's right hand and His Second Coming in His Glory, are
replaced by a special hymn chosen by the Church especially for
the Pascha Week in which we address the Lord suffering for us
E "Thine is the Power, the Glory, the Blessing and the
Honour, forever Amen, Emmanuel our

God and King "
E"Thine is the Power, the Glory, the Blessing and the
Honour, forever Amen, Our Lord

Jesus Christ",
E"Thine is the Power, the Glory, the Blessing and the
Honour, forever Amen ..."
adding to it .. "Our Good

Saviour" from Wednesday night, as the plot to betray the Lord
Christ was the practical step towards salvation.
This prayer, is repeated ten times every day.; five during
daytime and five at night, ie. during the following hours: First,
Third, Sixth, Ninth and Eleventh.
In each of these prayers, we turn to our God and Saviour in
His passions and say, "we know who You are, for "Thine is
the Power, Glory, Blessing and Honour, forever Amen."

With this prayer, we follow the Lord Christ step by step along
the incidents of this week that preceded the crucifixion. What
then are these incidents? And how does the Church act during
this week?
How did The Suffering Start?
On Palm Sunday, the Lord Jesus Christ went to Jerusalem
where He was gloriously received as a King: The people praised
and cheered Him with palms, spreading their robes under His
feet, and the whole city was in turmoil (Matt. 21:10). This
annoyed the chief priests and the elders of the people: scribes,
Pharisees and Sadducees.
They envied Him for the great love people felt for Him, so they
started thinking of a way to get rid of Him! They were more
upset when He entered the temple and expelled all who were
buying and selling. They then asked Him, "By what authority
are You doing these things?" (Matt.21:23).
Since then they
decided to kill Him, telling one another "Look, the world has
gone after Him," (John. 12:19).


The chiefs' desire to kill the Lord Christ was due to their
envy, but the puzzling thing is the change in the
multitude's attitude; they received Him like a King, then
shouted to Pilate, "Crucify Him, crucify Him! " (Luke.

When the crowds cheered Jesus, they looked at Him as an
earthly King, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the
LORD! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David" (Mark
But the Lord Jesus refused a Kingdom on earth, as
His is a Heavenly Spiritual one. The plot to get rid of the
Nazarene was then a natural reaction from the Chiefs who lost
hope in the long awaited kingdom!!
The church considers the end of Palm Sunday Mass the
beginning of the Passion Week, as the plot to kill the Lord
Jesus Christ started to develop since then.

During this week the Church's Icons, Pillars and Lectern and
sometimes even the walls are all covered with black cloth,
creating an atmosphere of mourning. It makes everyone feel
that he is sharing in the Lord's sufferings, as said by St. Paul,
"that I may know Him and the power of His Resurrection and
the fellowship of His sufferings". (Phil. 3:10).

General Prayer For the Departed:
Through the Passion Week, the Church is preoccupied with the
Lord's sufferings only, there is no raising of incense even for
funerals, but replaced by the Pascha prayers and readings.

For this reason, a general prayer for the departed is held
after Palm Sunday Mass, for the souls of those who pass
away during the Holy Pascha.
The priest prays on some
water for this purpose, and not for blessing the palms as some
may think.
During these prayers we have to confess our sins to the Lord in
true repentance, as we never know when our life will end...
After this funeral mass and the dismissing of the congregation,
prayers are carried forth outside the camp.
Outside the Camp:
Under the Law of the Old Testament, sin offering was to be
burnt outside the camp (Lev. 4:12,21), so it would not. defile
the camp with the congregation's sins.
Thus the Lord Christ who took away the sins of the whole
world, suffered outside the Holy City. They considered Him a
sinner, sent Him outside the Camp and crucified Him. St. Paul
explained, and referred to this matter by saying:
"Let us go forth therefore to Him outside the camp, bearing
His reproach." (Heb. 13:13).

The Holy Church follows the Lord's steps during the Pascha
Week and goes with Him outside the camp, closing the veil.
The Church also leaves the first Chancel, the Chancel of Saints,
and moves the Lectern to the second Chancel to pray away

from the Altar, outside the Sanctuary and the camp, bearing His
reproach and saying:
"Thine is the Power, the Glory, the Blessing and the Honour,
forever Amen... "

With this hymn, we follow the Lord Jesus Christ in His passion,
step by step, contemplating on every word we say to Him in His



Thine is the Power, the Glory, the Blessing and the
Honour, forever Amen...
We sing this hymn for the Lord Christ all through the Passion
Week, following all His movements. We sing it instead of the
Canonical Hours, the five day prayers and the five night prayers.
We repeat the hymn twelve times in each prayer instead of the
twelve psalms that are included in each prayer of the Canonical
The Lord Christ left Jerusalem to Bethany, were we follow Him
saying, "Thine is the Power, the Glory, the Blessing and the
"... The Chief priests were annoyed when the Lord
cleared the temple, and said, "By what authority are You doing
these things?" But we say, "Thine is the Power, the Glory, the
Blessing and the Honour... Emmanuel our God and King"...
They planned to kill Him while we defend Him saying, "Thine is
the Power, the Glory, the Blessing and the Honour... forever

The Lord, in humility, bent to wash the disciples' feet, and we
praise Him saying "Thine is the Power, the Glory, the Blessing
and the Honor"... The Lord was praying at Gethsemane in such
agony that His sweat was like drops of blood and we proclaim,
"Thine is the Power and the Glory"...

We follow Him hour by hour; when arrested, put under trial in
the presence of His enemies, crowned with thorns, flogged,
falling under the Cross, nailed, till He commanded His Spirit
into the hands of the Father and when He took the robber on
His right with Him into Paradise, and we sing to Him all the
time the hymn, "Thine is the Power, the Glory, the Blessing and
the Honour...forever Amen.


The first thing we praise the Lord Jesus Christ for, during the
Passion Week, is His Power. Yes, Lord, Thine is the power
as... St. Paul said, "Christ the Power of God. " (1 Cor. 1:24).
It is true, Lord, that some might think You were weak on the
Cross, but we know who You are. The first thing we know
about Your Power is that You are the Creator. "All things were
made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that
was made
"(John. 1:3). You have the power too as a Judge
who will come in glory to judge both the living and the dead.
Indeed, this crucified Lord who seemed to the people then
weak, had they considered what He had done throughout all the
days He spent among them, they would have known how
powerful He had been in everything.
He was Powerful in His Miracles and His Holiness:
0 Lord, You alone of all the powerful, defeated the sin, the
world and the devil, while all the others were too weak to
resist sin
, For she has cast down many wounded, And all who
were slain by her were strong men" (Prov. 7:26)
As it is said in
the Holy Bible, "They have all turned aside, They have
together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No,


not one" (Ps. 14:3). But You God, You are the Only One who
challenged the whole world, saying, "Which of you convicts Me
of sin". (John. 8:46).

