Rise: The Great Fifty Days 1

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This is the one who comes from heaven onto

the earth for us suffering ones,

and wraps himself in the suffering one

through a virgin womb

and comes as a human.

He accepted the suffering of us suffering ones,

through suffering in a body which could suffer,

and set free the flesh from suffering.

Through the spirit which cannot die

he slew the human-slayer death.

 

He is the one led like a lamb

and slaughtered like a sheep;

he ransomed us from the worship of the world

as from the land of Egypt,

and he set us free from the slavery of the devil

as from the hand of Pharaoh,

and sealed our souls with his own spirit,

and the members of our body with his blood.

 

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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