Disease where you poop yourself to death

How You Can Die By Pooping

Elvis croaked while camped out on the john. Some say he had a heart attack caused by his drug habit, while others speculate it was his weight that did him in. 

But his personal physician introduced a different—and controversial—theory in his 2010 book The King and Dr. Nick: He claimed the musician kicked it by straining too hard on his porcelain throne. 

Strange as it may sound, there’s a pretty well established link between dropping a deuce and dropping dead. In fact, a Norwegian scientist published the first case report on the relationship back in 1968.

How Pooping Can Kill You

Blame a rare condition called defecation syncope, a fancy term for the loss of consciousness, or fainting, that can occur while pooping.

Related: The Better Man Project—2,000+ Awesome Tips on How to Live Your Healthiest Life

When we get ready to drop one, we instinctively employ a breathing technique known as the Valsalva maneuver, explains Satish Rao, M. D., Ph.D., the director of the Digestive Health Center at Augusta University.

You essentially bear down to poop. You take in a deep breath and hold it, before trying to exhale against your closed-off airway. 

This expands your lungs and pushes down your diaphragm. Your diaphragm, in turn, pushes down on your abdominal organs, which puts pressure on your pelvis.

As a result, the muscles in your anus gently open up, allowing the stool to come out.

Related: How Coffee Makes You Poop

But when you hold your breath in this manner, several important changes are occurring elsewhere in your body, too, says Dr. Rao.

Since you’re holding air in your lung cavity, you end up compromising your blood flow. As a result, less blood travels to your heart and to your brain, leading to a drop in blood pressure.

This can cause you to become dizzy and to actually faint.

Related: Why You Feel Dizzy When You Stand Up

And if blood flow to the heart is compromised—especially in someone who already has some artery blockages—that can be enough to trigger a heart attack, too, says Dr. Rao.

Death By Pooping: Who Is At Risk?

In healthy guys, this physiological response isn’t a problem, says Dr. Rao. They’re able to regulate the drop in blood pressure pretty quickly before feeling any symptoms. 

But people with heart disease or blood pressure disorders, or who take meds for hypertension, are more at risk. 

That’s because the special receptors in their bodies that regulate BP are already functioning less than optimally, making them less likely to be able to maintain proper blood flow.

Bottom line: Healthy guys don't have to worry about passing out while pooping. 

But men with heart disease or blood pressure problems may want to avoid excessive straining on the bowl. This intensifies your body’s response to the Valsalva maneuver.

A smart way to do it? Reduce your risk of constipation, so stool comes out more smoothly with little straining. 

You can do that by upping your fiber in your diet: A 2013 meta-analysis from China concluded people who increased their fiber were 19 percent more likely to pass more frequent stools.

Related: The Truth About Fiber 

Shoot for 38 grams, the amount recommended by the Institute of Medicine, but don't fixate on hitting a certain number, says Men’s Health nutrition advisor Alan Aragon, M.S. 

Instead, focus on getting your fix from a variety of whole and minimally-refined sources, like fibrous vegetables, whole fruits, legumes, nuts, and grains like oats and quinoa.

Christa Sgobba

For nearly 10 years, Christa has created health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness content that’s steeped in science but engaging enough that people actually want to read it. She’s tuned in to all the latest research that people with an athletic lifestyle need to know, and prides herself on helping her readers apply it to their everyday lives.

Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment


Dysentery is characterized by diarrhea, high fever, weight loss, an upset stomach and nausea and vomiting. If you have bacillary dysentery, your diarrhea may contain blood or mucus.

What is dysentery?

Dysentery is a gastrointestinal disease. It causes severe diarrhea that contains blood or mucus. There are two main types of dysentery:

  • Amoebic dysentery (amoebiasis): The parasite Entamoeba histolytica (E. histolytica) is one of the main causes of amoebic dysentery. Other parasites that cause amoebic dysentery include Balantidium coli (B. coli) and strongyloidiasis.
  • Bacillary dysentery: A bacterial infection causes bacillary dysentery. Some of the most common bacteria that cause bacillary dysentery include Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Escherichia coli (E. coli). Bacillary dysentery is the most common type of dysentery.

Without proper treatment, dysentery can be fatal. If you have any symptoms of dysentery, reach out to your healthcare provider.

Who does dysentery affect?

Anyone can get dysentery. It’s a more common condition in tropical areas of the world with poor water sanitation. Water sanitation is a process that cleans and purifies water, so it’s safe to drink.

You may also be more likely to get dysentery if you don’t practice good hygiene. You should always wash your hands after using the bathroom. If you don’t, you risk contaminating food, water and surfaces.

How common is dysentery?

Dysentery is common. According to studies, there are about 1.7 billion cases of dysentery every year in the world.

Symptoms and Causes

What are the symptoms of dysentery?

Dysentery symptoms vary slightly according to what type of dysentery you have.

Amoebic dysentery

Most people who have amoebic dysentery don’t have any symptoms.

Mild symptoms of amoebic dysentery may include:

  • Diarrhea.
  • High fever.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Weight loss.
  • Upset stomach.

In rare cases, the parasite may move to other areas of your body and cause an abscess.

Bacillary dysentery

Symptoms of bacillary dysentery may include:

  • Diarrhea containing blood or mucus.
  • High fever.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Painful stomach cramps (abdominal pain).

If you have severe dysentery, complications may include extreme inflammation, widening (dilation) of your large intestine and acute kidney disease.

Does dysentery cause death?