You are the only One who overcame the Devil and said, "for
the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me"
(John. 14:30).
In the Revelation, they sang for You, "For You
alone are Holy,". (Rev. 15:4).
You alone are powerful in Your
Holiness, "Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,
and has become higher than the heavens" (Heb. 7:26).

Lord, Your miracles proved Your wonderful Power, as
You... " had done among them the works which no one else
did" (John. 15:24).

Your Power over Nature was shown: when You rebuked the
wind and the waves and when You walked on the water. David
sang for You saying, "You rule the raging of the sea: when its
waves rise, You still them" (Ps. 89:9).
Thine is the Power,
You showed Your Power over sickness and death: as you
healed all diseases and weaknesses of the people, especially the
incurable ones. You opened the eyes of the blind, cleansed
those with leprosy, healed the woman suffering from
haemorrhages, the 38 years paralytic, the paralysed who was
lowered down through the roof and the man with the withered
Lord, You raised the dead, even that who had been in the tomb
for four days and there was stench...

You showed Your Power as a Creator: when You fed
thousands with 5 loaves and 2 fish. You even created a new
substance when you turned the water into wine and when you
made eyes for the man who was born blind.
Your Power over the devils was shown by casting away evil
spirits, who left many saying, " You are the Son of God." You
rebuked the demons and did not let them speak.
Your miracles are countless, Lord, as John the Beloved said,
"And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if
they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world
itself could not contain the books that would be written" (John.

Beside all these aspects of the Lord's Power, the puzzling one is
shown in His suffering and crucifixion where He gives us a new
concept of the meaning of Power.
What is this new concept of power?
The Lord's New Concept of Power:
The world's concept of Power differs from that introduced by
the Lord Jesus Christ.
To the World, it means violence and the ability to strike, to
defend oneself and to subject others.
The Lord set an example of the Power which loves and
sacrifices, endures and gives without limits.


When we think of Power, we have to look at it from the
spiritual side, not the physical. That is how we should look at
the Lord Christ in His sufferings.
The materialistic world, poor indeed, thinks that the Lord
Christ was weak when they struck Him on the face, mocked
Him and crucified Him. That would have been true if the
Lord Christ had those insults due to His inability, but in
fact, He was far more powerful than all those who struck,
mocked and crucified Him.

He had the power to destroy them all, but He did no
because He loved them and His love was more powerful than
death. He was able to put them to death but He did not because
He came to save them from death and by His own death to
give life.
We glorify the Lord's endurance, which convinces us that.
Power is in endurance, as the apostle says, "We then who are
strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to
please ourselves" (Rom. 15:1).

Some people are too weak to endure; even the least insult
provokes them and makes them lose control and turn to
revenge. It shows their weakness and lack of power of
The Lord Christ was powerful in His endurance, and this
demonstrates the power of His love. For a person who has
love is able to endure, while failure to endure shows lack of


The Lord Christ came to take away our sins, "all we like sheep
have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way,.
and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Is. 53:6).
The Lord sacrificed Himself for our sins and for our sake He
endured the insults of those who struck Him and spat upon
Him. In His deep love, He was joyfully singing in the ear of
each of us, "Because for your sake that I have borne reproach,
that shame has covered My face" (Ps. 69:7).
We listen to
these words and answer in humility, "for my sake, You endured
the injustice of the evil, the flogging and the slaps, and never
turned Your face away from the shameful spitting.
The power of the Lord Christ during His passion and
crucifixion appears in that He was able to destroy all those
who attacked Him but He never did because of His great
love for us. He was punished for our sake and gave us His
peace, took upon Himself our shame and gave us His Glory.

To understand the real Power of the Lord Christ we have to ask
ourselves: what could have happened if Christ had refused the
humiliation and crucifixion? or had commanded the earth to
swallow all who were on it, or fire to come down from Heaven
and burn them? He could have done so but that would have led
to our destruction due to His refusal as a Redeemer to die for
us. So the Lord said, 'I'll die so that you may not die, and be
mocked so that may be glorified. I came especially for your sake
to sacrifice Myself and endure insults for you out of love for
you and for those who insult Me'. Therefore He did not only
endure injustices, but loved, forgave and prayed for the wicked
interceding for them saying, "Father, forgive them, for they do
not know what they do" (Luke23:34).

This is the real Power of a heart full of love, who tolerates
those who trespass against Him, loves them, prays for them
and sacrifices Himself for their sake.

Who of us can follow the same example and when insulted by
another inferior to his rank, would forgive, defend and also
promote him!
St. Peter, the Apostle, drew his sword to defend his Master
when they arrested Him and he cut off the slave's ear not
understanding power in its Christian spiritual concept, so the
Lord asked him to put his sword back. It is good to have Holy
Zeal, but violence is not our way. Our way is love. With this
love the Lord healed the slave's ear and surrendered to the
sinners for whose redemption He came...
Sts. John and James the Apostles also did not understand the
real meaning of power and when the Lord Christ was rejected
by a City, the two apostles said, "Lord, do you want us to
command fire to come down from Heaven and destroy them?"
But He turned and rebuked them: "You do not know what
manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come
to destroy men's lives but to save them." (Luke. 9:54-56).
the same way, the Lord came willfully to the Cross, to give His
life a ransom for many...
My brethren, when we stand near the Cross, we do not weep as
did Mary Magdalene and the daughters of Jerusalem.. nor do
we pity the Lord nor blame Him, we stand near the Cross to
glorify both the Cross and the Crucified, singing the
beautiful hymn:


The Cross is our boast, as we say with St. Paul:
"But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of
our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to
me, and I to the world " (Gal. 6..14).

"For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who
are perishing" but to us who are being saved, it is the power of
God" (1 Cor. 1:18).

If the Cross had been a sign of weakness, it would have
never been our boast and we should have never taken it as
our symbol.

