Rise: The Great Fifty Days 3


This is the one made flesh in a virgin

who was hanged on a tree,

who was buried in the earth,

who was raised from the dead,

who was exalted to the heights of heaven.


This is the lamb slain,

this is the speechless lamb,

this is the one born of Mary the fair ewe,

this is the one taken from the flock,

and led to slaughter.

Who was sacrificed in the evening,

and buried at night;

who was not broken on the tree,

who was not undone in the earth,

who rose from the dead and resurrected humankind from the grave below.


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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