Without proper treatment, dysentery may be fatal. It’s especially deadly to:

  • Young children.
  • People 50 years of age and older.
  • People who have dehydration or malnutrition.

What are the causes of dysentery?

The parasitic and bacterial infections that cause dysentery are very contagious. People usually transfer the parasite or bacteria to each other when poop (fecal matter) from an infected person gets into another person’s mouth. Transmission can occur during:

  • Food preparation by someone who doesn’t wash their hands or has poor hygiene.
  • Drinking contaminated water.
  • Sexual contact, especially involving the anus.

Bacillary dysentery occurs when foreign bacteria enter your body and the infection becomes severe. Some of the most common bacteria that cause bacillary dysentery include:

  • Shigella, which leads to shigellosis.
  • Salmonella, which causes salmonella.
  • Campylobacter, which causes campylobacteriosis.
  • Escherichia coli, which leads to E. coli infection.

Amoebiasis occurs when a particular parasite enters your body.

Is dysentery contagious?

Yes, dysentery is very contagious. Amoebic dysentery usually spreads from contaminated food or water. It can also spread through oral-anal sexual contact.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is dysentery diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will diagnose dysentery. They’ll ask about your symptoms, conduct a physical exam and order tests.

What tests will be done to diagnose dysentery?

If your healthcare provider suspects you have dysentery, they’ll order a stool culture.

To conduct a stool culture, your healthcare provider will give you a special container and a disposable spoon. The next time you have to poop, you’ll place plastic wrap or newspaper across the rim of your toilet to collect your poop. You can also poop into a different container. You’ll then use the disposable spoon to collect a small sample, put it in the special container and return it to your healthcare provider.

Your healthcare provider will send your sample to a lab. There, lab workers will test your sample for the presence of bacteria, parasites or ova (parasite egg cells).

You may have to provide samples of your poop over several days.

Your healthcare provider may also recommend a sigmoidoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy can help your healthcare provider confirm the diagnosis or rule out other causes of your symptoms. During a sigmoidoscopy, your healthcare provider will use a special scope to examine the inside of your lower (sigmoid) colon and rectum.

Management and Treatment

What is the fastest way to cure dysentery?

If you have amebiasis, it’s important to rid your body of the parasite. Your healthcare provider will prescribe metronidazole (Flagyl®). This medication treats parasitic infections. Your healthcare provider may also prescribe antibiotics and recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medications to treat nausea, including bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol®).

If you have bacillary dysentery, most people feel better without treatment in a few days to a week. If you require medical attention, treatment may include antibiotics and IV fluids. In rare cases, you may need a blood transfusion.

How do I take care of myself?

If you have dysentery, it’s a good idea to:

  • Avoid antidiarrheal medications, like loperamide (Imodium Advanced®), which can worsen symptoms.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, which is a common side effect of diarrhea.
  • Take OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and fever. The most common NSAIDs include aspirin (Bayer®), acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Advil®).
  • Take OTC medications to treat nausea, including bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol®).

How soon after treatment will I feel better?

If you have amebiasis, most people feel better after about 14 days. If you have bacillary dysentery, you should feel better within a week.


How can I prevent dysentery?

The best way to prevent dysentery is to practice good hygiene. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and running water after going to the bathroom and before handling or eating food. Other ways to prevent dysentery include:

  • Don’t share personal items with other people, including toothbrushes, drinking glasses and towels.
  • Don’t use water unless you’re sure it’s sanitized or sterile (free of germs). This includes water for drinking, cooking and brushing your teeth. Use bottled water or chlorine tablets to sterilize water. You can also sanitize it by bringing it to a rolling (bubbling) boil for at least one minute.
  • Stay away from people who have dysentery.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables with clean running water. Peel them before eating them.
  • Thoroughly cook all food.

If you’re traveling to an area where dysentery is common, it’s also a good idea to avoid ice cubes, fountain drinks, water or soft drinks that aren’t in a sealed container and unpasteurized dairy and juice products. Pasteurization is a process that kills bacteria.

How can I avoid spreading dysentery?

If you have dysentery, the following tips can help prevent you from spreading the infection:

  • Avoid other people.
  • Don’t have sexual contact with anyone else.
  • Don’t prepare food for other people.
  • Don’t swim.
  • Regularly clean toilets, sinks and door handles with disinfecting products.
  • Wash your laundry in hot water at temperatures at least 130°F (60°C).

Outlook / Prognosis

What can I expect if I have dysentery?

If you have amebiasis, with proper diagnosis and treatment, your outlook is good. You should feel better after about 14 days. If you don’t get treatment, amebiasis can cause death.

If you have bacillary dysentery, most people feel better within a week without treatment. Others may develop serious complications which can be life-threatening. If you have dysentery symptoms for more than a few days, contact your healthcare provider.

Living With

When should I see my healthcare provider?

Talk to your healthcare provider if your symptoms don’t go away in a few days, worsen over time or don’t respond to treatment. Seek medical attention right away if you have signs of dehydration, including:

  • Confusion.
  • Dark-colored pee.
  • Difficulty peeing.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Dry mouth or dry cough.
  • Headache.
  • Lack of tears in your eyes.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Swollen feet.

What questions should I ask my healthcare provider?

  • How do you know that I have dysentery?
  • Do I have amoebic dysentery or bacillary dysentery?
  • How much should I drink to avoid dehydration?
  • What liquids should I drink?
  • Are there any foods I should avoid?
  • What medications do you recommend?

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between dysentery and cholera?