If the Cross had been a sign of weakness, we would have never
erected it on our churches and our towers or hanged it round
our necks, tattooed it on our hands and drawn it in our
writings... The Cross to us is a sign of power, the power of
love, sacrifice, self negligence and endurance. This is the real
meaning of power...
Many said to the Lord Jesus Christ, "If you are the Son of
God, come down from the cross.. and we will believe...
" Had
He accepted the challenge, it would have meant the
destruction of humanity and loss of salvation. But He was
too powerful to be stirred up and He remained on the


The Lord Christ was not overcome by this vain glory: save
Yourself to prove You are the Son of God, to prove Your
power and amaze the world by the miracle... He was not
overcome by such flattery nor by the wrong concept of power...
He was able to come down from the cross, but He did not so
that we might be saved.
The Lord Jesus Christ never thought of Himself, but of us.
He did not care about saving Himself from death, but He
was concerned about saving us. by redeeming us. He did
not yield to crucifixion out of weakness but out of love.

He was unselfish, for love "does not seek its own, is not provoked"
(1 Cor. 13:5).
Had He been thinking of Himself and of how to
be glorified according to the world, He would not have emptied
Himself and taken the form of a slave... He did not think of
Himself because He came to give Himself up for us and thus He
proved to the world the power of His love and sacrifice,
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life
for his friends" (John. 15:13).

That is how the Lord Christ set an example of power and
overcoming oneself in the Cross. It was amazing how the Lord
Christ accepted all their iniquities:
" ... as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened
not His mouth" (Is. 53:7).

He was aware of the plot against Him, but He did not resist
evil... He calmly said to Judas Iscariot, "What you do, do
quickly." (John. 13:27).
The only justification for what the
Lord Christ did is His desire to die for us. He had the power to

destroy the Cross and those who wanted to crucify Him, but
His power was greater; the power of love and sacrificing.
This Power which accompanied Him all through the
journey of the cross will he the subject of our contemplation
and expounding in the following pages.

He was Powerful in Accepting Death:
The Lord Christ was powerful in approaching death.
People did not attack Him secretly or take Him by force.
He knew that He would be arrested and knew the time
, as
He told the disciples, "You know that after two days is the
Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be
crucified " (Matt. 26:2).
It would not be wrong to say He
knew the exact hour and moment and even the place, and still
He went to where they would arrest Him, and at the fixed time.
And when the time He knew came, He went to wake up His
disciples who were asleep at Gethsemane, Saying, "Are you still
sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son
of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us
be going. See, My betrayer is at hand " (Matt. 26:45-46).

When the enemy approached, He went with His disciples to
meet him... He wanted to give Himself up for our sake..., so He
"I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes
it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it
down, and I have power to take it again ... " (John 10:17-18).


The Lord Jesus Christ walked towards the enemy in power and
courage, and we walk by His side saying, "Thine is the Power,
the Glory, the Blessing and the Honour, forever Amen. "
The Lord had the power to put away death, but He was content
in accepting it.. "to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark.

He was Powerful While being Arrested:
E The Lord Christ powerful when He was arrested, while
the soldiers who came with sticks and swords were afraid of
St. John the Beloved who followed the Lord till the
Crucifixion, explained this situation saying, "Jesus therefore,
knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward
and said to them, "Whom are you seeking? They answered
Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." And
Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He
said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the
ground." (John. 18:4-6).

The Lord's enemies fell, to the ground and could not face
His unarmed power which was more effective than their
armed attack
. Jesus could have gone away at that time, but
instead he remained calm and brave.
When they stood up, once more He asked them, "Whom do you
And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth". Jesus answered, "I
have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these
go their way" (John. 18:7-9).


That is how the Lord Jesus Christ was powerful when He was
arrested. Other facing the same situation could have been
shaken with fear, while with the Lord, it was the opposite: He
was not afraid but those who came to arrest Him were too
scared to face Him, till He presented Himself to them saying, "I
am He".

E Another example of the power of the Lord Christ when
arrested was the healing the ear of the Chief priest's slave.
"Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high
priest's servant, and cut off his right ear." (John. 18:10).
our meek Lord who does not agree to violence, turned to Peter
and asked him to sheathe his sword. He refused to defend
Himself or let others defend Him. He rebuked Peter saying,
"Put your sword in its place, Or do you think that I cannot now
pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than
twelve legions of angels?"(Matt.26:53).
The Lord refused to do
anything to save Himself, but faced death in courage for our
As for the slave's ear, it was healed by the powerful Lord who
was to be arrested, "And He touched his ear and healed him."
(Luke. 22:51).
The Lord showed mercy to His enemies even at
the most critical times. We stand beside the arrested Lord
who healed the slave's ear, whispering in His holy ear,
"Thwk Teti Gom", ie. Thine is the Power.

This act of mercy put to shame the soldiers, Judas and the Chief
priests. It was also a witness against them or an invitation to
believe in Him later on... After being arrested, He walked
among them as a King among His slaves or the Creator with His

creation... He could have destroyed them all, but He wanted our
E The Lord could have done what Elijah did with the
Captain of the fifty who asked him to meet the king.
Elijah answered and said to the Captain of fifty: If I am a man
of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and
your fifty men. And fire came down from heaven and
consumed him and his fifty." (2 Kgs. 1:10)

The Messiah could have simply done what Elijah did, but He
came to die for Man. His power was in controlling Himself not
to destroy them. It is the power that saved us and the courage
that made Him face death without fear...
He was Strong During the Trial:
The Chief priests were afraid of the Lord, so they held His trial
at night. They were confused and... "false testimony against
Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many
false witnesses came forward, they found none" (Matt. 26:59-
They were amazed to see Him calm and silent, "So the high
priest stood up and said to Him, 'And the high priest arose and
said to Him, "Do You answer nothing? What is it these men
testify against You? But Jesus kept silent (Matt. 26:62-63)

Accusations did not upset the Lord Christ, neither did false
witnesses. His silence was more powerful than words, it
made them feel that their accusations and false witnesses
were trifles
. They searched for another charge and implored
Him to admit that He was Christ the Son of God. "I charge
You on oath by the living God that You tell us whether You are


the Christ, the Son of God. " He could have kept silent but He
answered powerfully, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to
you hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the Right
Hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven".
(Matt. 62:63-64)

He was powerful in facing Pilate as well as Caiaphas. His
dignity overruled that governor who repeatedly confessed, "I
find no fault in this Man." "And indeed, having examined Him
in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning
those things of which you accuse Him" I have found no reason
for death in Him ". (Luke. 23:4,14 &21)

No words were said to convince Pilate, but it was the Lord's
silence and the power that radiated from Him. That governor
tried different tricks to set Him free and when he failed he
washed his hands announcing his innocence of the blood of the
Lord Christ.
E We stand beside the Lord during the trial saying:
Thine is the Power...
He was Powerful During His Crucifixion and Death:
E When the Lord was on the Cross, the sun was darkened
and... "the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to
bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the
graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had
fallen asleep were raised" (Matt. 27:51-52).


