From an Easter homily by Saint Melito of Sardis, bishop: The Lamb that was slain has delivered us from death and given us life

There was much proclaimed by the prophets about the mystery of the Passover: that mystery is Christ, and to him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 
For the sake of suffering humanity he came down from heaven to earth, clothed himself in that humanity in the Virgin’s womb, and was born a man. Having then a body capable of suffering, he took the pain of fallen man upon himself; he triumphed over the diseases of soul and body that were its cause, and by his Spirit, which was incapable of dying, he dealt man’s destroyer, death, a fatal blow.
 
He was led forth like a lamb; he was slaughtered like a sheep. He ransomed us from our servitude to the world, as he had ransomed Israel from the hand of Egypt; he freed us from our slavery to the devil, as he had freed Israel from the hand of Pharaoh. He sealed our souls with his own Spirit, and the members of our body with his own blood.
 
He is the One who covered death with shame and cast the devil into mourning, as Moses cast Pharaoh into mourning. He is the One who smote sin and robbed iniquity of offspring, as Moses robbed the Egyptians of their offspring. He is the One who brought us out of slavery into freedom, out of darkness into light, out of death into life, out of tyranny into an eternal kingdom; who made us a new priesthood, a people chosen to be his own for ever. He is the Passover that is our salvation.
 
It is he who endured every kind of suffering in all those who foreshadowed him. In Abel he was slain, in Isaac bound, in Jacob exiled, in Joseph sold, in Moses exposed to die. He was sacrificed in the Passover lamb, persecuted in David, dishonoured in the prophets.
More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

My Lord and My God! In a marvellous way God’s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his master’s body, should heal our wounds of disbelief Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. He was the only disciple absent; on his return he […]

‘No-one can come to me unless the Father draws him.’ You must not imagine that you are being drawn against your will, for the mind can also be drawn by love. Nor should we be afraid of being taken to task by those who take words too literally and are quite unable to understand divine […]

Consider the poverty, humility and charity of Christ Happy the soul to whom it is given to attain this life with Christ, to cleave with all one’s heart to him whose beauty all the heavenly hosts behold forever, whose love inflames our love, the contemplation of whom is our refreshment, whose graciousness is our delight, […]

From The Catecheses of St Cyril of Jerusalem, an early fourth century Bishop and Doctor of the undivided Church: “The Church is called ‘Catholic’: such is the proper name of the holy Church which is the mother of us all. She is also the bride of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God […]