Dysentery and cholera are gastrointestinal diseases. The difference between them is that they have different causes.

There are two main types of dysentery: amoebiasis and bacillary dysentery. Parasites cause amoebiasis, including E. histolytica, B. coli and strongyloidiasis. Bacteria cause bacillary dysentery, including Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli.

The bacteria Vibrio cholera (V. cholera) causes cholera.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Dysentery is a gastrointestinal disease. Its primary symptom is diarrhea, which may be bloody or contain mucus. Causes include bacterial or parasitic infections. Though many people with dysentery feel better after a few days without medical treatment, dysentery can be fatal, especially to young children, people over 50 and dehydrated or malnourished people. If you have a parasitic infection or other serious complications, it’s important to see your healthcare provider.

Diseases that kill in a day: a list of

There are indeed diseases in the world from which you can die in a day, or even in a few hours. Fortunately, there are not too many of them and most of them can be avoided.

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Ebola virus

Do not self-medicate! In our articles, we collect the latest scientific data and the opinions of authoritative health experts. But remember: only a doctor can diagnose and prescribe treatment.

It has been appearing in disturbing news headlines for more than a year now. In addition to the fact that the mortality rate is from 50% to 90%, it is also extremely contagious. Ebola vaccines have not yet been invented. From the first symptoms of the disease to death in the form of a massive hemorrhage, it can take from several hours to days.

Good news: the virus is not transmitted by airborne droplets, but only by touching the bodily secretions of the sick. Therefore, the infected are isolated almost immediately. The bad news (there are actually two): the natural foci of the virus are in very poor countries where there is no developed healthcare system, so it is very difficult to immediately detect the disease. The second bad news is that people are moving all over the world these days. So a few hours are enough for the disease to spread to another continent.


For example, this is exactly what happened with the SARS epidemic that broke out simultaneously in Singapore and Canada. Fortunately, since these are countries with a developed healthcare system, the disease was quickly stopped. What can not be said about Africa.

Ischemic heart disease

One of its fatal forms is myocardial infarction.

Remember that the heart is a pump. Blood moves from bottom to top, against gravity, because the pressure in arteries and veins is different.

The heart has its own vessels that feed the muscle. They are called coronaries. If the lumen of the walls of the cardiac arteries becomes sclerosed, the arteries become narrower, coronary heart disease occurs.

The disease leads to thrombosis of the heart vessels, and cell nutrition stops. Cells cannot live without nutrition and oxygen for a long time, and if nutrition and oxygen delivery are not normalized after 30 minutes, cell death occurs.

To reduce the risk of a heart attack, after the age of 30, it is necessary to be regularly examined by a cardiologist for heart and vascular health, and also to stop smoking. It is very important that you have sufficient physical activity - it trains your vessels and makes them more elastic, so that they are less prone to clogging with atherosclerotic plaques. Don't forget to keep an eye on your blood pressure as well!


It all started with gophers. In 1910, a group of scientists from the California Anti-Plague Station drew attention to strange boils. At first they thought they were dealing with the bubonic plague (also a very unpleasant discovery). But the microbe of the bubonic plague could not be found, but a new, previously unknown microbe was found - Bacterium tularensis. Later, in honor of the scientist who worked with him, he was named Francisella tularensis.

The incubation period sometimes lasts only a few hours, although sometimes it extends up to 21 days. The disease begins with a sharp rise in temperature, a sharp headache, dizziness, pain in the muscles and conjunctiva in the very first days of the disease. There are many forms of the disease, and it develops quite quickly.

Although tularemia can be treated with antibiotics, it's best not to get infected. The infection is transmitted to humans most often through direct contact with infected animals. Carriers of tularemia sticks: hares, rabbits, water rats, voles. Less commonly, the infection can be picked up through contaminated food and water. So even if you see a very cute rabbit in the clearing, do not approach him, and also do not wander in those places where there are a lot of rats (landfills, in big cities - garbage dumps in the backyard of restaurants or supermarkets, river banks).

Meningococcal disease

An incredibly dangerous bacterial disease in which bacteria destroy the membranes of the brain and spinal cord. The main victims of meningococcus are children and the elderly. Up to 50% of cases end in the death of the sick. But even those who manage to recover do not get rid of the serious consequences of the disease.

The disease has very aggressive symptoms that appear one after another and can result in death within a day.

The source of infection is sick people and carriers of the bacteria. The route of transmission is airborne, however, infection requires fairly close contact with the patient. The disease can be prevented with a vaccine. Today there is a vaccine against all strains of meningococcal disease, including the newest serogroup B.


Brain disease is a huge problem worldwide. Cerebrovascular diseases are a whole group of diseases characterized by damage to blood vessels in the brain: ischemic strokes, intracerebral hemorrhages, and others. Usually, advanced atherosclerosis and arterial hypertension lead to these diseases.

Cerebral circulation disorders are the second most common cause of death in the group of diseases of the cardiovascular system after ischemic heart disease.

How to avoid? Very simple: you need to quit smoking, control your weight, sleep well, avoid stress (haha) and don't neglect checks if you are at risk. The most important thing is to monitor the pressure.

Remember how to quickly identify a stroke (4 signs):

  • ask the person to smile. If instead of a smile a one-sided smirk came out - it's bad;
  • ask to say a simple phrase - speech should not be slowed down;
  • ask to raise both hands - he should raise them at the same time;
  • ask to stick out the tongue - it should not be turned to one side.