When the Centurion and his men, who were guarding the
cross observed the earthquake they were dreadfully
frightened and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!" (Matt.

The Centurion became a great saint and was martyred for the
name of Christ. His name is Saint Longinus and is
commemorated by the church twice a year in the Sinexarium.
The sun's darkening had its effect on Athens in Greece.
Due to this phenomenon, the astrologist and member of
Parliament Dionosius Ariobagi believed in Christ due to the
preaching of St. Paul who explained to him how the sun was
darkened at the time of the crucifixion of the Lord Christ.
Dionosius became the first bishop of Athens.
The Lord Christ was also powerful on the Cross when He
forgave those who crucified Him and when He promised the
robber on His right to be with Him in paradise that same day.
The Lord was Powerful in His Death:
E When His hour came... " Jesus had cried out with a loud
voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit."
(Luke. 23:46)
St. John Chrysostom chose the phrase "with a
loud voice" and contemplated on the power of the Lord during
His death.
How did the Lord have such a "loud voice" while dying
and after He had reached a state of extreme physical


He struggled at Gethsemane... " Then His sweat became like
great drops of blood falling down to the ground. " (Luke.
He was then arrested and had to walk on foot for long
distances, as He was sent for trial five times before Annas,
Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod then Pilate for a second time. Added to
this was the exhaustion and the unbearable pain He had when
He was flogged 39 times in the most savage way, while many
died or were about to die just by flogging! The crown of thorns
caused Him to lose blood, besides being struck several times.
Then He had to carry the Cross till He collapsed. " Now as they
led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a
Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him
they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus." (Luke.

He endured still more pain when He was nailed to the Cross till
His physical power drained and His skin stuck to His bones,
which conformed with the saying, "I can count all My bones."
(Ps. 22:17)

When Jesus reached the moment of death, there was no
power left in Him even to whisper. How then did He cry
with a loud voice?!

We stand by His side amazed at this holy moment, saying...
E The Lord was powerful in His death. He defeated death by
His death, battered the serpent's head and fulfilled the promise
given to humanity since Eve's time... "He shall bruise your

head. " (Gen. 3:15) The death of the Lord demonstrated Him
as the world's Saviour.
The Lord's most powerful moment was that of His death. At
that hour He reigned over humanity and restored His Kingdom
from the ruler of this world. "The Lord reigns; He has robed
Himself with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength; thus
He girded Himself" (Ps.93)
. He reigned on the cross.
For this reason, the prayer of the ninth hour by which we
commemorate the Lord's death, is full of psalms of praise,
glorifying and worship.

We stand before the Powerful Lord in His death singing:
He was Powerful After His Death:
The first thing the Lord did when He yielded up His Spirit was
laying hold of the devil and binding him for a thousand years.
The Lord also... "descended into the lower parts of the earth. "
(Eph. 4:9)
He announced the good news to the dead and led
them, with the robber who was on His right, to Paradise.
It was the Lord's death that opened the gate of Paradise after
being locked for thousands of years, since Adam and Eve's fall.
The One they thought dead in the sealed tomb was able to open
the gate to Paradise and lead all who died on hope in His
procession of victory.

One of the beautiful stories about the Lord after His death is
that Nicodemus said, "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy
Immortal..." from which the well known Trisagion is taken.
We stand by the side of the holy tomb, saying to the Lord in His
E The Lord was powerful in His Resurrection: powerful when
He left the sealed tomb and conquered death.
The Lord Hid His Power From the Devil:
One of the main reasons that make people think that the Lord
Christ was weak is that He used to hide His power.
It was an act of humility that confused the devil and made
him wonder, 'Is that really Jesus Christ!' 'He or not He!'.

It was for the best not to let the devil know the truth about the
Lord Jesus Christ, as he could have done his utmost to cripple
the mission of redemption for the devil never wanted the world
to be saved.
The following examples illustrate the devil's confusion because
of the Lord hiding His power:
E The devil knew that the Lord Christ would be born from a
virgin as Isaiah the Prophet said clearly..." "Behold the virgin
shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name
Emmanuel" (Is. 7:14)
He also described the qualities of this

Son, "For unto Us a Child is born, unto Us a Son is given and
the government will be upon His shoulder: and His name will
be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting
Father, Prince of Peace. " (Is. 9:6).

The devil heard a confirmation of this prophecy when the angel
appeared to Joseph and said "Behold! The virgin shall be with
child and bear a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel"
(Matt. 1:22-23)

It was also confirmed in the angel's annunciation to Virgin Mary
that... "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of
the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy
One who is to be born will be called the Son of God" (Luke.
And it happened that the Virgin Mary did conceive and
the devil witnessed what happened when Mary visited
Elizabeth, " when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the
babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the
Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, but
why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should
come to me?" (Luke. 1:43).

The devil then said within himself that this was certainly
the Son of God.

But when the Incarnated God was born in a manger, the
devil was very confused.

How could that happen! It is hard to believe that this poor,
homeless baby, who is surrounded by animals, is the Son of
God. It cannot be He, without the whole world celebrating His
coming with ceremonies, guarded by angels and heavenly lights

to announce His arrival and the heaven and earth shaking before
The devil was confused as he had no idea about the meaning of
humbleness or self humiliation; otherwise he would not have
become a devil...
E The devil also heard what the angel announced to, the
, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good
tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is
born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is
Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a
Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger
" (Luke.

And the devil said within himself, 'that is certainly He'. This
was confirmed by the multitude of heavenly host, praising God
and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace,
good will toward men. " (Luke. 2:14)
If peace was to return to
earth, then it should be the Lord Christ, the Saviour. This was
also ascertained by the testimony of the wise men, the fulfilment
of the prophecy about the baby of Bethlehem, the disturbance of
King Herod because of the Child's birth and worship of the wise
men to the Child. (Matt. 2:1-11).
However, the devil later on suspected the matter when he saw
that great Saviour who was praised by the angels and
worshipped by the wise men and who caused Herod to tremble,
that great Saviour fly in fear to Egypt. He thought: Is it
possible that God escapes from the face of Man? Where is His
power, His Kingdom and awe. It cannot be He...

