Easter Vigil 2014

Easter Vigil
April 19, 2014 A+D
St. Matthew 28:1-7

In the Name of the Father and of the X Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Jesus is always going before. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Colossians 1:15). The first man was formed from the image of the Son of God. Even in creation, Christ came first, begotten from eternity. The eternal Word.

“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God” (1 Peter 1:20-21).

He went before Noah in the arc.

He was there to stay the knife-gripping hand of Abraham.

He had no beginning and no end like Melchezedeck.

He led Lot out of the clutches of Sodom and Gomorrah.

He meant Joseph’s enslavement for good.

He was the Lamb of God even before the Passover.

He went before Moses and the children of Israel in the pillar of cloud and in the rock.

He stood as the archetype of the tabernacle, the priesthood the sacrifices, and the blood.

He went on ahead of Joshua into the Promised Land.

He went before David even though He was David’s Son.

He stood alongside Shadrack, Meshack, and Obednego in the furnace.

He is the first-born over all creation born in time of Mary. The eternal God taking up residence in the flesh. The eternal God coming to His creation to redeem it. He is the Good Shepherd laying down His life for His sheep, going before them into death, to destroy it. Meeting the wolf head on and overcoming by being devoured.

On this most holy night, Jesus passed over from death to life. He is now the first born from the dead. “Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting?” (Hosea 13:14).  “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:56-57).

He died, but is not dead. He rested in the grave, but the grave could not hold Him; death is dead. Sin will not hold you much longer. Your desert wandering will have an end. The Promised Land stands open to you. The curtain that once closed you off from the holy of holies is ripped. It stands open. The grave is not the end, it is the beginning. It is the portal to life that your Lord opened. The angel rolled the rock away to give testimony of the promise fulfilled. He is not there. The grave is empty. He went before them to Galilee. He ascended before you into heaven. “There you will see Him. I have told you”

Do not be afraid. You are not walking alone. Your Lord, your God, your Redeemer goes before you in all things. He prepares a place for you even now. A new heaven and a new earth are waiting. By His rising to life again He has restored to you everlasting life. “All you works of the lord, bless the Lord; praise Him and magnify Him forever. All you children of mortals, bless the Lord; praise Him and magnify Him forever.” “You will see Him. I have told you”

In Jesus’ X Name. Amen.

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