Vigil of Easter – Fulfillment and Completion

IMG_1931It seems strange. Three days. But not even close to 72 hours. Remember though, Hebrew days begin at sunset. It was simply as it was at creation “evening and morning” to make a day, evening began a new day. It was Thursday that He took over the Passover with His body and blood. In the evening He was taken to trial. By morning He was sentenced. By ninth hour Friday, He breaths His last and proclaims of our sin and death, “it is finished.” They request His body be taken down and bury Him before the Sabbath, which began at sundown. He is dead and buried. Sun sets. Day two. The day has past. The sun is setting. Day three.

Alleluia, Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed, alleluia!

All throughout the night last night in the Passion reading was something along the lines of fulfilling what was prophesied. The silver coins, the gall, the thirst, the garments as a prize in lots, the betrayal, the purchase of a field of blood, the denial, the crowds turning, the exaltation upon the cross. It is all the fulfill what has been promised. From the beginning, deliverance from death in this nave, this upside down boat, through water; deliverance from slavery, from bondage of death and the devil; the One through whom the Father is seen, the Servant of the Lord who redeems from the roaring lion who prowls around seeking to devour us; the One who is the Resurrection and the Life, the Redeemer who lives and at last stands; the One who has fulfilled every part of the Law perfectly, the Messiah, in Greek – the Christ, who is the Son of God rescues and redeems you in death and resurrection.

He has said this was the case from the beginning. The Son of Man must be lifted up as the serpent in the wilderness was lifted, high and lifted upon the cross, and on the third day will rise again. Here it is. The earth shook at His death. Graves were opened. Life is restored. Light in the darkness, no longer dimly seen but fully bright in resurrection.

It is yours. It is what Randall, Jocelyn, and Leo received this night. Death to sin. Buried with Him. No longer slaves. Buried with Christ and now raised with Him.  Resurrected, new life, given to be free to love and cherish your neighbor. Free to exercise compassion and charity. Free to forgive those who sin against you, for your debt (and theirs) has been paid in Christ. He declared it, “it is finished.”

His words and promises are not just cute little stories. Not just some ritual to go through. His words and promises do what they say. He fulfills all righteousness for you. He gives death and resurrection to you in baptism. He washes your sin. He now saves you. He gives you His body and blood, for the forgiveness of sin, a foretaste of the feast to come. Life and salvation accomplished and given to you. No need to ever fear, no need to doubt, for have the Word and promise of the Son of God, your sin is forgiven and where there is forgiveness of sin there is life and salvation.

Dear Christians, one and all rejoice.

Alleluia, Christ is risen!He is risen indeed, alleluia!


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