E But the devil then saw that when that Child entered Egypt,
many of its idols fell and were broken. He knew that that
fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which said, "Behold, the Lord is
riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; the idols of Egypt
will totter at His presence and the heart of the Egyptians will
melt in its midst. " (Is. 19:1).
And the devil said within
himself, "No doubt, He is the Saviour, the Son of God".
Once more the devil became in doubt when he realised that
the Child returned only after the death of those who were
seeking His life.
He also saw that, "But when he heard that
Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod,
he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a
dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came
and dwelt in a city called Nazareth " (Matt. 2:22,23).
What a
confusing situation! "Can anything good come out of Nazareth
" (John. 1:46).
'No, it cannot be He!' said the devil.
E The devil remained in his doubts till the Child was twelve
years of age and saw Him sitting among the elderly teachers and
all who listened to Him were amazed at His understanding. The
devil heard Jesus answering Mary and Joseph, "Did you not
know that I must be about My Father's business
". (Luke. 2:49).
The devil then said within himself, 'It must be He. Who else
will have such wisdom and talk about His Father's business!'.
When the boy submitted himself to Mary and Joseph, the
devil started to doubt again
. How would He yield to them
while heaven and earth must submit to Him. It cannot be He!
What increased his doubts was seeing Jesus Christ living for 18
years, (till He was 30 years old), as a simple carpenter with no

fame at all. The Lord would not waste the prime of His life in
such a way. It cannot be He.
The devil then heard John the Baptist who testified for Christ
saying, "...but there is One who stands among you, whom you
do not recognise, the One who will come after me and whose
sandal-strings I am unworthy to untie."

He pointed out to Christ and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world!" (John. 1:26-29). "There
comes One after me who is mightier than I. I indeed baptised
you with water, but He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit."
(Mark. 1:7,8).
And the devil said; it must be He
The devil was mostly amazed when he saw that great Lord
who John the Baptist said he was not worthy to stoop down
and untie the thong of His sandals and was supposed to
take away the sins of the world and baptise with the Holy
spirit, that great Lord come to John to be baptised like
everyone else.

The devil expected Christ to baptise John and start His mission;
that is what dignity means. But he saw exactly the opposite
happen. He heard Christ saying to John, "Let it be so now".
And John did baptise Christ. It was too much for the devil to
understand this humility and he said in his heart, 'It is not He!'
E During the baptism, a remarkable sign was given to prove
that it was He. The devil saw the heavens parted and the Spirit,
like a dove, coming down upon Christ. There also came a voice
from heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well

pleased" (Mark. 1:10-11). There was no doubt in that clear
testimony of the Father. It is certainly He.
The devil then returned to his doubts when he saw that He,
to whom the Father and the Holy Spirit gave testimony
during the baptism, was lying exhausted on the mountain,
hungry after fasting.

How would He be hungry while having the power to turn the
stones into bread to eat. Surely it was not He.
E The devil was able to take Him and set Him on the pinnacle
of the temple, then to a high mountain. (Matt. 4:5-8). The devil
then was so certain that it could not be the Son of God, and
dared to say to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will
fall down and worship me" (Matt. 4:9)
. But his fear returned
when the Lord rebuked him saying, "Begone, Satan!... Then the
devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to
Him." (Matt. 4:11).

E The devil's fear increased and began to think that it was He
when he saw Him work miracles nobody else worked before.
But he found that the Lord hid some of those miracles behind
His prayers. Other miracles He worked on the Sabbath, which
led to the anger of the Pharisees and scribes. The devil, seeing
the Lord living with no title, no position no residence,
surrounded by weak people said to himself, 'No, it is not He!'
E The devil then heard Christ say to Nicodemus, "No one has
ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that
is, the Son of Man who is in heaven ". (John. 3:13).
And the

devil said: could it be He?! But how could He be in heaven
while being on earth with Nicodemus!
If He is to be found everywhere, then He must be God. It is
also confirmed by the phrase, "descended from heaven".
Besides, he heard the Lord saying, "For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in
Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John. 3:16).

E These words nearly convinced the devil, whose doubts
returned to him because of the expression Son of Man" which
the Lord often used. But why does He say that "the Son of
Man must be lifted up so that whoever believes in Him may not
perish but have everlasting life" (John.3:14-17).

E The numerous miracles of the lord Christ proved His divinity,
and His power over evil spirits forced them to admit it. "And
demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, "You
are the Christ, the Son of God! He rebuked them". (Luke.
The devil's suspicions started again when he found that
the Lord was tired of walking, sitting by a well or asking a
woman for a drink!!
E When the Lord rebuked the sea and waves, the devil
said, 'It is He, But when He was asleep in the ship, he
wondered how could it be and it says in the Psalm,
"He will
neither slumber nor sleep"!!
E Some people were just as confused as the devil himself.
"Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah
or one of the prophets." (Matt. 16:14).
The Lord asked His
disciples, "But you, who do you say I am?" Simon Peter

answered, "You are Christ, the Son of the Living God" and the
Lord answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for
flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father
who is in heaven." (Matt. 16:17).

The devil heard this clear, unquestionable confession and
said to himself, 'No doubt it is He.'

The devil's confusion started again when he heard the Lord tell
His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem to suffer, die and on
the third day rise. And the devil could not understand how
would the Son of God suffer and die. It must be His way of
saving Man, then He should be stopped. So the devil put words
on Peter's mouth to say to his Lord "God forbid, Lord! This
shall never happen to You!"
But turning around, the Lord said
to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offence to Me, for
you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of
men." (Matt. 16:22)

E The devil then thought it might be He when the Lord left to
Jerusalem where He was received as a great king, the awaited
Messiah and even the children praised Him in fulfilment of the
Psalm. "Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You
have ordained strength..." (Ps. 8:2),
and in His respectfulness
cleansed the temple. But his doubts returned when the Lord
retired to Bethany...
E The Lord started to destroy the devil's kingdom, revealing to
the people the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees saying,
"Woe to you, scribes and, Pharisees. hypocrites... " (Matt.
He did away also with the Levitical priesthood by

telling the parable of the vineyard and the wicked tenants.
(Luke. 20: 9-19).
The Lord put to shame also the Pharisees, Sadducces and the
Herodians that "no one dared question Him " (Mark. 12:34).
Thereupon the devil began to get ready to arrest the Lord and
so the plot developed on Wednesday...
E The devil saw the Lord washing the disciples' feet on
Thursday and He got encouraged saying in his heart it was
not the Lord; for how would the Lord wash the feet of
men?! And so the devil got inside Judas after the piece of
bread and made him carry out the plot. (John13:2)....