An acute intestinal infection that develops after drinking dirty water or eating something that has been contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Sometimes cholera kills a person in a few hours: it all starts with severe diarrhea, dehydration sets in, then death.

The simplest prevention is the usual sanitary and hygienic measures: disinfection of water, washing hands, heat treatment of food, disinfection of common areas. But if you are traveling to an area where this dangerous bacterium is found, it is best to get a cholera vaccine.

However, with timely and adequate treatment, the prognosis is favorable.


  • When going on vacation, be sure to find out which diseases are endemic for the area where you are going and what vaccinations you should get.
  • Monitor your health and see a doctor as soon as you feel unwell.
  • Do not drink water unless you are sure of its source. If you come to the tropics, drink bottled water, but in no case from the tap or from the well.
  • Follow basic hygiene standards.
  • Do not come into contact with strangers and even more so with wild animals.

Why did God have to die for us? And Other Questions About the Resurrection of Christ - The Orthodox Journal "Thomas"

Approximate reading time: 25 min.




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  And the Eucharist, like eternal noon, lasts —  
Everyone partakes, plays and sings,
And in front of everyone the divine vessel
Flows with inexhaustible joy.

Osip Mandelstam

There is one remarkable episode in the feature film "The Matrix". One of the heroes, Morpheus, offers the young man to see the Matrix with his own eyes - while he gives a choice of two pills - blue and red. If Neo, the protagonist of the film, takes the blue one, he will wake up in his bed and be absolutely sure that nothing happened. If he takes the red one, he will know what the Matrix is, but then there will never be a way back. The central statement of the Christian faith is that Jesus Christ is resurrected - this is the same "red pill" for all mankind. Having accepted it, it is no longer possible to “play back” history and start all over again from scratch, as if there was no Christ. One can even say even more categorically: if we know that there is a Resurrection, then it is crazy to live as if it does not exist.

What is so exceptional about the Resurrection of Christ, which Christians around the world have been celebrating for almost two thousand years now? A prominent theologian of the 20th century, Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia said that the existence of a person can be compared to a book. Most people believe that earthly life is the main text. Even if we assume that there is some kind of life later, beyond the grave, we think that this is just some kind of “appendix” in small print and nothing more. If we accept this analogy, then the Christian attitude to life and death is completely different. Christianity tells us that earthly life is only the first chapter. And the completion of earthly life is not the completion of a book, but the completion of just one chapter. And the book itself continues to unfold after this earthly segment, which serves as a preparation for Eternity. The Resurrection of Christ, Easter - this is the herald of the beginning of a new life, the title page of the most important chapter, which we cannot yet look into.

Easter and Passover

Not only Christians celebrate Easter: in Judaism Passover is the most important holiday of the year. A few words must be said about the Jewish Passover, because it is important for understanding the meaning of the Christian Pascha. The Jewish Passover is celebrated in memory of the deliverance of the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery. Moses asks Pharaoh to release the people who are in a state of slavery. When the pharaoh does not let go, God sends various punishments to Egypt. The tenth punishment, when the first-born in all Egyptian families were struck, turns out to be the most severe - and a turning point. Before that, God commanded Moses that each Jewish family slaughter a lamb and mark the lintels and doorposts with its blood. For what? So that the Angel of Death, passing by the houses, seeing this sign, does not stop and does not hit the family, and passes by. "To pass by" in Hebrew will be "Passover" - "Passover". And to this day, every Jewish family celebrates how one day the Angel of Death passed by and did not strike the firstborn in Jewish families, after which the pharaoh released the Jews from Egyptian slavery.

It would be erroneous to believe that "the evil God of the Old Testament" decided to destroy babies "out of the blue. " All Egyptian executions were a mirror image of what happened to the Jews living in Egypt. They were in the most difficult slave state. This is how it is said in the book of Exodus: And they made their lives bitter from hard work with clay and bricks, and from all work in the field, from all work to which they were forced with cruelty (Ex 1 :14). When the Jews died from unbearable labor and inhuman conditions, they were burned - and then the fields were fertilized with the remains. Researchers believe that the life that the Jews led in Egypt was comparable to the living conditions of prisoners of fascist concentration camps.

The Jews had to leave Egypt so quickly that they did not have time to leaven their bread and took only unleavened cakes for the journey. This unleavened bread became a symbol of purity - even the slightest leaven of the old life, old passions and vices should not have been carried away to the new earth.

Thus, the Jewish, Jewish Passover is celebrated in honor of the liberation from Egyptian captivity, which took place with the direct participation of the Lord God Himself. And this is not just liberation - this is a breakthrough into a new life with a complete rejection of sinful habits and a slavish worldview.

But the Old Testament Pascha is only an image of that grandiose event in its results that took place during the Resurrection of the Crucified and Buried in the stone tomb of Jesus Christ.

Can the Gospel be trusted? JERUSALEM. Easter procession with the icon of the Resurrection of Christ

Today, most scientists who are engaged in the humanities do not doubt the historicity of the existence of Christ. Why is it important to highlight this? The fact is that in the 19th century the so-called mythological school was popular, which claimed that Christ was nothing more than a fiction, that there was no such person in history. However, the arguments of the mythological school did not withstand the criticism of subsequent historical and archaeological research. The fact that the events described in the Gospel took place is not a subject of discussion in the modern scientific world.

