Monday, April 01, 2013

Melito of Sardis: Easter Sermon

April 1 is Melito's Feast Day. Here is his Easter sermon for Easter Monday.

And so he was lifted up upon a tree and an inscription was attached indicating who was being killed.

Who was it?

It is a grievous thing to tell, but a most fearful thing to refrain from telling.

But listen, as you tremble before him on whose account the earth trembled!

He who hung the earth in place is hanged.
He who fixed the heavens in place is fixed in place.
He who made all things fast is made fast on a tree.

The Sovereign is insulted.
God is murdered.
The King of Israel is destroyed by an Israelite hand.

But he arose from the dead and mounted up to the heights of heaven.
When the Lord had clothed himself with humanity,
and had suffered for the sake of the sufferer,
and had been bound for the sake of the imprisoned,
and had been judged for the sake of the condemned,
and buried for the sake of the one who was buried,
he rose up from the dead,
and cried aloud with this voice:

Who is it who contends with me? Let him stand in opposition to me.
I set the condemned free;
I gave the dead life;
I raised up the one who had been entombed.
Who is my opponent?

I, he says, am the Christ.
I am the one who destroyed death,
and triumphed over the enemy,
and trampled Hell under foot,
and bound the strong one,
and carried off mortals to the heights of heaven,
I, he says, am the Christ.

Therefore, come, all families of the earth,
you who have been befouled with sins, receive forgiveness for your sins.
I am your forgiveness,
I am the passover of your salvation,
I am the lamb which was sacrificed for you,
I am your ransom,
I am your light,
I am your saviour,
I am your resurrection,
I am your king,
I am leading you up to the heights of heaven,
I will show you the eternal Father,
I will raise you up by my right hand.

This is the One who made the heavens and the earth,
and formed humankind in the beginning,
The One proclaimed by the Law and the Prophets,
The One enfleshed in a virgin,
The One hanged on a tree,
The One buried in the earth,
The One raised from the dead and who went up into the heights of heaven,
The One sitting at the right hand of the Father,
The One having all authority to judge and save,
Through Whom the Father made the things which exist from the beginning of time.

This One is "the Alpha and the Omega,"
This One is "the beginning and the end"
The beginning indescribable and the end incomprehensible.

This One is the Christ.
This One is the King.
This One is Jesus.
This One is the Leader.
This One is the Lord.

This One is the One who rose from the dead.
This One is the One sitting on the right hand of the Father.
He bears the Father and is borne by the Father.

"To him be the glory and the power forever. Amen."

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