E When the devil heard the Lord's last talk with the disciples
and that He would send them the Holy Spirit, he thought it must
be He; for who else could send God's Holy spirit except God
E The devil then hearing the Lord's long prayer to the Father,
asking for the disciples, "that they may be one as We are."
(John. 17:11)." as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You" (John.
"Keep through Your name those... that they may be one
as We are".
the devil trembled and said 'it must be He? He
remembered the Lord's words before "I and My father are
One". (John. 10:30),
and His words to Philip, "He who has
seen Me has seen the Father,- So how can you say, 'Show us
the father? `Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the
Father in Me?" (John 14:8-10),
and the devil was filled with
fear and said, 'It must be He?'..

But soon the devil saw the Lord in His agony on the Mount
of Olives, asking the Father if He would remove that cup
from Him, and exclaimed how would the One who said, "I
and the Father are One",
be in such agony, till "His sweat
fell to the ground like great drops of blood" (Luke
And the devil was assured and said, `No, it is not He. "
The soldiers then came to arrest Him...
E The devil saw the soldiers who came armed with swords,
weapons and sticks to arrest the Lord Christ fall to the ground
and not able to face His overwhelming reverence, though He
was unarmed, and the devil became puzzled. He saw the Lord
heal the car of the slave when Peter severed it with his sword,
and the devil said 'Certainly, it is He'. Who else would have
such courage and reverence. Who else would have such love
towards His enemies and have such miraculous power... But
soon the devil saw the Lord walking with them as a lamb to the
slaughter, not opening His mouth. And the devil Was assured
again and said, 'No is not He...'
E Then the Lord was put to trial by the chief priests, and the
devil listened carefully. He was trying to find an answer to the
question he had in mind since the temptation on the mount. The
question this time came from the chief priest who asked the
Lord, "Are You Christ, the Son of God?" And the Lord said to
him, "Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son
of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on
the clouds of heaven." (Matt26:64).

The devil heard this clear confession and wondered if it was
He who has said many times before, would come upon the
clouds of heaven! But the devil's doubts returned when he


saw the Lord despised and forsaken by the people who
mocked and spitefully treated Him, and He opened not His
mouth. He offered His back to be flogged and His cheek to
be slapped, and did not turn His face away from the
humility of spit...

He saw the Lord fall with exhaustion under the Cross, and
Simon Cyrene carry it for Him. The devil then said, 'No, it is
impossible to be He? Dignity and power according to the devil
meant false glory. So he said to himself 'It cannot be He'. And
the devil shouted on the mouth of the public, "Crucify Him,
Crucify Him
"... But the echo of the Lord's words remained, "I
lay down My life... I voluntarily lay it down and I have
authority to take it up again... "

E The Lord was lifted on the Cross and the devil continued
tormented with doubt. The Lord hid his power and the
devil continued asking the old question, "...Save Yourself! If
You are the Son of God, come down from the cross." (Matt.

The Lord's first words while on the Cross started with,
"Father"..."Father, forgive them.." The word "Father" disturbed
the devil, and he asked himself, 'Could it be He?' And by putting
words on the mouth of the robber on the left, he asked "If You
are the Christ, save Yourself and us" (Luke23:39).

E The Lord said to the robber on His right hand, "Truly I say to
you, today you will be with Me in Paradise" (Luke. 23:42).
And the devil was shaken with fear. What is it that He says?!
Does not He know that Paradise have been locked five
thousand years... "And at the east of the garden of Eden He
placed the Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every
way, to guard the way to the tree of life. " (Gen. 3:24).

would Paradise be then open? And how would the Crucified
enter it with the other robber?! Could it be the Christ, by
whose Crucifixion the world will be saved?! If that happened, it
would be a catastrophe befalling Satan's kingdom and all that he
achieved since Adam...
E On the sixth hour, there was darkness over earth, the veil of
the temple was torn in two, the earth shook, the rocks were
split and tombs were opened, and the devil's terror increased
and he said, 'It is He, no doubt, Christ the Saviour.'
E But in spite of the shaking of the earth and darkness, the
devil beard the Lord say, "My God, My God, why have
You forsaken Me? "., then say, "I am Thirsty "., And the
devil calmed down and said, 'It is not He'.

The devil waited for the death of the Lord Christ to get hold of
His soul, as he did with other human beings, and bring Him
down to Hade. But the devil was taken by surprise when the
Lord cried with a loud voice, "Father, into Your hands I entrust
My spirit".

The devil was astonished to hear the Crucified-still saying
"Father". Could He be truly the Son of God? What was the
meaning of that loud voice? How did He get that strength?
And the devil said to himself, 'How would He entrust His spirit
into God's hands. It has to be in my hands'.
But when the devil progressed to take the soul of the Lord
while still in fear and doubt, the Lord held him with the
power of His divinity and bound him for a thousand years.


During the Passion Week, we see the Lord Christ as described
by the prophet "... He is despised and rejected by men ... and
we esteemed Him not. " (Is. 53:3).
We look at Him despised
for our sake and follow Him, singing this immortal hymn,
"Thine is the Power, the Glory, the Blessing and the Honour,
forever Amen, Emmanuel our God and King".

Despised and Rejected by Men!!
In fact, the Lord did not abandon His glory during the
Passion week only, but He also sacrificed His dignity for
our sake all the time.

He became without Honour in His own country. They
reproached Him saying, "Is this not the carpenter's son?"
(Matt. 13:55).
For us He endured shame, insults and
Being humble, the Lord sat with tax-collectors and sinners, but
they called Him a gluttonous and a winebibber. For His love
which appeared in healing the sick, they accused Him of
breaking the Sabbath, and, for His concern to teach us to go
into the depth instead of abiding by the letter, they said He
violated the Law. We see Him abused for our sake and we

follow Him with the same hymn, "Thine is the Power and
We know, Lord, why they insulted You. They did that
because You were not like them and Your humility exposed

You did not behave like them, for, "But all their works they do
to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and
enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best
places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in
the marketplaces, and to be called by men, 'Rabbi, Rabbi."
(Matt. 23:5- 7).
But You lived modest and meek, mixing with
the low and despised, eating with sinners and tax-collectors.
You let the woman who was a sinner touch You, the Samaritan
woman argue with You, and the children come to You. You
walked in poverty, with no title, no money and nowhere to lean
on Your head.
They refused to glorify You, Lord, for You despised their
glory and said, "I do not receive Glory from men. " (John.
So You refused the kingdom and majesty. But we,
aware of Your Real Majesty, address You saying, "Thine is the
Power, and the Glory..."
Their despise did not decrease Your glory at all. They sold You
for the price of a slave "Thirty pieces of silver" and mockingly,
they put a purple robe on You and a crown of thorns upon
Your Head. As for us, we follow You in Your passion saying,"
"Thine is the Power, the Glory, the Blessing and the Honour,
forever Amen"...


