Christ our Passover
Alleluia. Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us; *
therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, *
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.
Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; *
death no longer has dominion over him.
The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all; *
but the life he lives, he lives to God.
So also consider yourselves dead to sin, *
and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.
Christ has been raised from the dead, *
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since by a man came death, *
by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, *
so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia. (BCP 83)
Victory through sacrifice
In early Christian art, Christ is often depicted as a Passover lamb, sometimes flanked by twelve other lambs representing the apostles.
By the Middle Ages, it was more common to show the lamb holding a banner or pennant symbolizing the resurrection. This is the image commonly known as the “Agnus Dei,” Latin for Lamb of God.
The Agnus Dei is a symbol of victory through sacrifice.
“Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us” we say when we break the bread at the Eucharist. “Christ being raised from the dead will never die again” we sing at Morning Prayer throughout Easter.
Surely trusting in God’s defense
In the Collect for Peace, which we pray on Tuesday mornings, we ask God to “Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord” (BCP 99).
We do not ask to be delivered from assaults; we ask to be defended in assaults.
And we pray that we may not fear any other power, because of the might — the sacrificial, self-offering mighty power — of Jesus Christ, the Lamb that was slain.
As we “consider ourselves dead to sin, and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord” we can embrace the same self-giving love that Jesus demonstrated.
Undefended, humble, and alive to God, we need not fear any adversaries. Alleluia!