When it comes to ancient events, it is very important to look at where they are described and what evidence there is for the authenticity of these texts. Among the ancient biblical manuscripts there is one fragment of the Gospel of John, which is called the Ryland Papyrus (after the name of the scholar who studied it). This papyrus has been dated between 117 and 138 - according to scholars, it is less than a hundred years from the time of the alleged writing of the original . This means that the original was written in the 50s - 60s of the 1st century. Let's pay attention: not a single ancient historical source has such a degree of reliability. No one! Did you know, for example, that the earliest surviving fragment of a manuscript with a text by Virgil is 400 years away from the estimated time of the creation of the text itself, by Horace by 700 years, by Plato by 1300 years, by Sophocles by 1400 years, by Aeschylus by 1500 years , Euripides - for 1600 years, Homer - for 2000 years?

Not a single text is in such an exceptional position as the Gospel - we have a copy that practically coincides with the time of writing the original! And this is one of the weighty proofs that what is described in the Gospels actually happened, that the earthly life of Christ, His resurrection from the dead is not a tradition, but a real story described by eyewitnesses.

What do Christians tell the world?

On this day, early in the morning, women from among those who followed Jesus came to the tomb - that is, to the cave where the body of Christ was laid on Friday. They went with precious ointment and other fragrant oils to traditionally anoint the Master's body with incense. Church tradition calls these women myrrh-bearing women. Even on the way, they wondered who would help them roll off a heavy stone that looked like a huge millstone from the entrance to the cave. Imagine their surprise when they saw that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, the tomb was empty, and instead of the lifeless body of Jesus, they were met by a shining young man in white robes - the Angel of God. This messenger from Heaven announced to them that Christ had risen from the dead! Their doubts were finally dispelled when Christ himself appeared to Mary Magdalene, and then to other women and apostles.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the entire spread of Christianity, by and large, was primarily a story about this amazing fact, which the apostles and myrrh-bearing women became eyewitnesses of. The whole sermon can be reduced to one short phrase, testifying to the most important and incredible thing: Christ is risen!

But what is so important here? Why does the apostle Paul say: if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain (1 Cor 15 :14)? What is surprising about this? If Christ is God, as Christians believe, it would be strange if he were not resurrected, wouldn't it?

Is it possible to reconcile good with evil? KENYA. The arrival of the church of St. Anthony the Great with the rector, Fr. Philip Gatary. After the Easter Liturgy, everyone dances, sings and plays the drums. Photo by Ekaterina Zagulyaeva

Here we come to the topic of connection and a certain parallelism between Christian Easter and Old Testament Easter. At one time, the Paschal lamb was slaughtered so that thanks to this sign - blood on the door - the Angel of Death would pass by and save the life of the Jewish firstborn. In the New Testament, God becomes a man and sacrifices himself, like the Passover lamb, so that people would receive life, so that they could overcome death and sin. Christians are sure that death and sin after Christ's Resurrection no longer have power over a person. Christ, by his Resurrection, reveals to people the mystery of Paradise, the mystery of life. The dark realm of the dead - hell, or hades - is known in almost all pre-Christian cultures. But pre-Christian cultures do not know a single, common and understandable doctrine of a bright, heavenly kingdom. With the Resurrection of Christ, for the first time in the culture of mankind, the mystery of paradise is proclaimed, that very second (and most important!) Chapter is revealed, as we said at the beginning, the chapter about the eternity of being in love (because God Himself is Love) and the victory of life over death, good over evil, morality over sin.

Why was it necessary to conquer death and evil at all? Why can't they coexist peacefully, like, for example, light and shadow, heat and frost, pain and pleasure? Why is Christianity so irreconcilable to the seemingly universal picture of the world, characteristic of other Eastern religions, where good and evil are perceived as integral components of being? They may fight or coexist peacefully, but originally and always exist together—philosophers call this coexistence dualism. The human mind is flexible and perceptive enough to be able to "reduce the irreducible", to reconcile God and the devil, good and evil. And this is a completely psychologically explainable, comfortable position. Why fight evil when it is inevitable and even necessary in some sense? Why conquer death if all life is an alternation of births and deaths? But through His prophets and holy people, God proclaims to people an extremely inconvenient truth: God is not the source and cause of evil and death. They are unacceptable to Him under any circumstances. What happened at one time to our first parents Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden had the most severe consequences for the human race. And this happened not at all because God wanted it to or specially “programmed” everything in this way. On the contrary: the world was created by God with the real possibility of existence without death and sin. But God wanted to have next to Himself not some soulless creatures, but living people who are able to freely love, and therefore have the opportunity to just as freely refuse love! And primitive people could well resist the temptation of the serpent by thieves to appropriate for themselves what belongs to God - the fullness of knowledge and Divine power. We will never fully understand why they failed. But after the violation of the only commandment given by God to Adam and Eve in paradise, that is, the fall, a new, ours with you, history of mankind begins.

The two main consequences of the fall are that a person becomes mortal, and that he falls into the bondage of sin, that is, he can no longer stop sinning. The Apostle Paul speaks of this with pain: I have a desire for good, but I do not find it to do it. The good that I want, I do not do, but the evil that I do not want, I do. But if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin dwelling in me (Rom 7 :18-20). And this sad picture is well known to each of us...

Why is this happening? Because, - the Christian view of the world tells us, - that initially human nature was created by God as good, initially we had no inclination to sin - that's why we experience it. Why then do we sin? Because this nature is damaged; and it is already damaged at the very source of all mankind - in Adam and Eve. And it’s not at all about legal responsibility for other people’s misdeeds: Christianity looks at sin much deeper - not so much as guilt, but as a misfortune, a serious, deadly disease that a person let into himself through the fall.