You Are Our Glorified God:
They despised You, because You took upon You the form
of a servant, but we glorify You, as we know who You are...

You are equal to the Father as You said, "All Yours are
Mine" (John. 17:10).
And You are the Only Begotten son, who
is in the bosom of the Father, since the beginning (John. 1:18),
"Who being the brightness of His Glory and the express image
of His person" (Heb. 1:3). Yes Lord, we glorify You for the
glory which " You had with Your Father before the world was."
(John 17:5),
and because all authority in heaven and earth had
been given to You. (Matt. 28:18).
You had been glorified before we came into being, and for
You "every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of
those on earth, and of those under the earth " (Phil. 2:10).

Before we began to glorify You, You were and still are glorified
by the Angels and Archangels... [Before whom stand thousands
of thousands and ten thousand of the heavenly hosts ministering
to You... and carry out Your word, our Master.]
You had been also glorified before the Angels or anything else
existed, when You alone existed. You do not need any creature
to glorify You, for You are glorified in Your Nature, Your
attributes, and Your Divinity. You need no one to glorify You
and as You said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the
Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." (Rev. 22:13).


When we glorify You, Lord, we do not add something new
to You, for even in Your self-humiliation, many events
showed Your glory...

You were glorified on Your birth by the angels who brought the
good tidings to the shepherds, and by the three wise men who
brought you gifts that suited Your glory and worshipped You.
You were glorified when the idols of Egypt fell on Your visit
while still a child. (Is. 19:1). John the Baptist glorified You
saying, "..."There comes One after me who is mightier than I,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. "
(Mark 1: 7,8).

Your glory was shown during the Baptism, when the Holy
Spirit descended on You like a dove, and a voice from heaven
said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well
pleased."(Luke 3:22).

Your glory was also shown on the Mount of
transfiguration, when Your face shone like the sun
Your garments became white as light, and God's voice from a
cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased. Hear Him! " (Matt. 17:2-5).

You showed Your glory, Lord, in numerous miracles, even
the devils could not help but bear witness. And when You were
tempted by Satan on the mountain, You showed Your glory...
You rebuked the devil and he was gone, then the angels came
and ministered to You. (Mark 1:13).
Your glory was shown through the Revelation to St. John
the Visionary, who saw You in the midst of golden


lampstands. Your face shone as when the sunshines in its full
strength, Your eyes were like a flame of fire, and Your voice
like the sound of many waters... When St. John saw You, he fell
at Your feet as dead. (Rev. 1:13-17).
In Your second coming, You will also come in Your Glory,
on clouds of heaven, as it is said
, "When the Son of Man
comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He
will sit on the throne of His glory " (Matt. 25:31).
"Clouds and
darkness surround Him, Righteousness and Justice are the
foundation of His throne... His lightning illumine the world..
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord. " (Ps. 97..2-5).

We also Glorify You:
When glorifying You, our mouths are sanctified, but that
does not add anything to You. When we glorify You
, Lord,
we do not give you glory, but rather admit Yours. You are like
the sun; it shines with or without our acknowledgment. What
we say does not add to its light; it illuminates by itself...
We do not glorify You only in Your second coming, when Your
glory will be obvious, but we glorify You in the depth of Your
passion. We follow You, step by step proclaiming, "Thine is
the Power and Glory... Emmanuel our God and King". We
Glorify You with the beautiful hymn... the magnificent,
immortal melody which is incomparable in the world of music,
in which we say, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A
sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Your kingdom
." (Ps.


By glorifying You, Christ, we protest against the deeds of
those who plotted and crucified You.
We protest against
what the ungrateful human beings did to You, and see Your
true glory in the Cross You endured for our sake. By glorifying
You in Your crucifixion, we have pride in the glory of the
Cross, taking it as a life and support for us in our ministry. We
even sing with St. Paul, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is
no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me ". (Gal. 2:20).

With this beautiful hymn we glorify the Lord at the end of the
prayers of the Good Friday, after He paid His blood a price for
the world's salvation, and began to reign on a tree. We sing to
Him, "Your Throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever... " With the
same hymn, we also glorify Him on Tuesday of the Passion
week, the day on which He announced to the disciples the time
of His crucifixion, "You know that after two days is the
Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be
crucified. " (Matt. 26:2).
And with the same beautiful tune we
glorify the Lord with another hymn ie.
We glorify You, Lord, in Your crucifixion not only in Your
* This hymn is part of (Ps. 55) usually sung with the same tune of "Your
throne 0 God" on Wednesday night of the Passion Week.

We follow our Lord Jesus Christ in the Crucifixion,
whispering in His ear, "Thine is The Blessing" as the Holy
Bible says, " Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree. "
(Gal. 3:13).

For this reason, a criminal put to death in that way had to be
buried on the same day and not remain all night hanged on the
tree, lest he should defile the land, as the hanged is accursed by
God. (Dent. 21:22-23). And so the Lord took away the curse
of the Law on our behalf and became accursed for our sake.
But we know that He is holy, without sin, and the curse He
took away was ours; the wages of our sins according to the
Law. (Dent. 28:27). He is not a sinner, certainly not, but He
takes away the sins of others, of the whole world. We
therefore, follow Him regretting for what we made Him carry,
saying to Him from the depths of our hearts, "Thine is the
Power, the Glory, the Blessing... Emmanuel our God and
For this curse, they crucified Him outside the camp,- so
that He would not defile it, and we follow Him in His
Passion Week
, as St. Paul said, "Accordingly, let us go forth
to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach" (Heb. 13:13).


We bear His reproach, as said about the Prophet Moses,
"esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the
treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. " (Heb. 11:26).

