What is the origin of the saying, 'He is risen; He is risen indeed'?

A traditional Easter greeting is "He is risen!" The response is "He is risen, indeed!" Some church traditions add the exchange of three kisses on alternate cheeks and some call this the "Paschal greeting."

Exactly how this came to be a greeting in the church is unknown. But the saying comes from Luke 24:34. After Jesus revealed Himself to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, "… they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, 'The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!'" (Luke 24:33–34).

The greeting was, at first, more common in Eastern and Byzantine liturgies than it was in the West. According to a tradition in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Mary Magdalene made the saying popular when she supposedly exclaimed "Christ is risen" as she met with Emperor Tiberius in Rome.

Sharing the truth of Jesus' resurrection is an important doctrinal truth we can encourage one another with on Easter, and at other times. It is a continued fact, so we use the present tense "is" when we proclaim His power over death. Christ's resurrection gives us hope. We can confidently proclaim that He is risen. He is risen, indeed!

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