Monday, April 21, 2014

Vigil of the Resurrection of Our Lord - Holy Saturday

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And God said “let there be light.” And it was good. On the third day God brought forth the trees bearing fruit pointing to Christ who is the fruit of the womb – and the very tree of life itself. And it was good. On the seventh day God rested from all his work just as Jesus rested from his work – resting in the tomb on the seventh day.

Because of the wickedness of sin God preserved Noah and your family through the flood and the waters. And you have been kept safe and secure within the arc of the one holy Christian and apostolic church. The Spirit who hovers over the face of the waters hovers over Noah and his family in the form of the dove and will do so again at the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan river. By baptism you have been saved – your sins have been washed away. I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

It is through this cleansing flood - the Red Sea of Christ’s blood that you escape the bondage of Pharaoh – the devil – and death itself. The wooden staff of Moses has been lifted up and the wooden cross of Christ has been raised high. Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord.

And Jesus stretched out his hand over the sea and brought us from darkness into light. He fed us with manna from heaven. Refreshed us with life-giving water from the rock – and drink from his pierced side.

Like the valley of dry bones, you too have received the breath of life. You have heard the Gospel. Your grave has been opened. You have received new life from above.   

Like Job confess that you know that Your Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the Earth. And after your skin is thus destroyed, yet, in your flesh you shall see God high and lifted up on the tree of life - raised on the third day.

For as the prophet Jonah spent three days in the belly of the fish, so Your Lord and your God spent three days in the belly of the earth. All for you.

He walked through the fiery furnace of the king – in agony he endured the wrath of God. He descended into the fiery furnace of hell itself to set free all the prisoners.  Like the shadrach, mesach and abednago, your lives have been spared.

Death has been destroyed.  The stone has been rolled back. Christ has risen. And all the scriptures have all been fulfilled. Alleluia. In the name of Jesus. Amen.   

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