An analogy can be drawn: imagine that parents become infected with some kind of fatal disease, and sick children are born to them. Children, of course, are not to blame, but they will not become healthier because of this, they still need to be treated. It's the same with sin. Spiritually ill ancestors give birth to the same children who have lost touch with God. Since there were only two parents, and there were no others, then all of humanity in Adam and Eve received this fundamental distortion of nature, which had two main consequences: a person became physically mortal and dependent on sin.

How did Christ overcome death?

The Biblical story of the Fall is not just a story about how Adam and Eve secretly ate something delicious. This is a story about a universal catastrophe, about the main thing - from the moment of creation - a change in the life of mankind and the entire Universe. About how people turned their backs on God and believed the devil. About how Adam and Eve lead humanity - which at that moment is in them - to a disaster that has permeated all subsequent generations. But when Christ comes, He becomes the New Adam, the source of humanity renewed, cleansed from sin and death. The first Adam let the infection of sin into himself and passed this disease on to all his descendants — Christ heals this infection and returns human nature to its original state, before sin. Moreover: With His Resurrection, Jesus Christ completes the work that was completely failed by the first Adam: from now on, human nature becomes immortal, alien to pain and suffering, not burdened by material and temporal limitations. At the Paschal Liturgy, the Word of St. John Chrysostom is read, it contains the following lines: “Death, where is your sting? Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you fell down; Christ is risen, and the demons fell; Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice; Christ is risen, and life is established; Christ is risen, and there is not one dead person in the tomb. ” Why do we speak with such contempt of the "victory of hell"? Because Christ corrected this situation in the very root! Easter is the main victory over death!

The problem of death is the main problem of any religion and one of the main questions of philosophy. What are the answers? Quite recently in our country it was said that the main question of philosophy is the primacy of matter or consciousness. But, frankly, there is a much more pressing question for any of us: how can I be mortal? The mind says: look how everyone around is dying, but the “I” of a person screams with all its might: no, it’s not true, everyone will die - but I will stay! The absolute unacceptability of the idea of ​​personal death gives rise to the strongest tension of thought. How is this question resolved in different philosophical systems? One can consider the life of the soul as a separate entity from the body after death; there is another concept - metempsychosis, the transmigration of the soul into another body; atheistic ideology, however, could not come up with anything more comforting than conditional “immortality” in the memory of its descendants, but in fact, burdock will grow out of me, as Turgenev’s hero said.

But the Christian answer is quite different. This is the secret of paradise, the secret of being with God. This is truly a mystery that is almost impossible for us to touch even slightly.

Not only in atheistic, but even in religious consciousness, to this day there is a grotesque idea of ​​paradise as a blissful, tedious, boring communism, where white tablecloths, long tables, angels play harps, everyone walks, sings and everything is wonderful - and ... completely uninteresting. But in the Gospel we will not find anything like this! Apostle Paul says: eye did not see, ear did not hear, and that did not enter into the heart of man, what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor 2 :9). That is, we cannot imagine it, because there is simply nothing like it in the experience of earthly life. We inevitably slide into the images that are before our eyes.

There is a famous Buddhist parable. One woman had a terrible grief - her son died. A child was born and died, the inconsolable woman turned to everyone, and no one could help her. And so, someone said: there is such a wonderful teacher Buddha, go to him - and he will help you. She comes to Buddha and asks, "Can you help me?" In response, the Buddha said: "I can, only you bring me a handful of grain from a family where no one has ever died - and then I will help you." The joyful woman ran to her families, but quickly realized that death is an inevitable law of being. Then she buried her child and returned to the Buddha to become his disciple.

There is a partly similar story in the Gospel, but with a completely different result and a different meaning. Christ returns to Bethany, to the village where his friend Lazarus lived, whom He loved very much. How do we know that he loved him very much? When Lazarus' sister came out and said: Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died (Jn 11 :32) - Christ wept ... This is the only place in the Gospel that tells us about such an expression of feelings in the Savior, at the God-man. St. Cyril of Alexandria comments on this episode in the following way: “And the Lord weeps because he sees man, created in His own image, subjected to decay in order to take away our tears, for for this he died in order to free us from death.” But what then does Christ do? He approaches the cave, orders the stone that blocks the entrance to be rolled away, and orders Lazarus to come out. And a living Lazarus emerges from the tomb: Christ resurrects the four-day-old, already stinking dead man!

Such are the different attitudes towards death and the answer to the question about death.

The first noble truth of Buddhism is that life is suffering. It is not in life that there is suffering, as one might hear, but life itself is suffering. And therefore, the task of a Buddhist is to get rid of life: rebirth, birth - it doesn’t matter! It's still suffering. You can be born a deity, you can be a rabbit, you can be a human or a worm - it doesn't matter, you will still suffer. Therefore, your task is to break out of this infinity of rebirths. Man is called not to run from death, but from life itself! But Christianity resolutely says: no, it's not like that! Man was created by God in His own image and likeness, and was created for life, and not for death or non-existence. Because God is Love, He created people to be in communion with Him, for Love and for what we call the word "happiness". And this is a fundamentally different answer to the mystery of death, a proper Christian answer.

