Rise: The Great Fifty Days 2


This is the one who clad death in shame

and, as Moses did to Pharaoh,

made the devil grieve

This is the one who struck down lawlessness

and made injustice childless,

as Moses did in Egypt,

This is the one who delivered us from slavery to freedom,

from darkness into light,

from death into life,

from tyranny into an eternal Kingdom,

and made us a new priesthood,

and a people everlasting for himself.


This is the Pascha of our salvation:

this is the one who in many people endured many things.

This is the one who was murdered in Abel,

tied up in Isaac,

exiled in Jacob,

sold in Joseph,

exposed in Moses,

slaughtered in the lamb,

hunted down in David,

dishonored in the prophets.


The excerpt above, taken from On Pascha and considered to be the earliest Christian sermon that has survived from antiquity, was written in 167/168 by Melito, bishop of Sardis, who was a prominent figure of second-century Christianity. A leader of the Church in Asia, Melito, according to Hippolytus, was among the earliest proponants of the two natures in Christ, and Jerome echoes Tertullian in noting that Melito was considered a prophet by many in his own day.


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