For this reason the Church remains outside the camp, away
from the altar, away from the sanctuary, away from the first
Chancel, the Chancel of Saints, remembering our sins that took
us outside the camp like Adam when sent forth from the garden
of Eden. We follow the Lord outside the Camp saying, "You
are righteous, we are evil, we deserve the curse and banishment,
but You, Thine is the Blessing forever Amen, my Lord Jesus
Christ, the Good Saviour.
While the Jews see in the Cross of the Lord Christ a symbol of
shame and humiliation, we say to Him: To You and to Your
cross is the blessing. With Your Cross we are blessed in
everything. The priests, with the sign of the Cross, bless the
Congregation, and with the sign of the Cross, the consecration
and sanctification are completed.
With the sign of the Cross in the baptistery, we obtain the
blessing of the new birth and each member of our body is
blessed and sanctified with the sign of the Cross in the
sacrament of the Holy Chrism. Besides, all the Holy sacraments
of Eucharist, Priesthood and the other sacraments of the Church
are completed with the sign of the Cross by which we obtain
grace, blessing and gifts. So, we cry out from all our hearts,
"Thine is the Blessing........
We cross our food before we start eating and ourselves before
we go to sleep and with this sign we become blessed in
everything. We look at the blessings of the Cross and say to the

Lord in His passion, "Thine is the Blessing, forever Amen,
Emmanuel our God and King".
Thine, 0 Lord, is the blessing that we lost since the fall of
Adam, and of which we dreamt till this day, waiting for
You to grant to us; You, by whom all the nations of the
world are blessed.

When Man was created, God blessed him, and when he fell, a
curse came unto earth, as God said to Adam, "Cursed is the
ground because of you" (Gen. 3:17).
Then the curse spread
among human being themselves, so God cursed Cain (Gen.
then Canaan and his descendants too.
The curse extended and reached every sinner, as it was said in
the Law, "If you will not obey the voice of the Lord Your God
or be careful in following all His commandments and His
statutes which I command you this day, then all these curses
shall come upon and overtake you... The Lord will send you
curses, confusion and frustration in all that you undertake to
do, until you are a-destroyed and perish quickly" (Dent. 28:15-

Amidst the curses of the Law, mankind dreamt of God
fulfilling His promise to Abraham, ... "In your seed all the
nations of the earth shall be blessed. " (Gen. 22:18).

Mankind waited for Your coming, Lord, then You came our
loving, kind Lord to take away the curse of the Law and in You
all nations be blessed. We stand by Your side while on the
Cross, trusting Your promise to Abraham.

We look at You, Lord, while You dip hyssop in Your Holy
Blood and sprinkle us to become clean. We sing for Your
Glory and Holiness: "Thine is the Blessing, forever Amen".
Thine is the Blessing:
Thine is the blessing that You gave to the world in whom are
blessed by all nations and generations. But for this blessing of
Yours, the whole world would perish in its sins.
Thine is the blessing as we say to You in the Holy Mass
"You blessed my nature in You". Thine is the unlimited
blessing by which the whole world are blessed...

Thine is the blessing You gave us, the nation who were called
uncircumcised, "that at that time you were without Christ,
being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers
from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without
God in the world. " (Eph. 2:12).
With Your blessings, Lord we
"...you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow
citizens with the saints and members of the household of God."
(Eph. 2:19).

Thine is the blessing because You are Holy, so, on the day of
Your crucifixion, we sing this hymn saying, "Holy God, Holy
Mighty, Holy Immortal, who was crucified for us, have mercy
upon us..." As we sing the hymn of Your Holiness, we clear
You from all accusations.
When we sing the "AGIOS" hymn i.e. "The Trisagion" with a
sad tune, our sorrow is not for You, but for those who led You
to the Cross as a sinner and charged You with the improper.

But You the Holy, born of the Holy Spirit, the only Holy One,
Thine is the blessing forever Amen.
You first gave You. blessing to the criminal on Your right,
when You brought him with You to Paradise. With this
blessing, You blessed the foolish of the world and disgraced
the wise, You blessed the weak porcelain vessels that
carried Your Holy Name...

Who ever thought those weak fishermen would become in Your
hands, like the five loaves and fill up the whole world, "...their
line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the
end of the world. " (Ps. 19..4).
Who ever thought this scared
group hiding in the upper room would go and face emperors,
philosophies and religions, and fill the whole world... It is Your
blessing that was given to our mother Rebekah, when You said
to her, "Our sister, may you become The mother of
thousands of ten thousands; And may your descendants
possess The gates of those who hate them.
" (Gen. 24:60).

Indeed Lord, Thine is the Power...
The sin hid the blessing, so, when the sin was taken away
from us, the blessing returned
. You restored Man to his first
rank, as You said to him in compassion, "I will make you a
great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And
you shall be a blessing
." (Gen. 12:2). We ask You to keep your
blessing on us, with all its grace and abundance... Let the
blessing we heard on the sixth day return to us, when You said.
"Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it. "
(Gen. 1:28).


As for me, my soul magnifies the Lord and all that is within me
blesses His Holy Name:
(Ps. 103:1-2)

Thine is the Honour, as You are "Lord of Lords and King of
Kings" (Rev. 17:14).

And though You refused the worldly reign, You reign over the
hearts and Your Kingdom is within us. Even those who did not
give You their hearts feared you.
Thine is the Honour, as You have reverence, respect and

You can humble Yourself as You wish, or neglect Yourself in
humility, but that does not lessen Your glory and reverence.
Many times Your self-humiliation gave a chance to your
enemies to stone You or hurt You, but... passing through the
midst of them You went away and no one could do You harm.
(Luke. 4:30).

They failed to arrest You till the hour came, the hour that You
fixed to give up Yourself, with Your own will. They were all
afraid to face You and when they asked, they could not keep
their argument. You and when they asked, they could not keep
their argument. You were mighty in Your words with them,

even as a Young Boy. They listened to You and were
astonished and amazed...
Even the devil used to feel deep inside that You are mighty
and unconquerable.
Your humility allowed him to approach
You, but Your awe overcame him when You rebuked him. He
escaped from You, and could not finish his talk. His temptation
came to an end.
Lord, You have been mighty, respected and feared all Your
. The story of the Cross is just a reaction of the fear of Your
enemies. They felt You are more powerful and closer to the
hearts than them. You were more convincing with people, so
they feared for their authority.
We stand by the side of Your Cross, Lord, and say, in spite of
these insults and sufferings, "Thine is the Honour forever Amen,
Emmanuel our God and King".


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