It may seem to some that the resurrection of Lazarus and the Resurrection of Christ are identical events. But this is absolutely not true. First of all, the resurrected Lazarus, many years later, already in his advanced years the bishop of Cyprus, died. And the Risen Christ never dies! Lazarus comes out in the shrouds that were wrapped around the body of the deceased. Why is this moment important? The fact is that these sheets were saturated with oily compounds from various aromatic plants, creating a dense glued cocoon around the body, from which it was simply impossible to get out. And what do the myrrh-bearing women see when they come to the Holy Sepulcher? Veils lie in the place where the body of Christ was laid ... That is, Christ was resurrected in a new body, He passes through these swaddling clothes. And the Gospel tells us that the Resurrected Body of Christ has properties that are inaccessible to us - pass through walls, disappear and appear anywhere, and at the same time He can eat, drink, and be physically felt.

How will people be resurrected? RUSSIA, YAKUTIA. Easter is one of the few holidays when a priest comes to remote villages and villages. After the end of the service, there will be gifts and joyful communication. Photo by priest Sergiy Klintsov

The Resurrection of Christ tells us about a fundamentally different state in which the Savior is resurrected and in which each of the people will be resurrected, as Christians believe. This feature of the resurrection in the Slavic language is conveyed very interestingly. The word “resurrection” does not come from the root “cross” at all, as it sometimes seems, but from the verb “to cross” (or “to cross”), that is, literally “to strike a spark.” Hence the "kresalo", or flint in a different way. That is, to resurrect - to strike a spark of new life, which is as different from the current one as fire is from the cold stone of flint.

It would be naive to believe that the resurrected body is made of exactly the same material elements as it was before death. St. Gregory of Nyssa says that the soul gives the body a certain form, "eidos" - a kind of imprint or seal, which is placed not from the outside, but from the inside. In this "eidos" is a reflection of the character, personality of each person. And this "eidos" remains unchanged despite the fact that the physical body is repeatedly renewed during earthly life, but since all changes occur according to the "eidos", it can be argued that a person's body is always the same. And in the resurrection this seal of personality is preserved, according to which a new body is formed - with other possibilities, immortal, not tormented by passions, or diseases, or inferiority. The prominent Anglican theologian, philologist and Christian apologist Clive Lewis gives the following analogy: “My form remains the same, although the matter that composes it is constantly changing. I am like the curve of flowing water in this respect.” While in the body, we cannot even imagine what the bodies will be like after the resurrection. The Apostle Paul writes: A spiritual body is sown, a spiritual body is raised up (1 Cor 15:44).” The resurrected body will be at the same time the same as it was before death, because the "seal of the soul" remains the same, and at the same time - a fundamentally different, transformed spirit, freed from the binding limitations of the material world.

In Benjamin Franklin's epitaph addressed to himself, death appears as "proofreading and editing" - for a better edition of "himself":

  "Body of Benjamin Franklin, printer  
(Like the cover of an old book,
Whose content is old,
The letters are worn out, the embossing is not visible)
Resting here, feeding the worms!
But the work itself will not be lost,
For by his faith it will be published
In a new and improved edition,
Revised and corrected
By its Author!”

One of the greatest Christian theologians, St. Basil the Great, has a surprisingly precise explanation why only through death — and resurrection — could the salvation of mankind be accomplished. He gives such an image. Imagine that a certain potter fashioned with great love a wonderful vessel for use. But out of hatred, his enemy took and filled this product with molten lead. What to do? It is now impossible to extract lead, nor to use a vessel. Then the potter decides to break the vessel and re-glue the shards, already freed from lead. In the same way, God, through the death of His Son, frees human nature from the infection of sin.

Why did God have to die on the cross?

One of the most important topics directly related to the Resurrection of Christ is the theme of the sacrifice on the cross. Why was it necessary to accomplish the salvation of man in this way? From the position of an external observer, everything looks very strange: God came, people killed Him, and now they are saved! What, are they saved because they killed God? And what's good here? Why are we saved? For being so mocked, because they did not understand Who came to us? Christianity answers: they were saved not because they were killed, but because the Crucified Jesus is Risen!

The topic of sacrifice is certainly important, despite the complexity of its understanding. It is wrong to look at the Sacrifice of the Cross only as a “ransom” paid by the sinless Son to His Father for the sins of people. Such a legal view reveals the issue in a very one-sided way, although quite rationally. But at the same time, God inevitably turns out to be a hostage of the Law established by Himself. The Terrible God Judge in such a concept inevitably turns out to be the strongest dominant. However, the Orthodox tradition focuses on something else: the Son of God arbitrarily accepts death, although, as a sinless one, He could not have died. But He immerses Himself in the waters of the Jordan, as if absorbing human sins with compassionate assimilation, He passes through the crucible of typical temptations for any mortal, He does not disdain to eat and drink wine with publicans and harlots, thereby literally "growing" into humanity, with all its infirmities and vices, while remaining inwardly completely alien to any kind of sin. After all, human mortality is a consequence of sin, and, being sinless, Christ did not have to die. However, He voluntarily goes to death and by His Resurrection destroys this gap between man and God, becomes a bridge over the abyss into which humanity was plunged by Adam and Eve. In the Protestant milieu, the following picture is popular: a certain abyss and above it - a cross as a bridge, only along which it is possible to pass from death to life, from sin to holiness. For all its conventionality, something very important is captured in this image.

The mystery of the Cross is that on it human nature is corrected by Divine nature. What does it mean? What pushes each of us to sin, namely the fear of death (to survive at any cost!) and the fear of suffering (an insatiable desire for pleasure and fear of any pain) cease to be decisive in Christ. They do not disappear anywhere, but they no longer fetter the personality of the God-man. This is what His prayer to the bloody sweat in the Garden of Gethsemane is about: He does not want to die, all His human nature wants to live and fears suffering and death, but His love for the Father turns out to be stronger. Not as I want, but as You! (Mt 26 :39). Christ is not forced, but completely free to go to death for us: after all, He who did not sin should not have died. Voluntarily accepting death, He conquers it with the Resurrection.

Why did God have to become a man? GREECE, about. CORFU. Easter night is lit up here with bright fireworks, just like on New Year's Eve, because Easter is a celebration of the renewal of life

But why did God Himself need to become a man in order to save mankind? Why couldn’t sin and death simply be taken and destroyed by Divine power? If we carefully look at all world religions, then in any of them we will see one or another attempt to solve this problem or, as we said above, to offer a reasonable explanation for the fundamental impossibility of solving the problem of death. But Christianity is a religion not invented by people themselves, but discovered by God.

The sting of death, the sting of sin that has ingrained itself into humanity since the fall, can be compared to a deep failure of the operating system, which cannot be cured by means of the system itself. Moreover: the system itself has long ceased to perceive this failure as an abnormality; got used to it, became related as with an integral part. Therefore, only the one who invented this system can enter and fix it in the very initial, source codes. A person cannot, like Munchausen, pull himself out by his hair: help is needed from outside. God comes to a confused and lost person, takes him by the hand, and leads him out of the darkness onto a bright path.

We cannot fully comprehend the mystery of salvation, but some aspects of the question are quite rationally explainable. For example, this is what St. John of Damascus writes: “Death comes and, having swallowed the bodily bait, is pierced by the lure of the Divine, and, having tasted the sinless and life-giving Body, it perishes and gives back all whom it once swallowed.” The Byzantine theologian St. Gregory Palamas also looks at the need for the Sacrifice of the Cross: “... the Word of God not only became Flesh and dwelt in our midst, visible on earth and circulating among people, but also took on flesh such as we have, and although completely pure , however, mortal and painful, and with it, as a God-wise “bait”, having caught the beginning of the evil serpent with the Cross, freed the entire enslaved human race from it. <...> If the Word of God were to take on a body that was not subject to death and suffering, then how could it be deceived, could the devil, who is evil itself, touch Him? It can be said that this is a kind of Divine deception of death! Christ perishes and death, as it were, triumphs, because He dies, as everyone died before Him; behold, He said that He is a Teacher, He is the Messiah, and now everyone look - He died like everyone else! And then He once - and resurrected! The Easter icon, painted in the Eastern Christian Orthodox tradition, depicts Christ with two crossed planks at His feet... What is it? It is the gates of hell that are defeated; and next to Christ are two people whom He lifts by the hands: these are Adam and Eve. This is an image of how Christ brings fallen humanity out of the captivity of death.

Has Christ left us?

What does Christ leave us after His Resurrection? After all, He did not write a single line of writings, did not come up with any refined philosophical teaching or a carefully described system of moral prescriptions. Christ leaves immeasurably more: He leaves us... Himself! The dying Buddha, when they come to mourn him, realizing that he has not long to live, tells his disciples: “Don’t cry, you don’t need me, I explained everything to you. You already know how to act." Christ never said that. He says completely different things: I am with you all the days until the end of time (Mt 28 :20). And He remains His resurrected body with people: and not just somewhere nearby - He gives Him to people in the sacrament of the Eucharist, in the sacrament of Communion.

How good is this Russian word - "communion": a person becomes a part of a larger one. Communion, a person becomes a part of the Body of Christ, therefore the theological definition of the Church is not an assembly of believers headed by a bishop, but the Living Body of Christ, abiding in those who love Christ and live according to His commandments. The center of the Church is not temples of stone, not monasteries, not priests, not bishops, but only the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the heart of the Church, pumping Divine power into humanity with every blow. By the fact of the celebration of the Eucharist, the Church is created as the Body of Christ, in which we can partake and become a part of it, its members active in this world.

For the first time, the sacrament of the Eucharist (Greek: "thanksgiving") was established at the Last Supper - at the last meal of Christ with the disciples. Communion in the Church means that the person who takes communion does not just remember: there was something like that there once; no, by the fact of communion - together with the apostles - he shares a meal with Christ. When we hear the words of the priest in the temple: “Take, eat, this is My Body…”, we again and again find ourselves in the Zion Room, next to Christ. This is not just a “remembrance” or a theater-like “playback”: it is a reference to an event that transcends time, because God has neither past time nor future, He is always Living in the present time!

Communion, we cease to be strangers to God: after all, a common meal is basically impossible together with enemies! A large family of Christians unites around the Lord's Meal, and by accepting the Body and Blood of the Resurrected Savior, we receive an antidote to sin, move away from the astringent doom of fear of death and suffering. On bright Easter days, the Church calls all her faithful children to daily communion - in order to feel in all depth the power and effect of Christ's Resurrection here and now, in our current world and, becoming another living witness of His Resurrection, to convey this saving message to others of people.


On Easter night, a religious procession takes place in churches. This is a symbol that people come to the Risen Christ. And all this time - at worship, on the street, at a party - for forty days from Easter to Ascension, we greet each other with the words "Christ is Risen!" “Truly Risen!” This time, filled with joy, reflects the most important victory that Christ brought to us - the victory over sin and death. During this period, from Easter to Trinity, according to the canons of the Orthodox Church, kneeling prayers are canceled in the temple. Why? Someone says: "I don't go to Church - they put me on my knees there." According to the Christian understanding, it is not God who puts a person on his knees, but sin.

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