God foreshadows a time when the Lamb will be slain for the salvation of the world.
Today is the ninth day in our set of meditations inspired by Jesse Tree Advent Tradition.
The concept comes from a passage in Isaiah, where the prophet says, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots” (11:1). Jesse is the father of King David, and Jesus was born into that same line of David through his foster-father’s (Joseph’s) ancestry.
Each day of December we will offer a brief Scripture passage and reflection, following God’s marvelous plan of salvation in the Jesse Tree tradition.
This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you will eat it in a hurry. It is the Lord’s Passover. For on this same night I will go through Egypt, striking down every firstborn in the land, human being and beast alike, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the Lord! But for you the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thereby, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you.(Genesis 12:11-13)
First you entered into the vestibule of the Baptistery, and there facing towards the West you listened to the command to stretch forth your hand, and as in the presence of Satan you renounced him. Now you must know that this figure is found in ancient history. For when Pharaoh, that most bitter and cruel tyrant, was oppressing the free and high-born people of the Hebrews, God sent Moses to bring them out of the evil bondage of the Egyptians. Then the door posts were anointed with the blood of a lamb, that the destroyer might flee from the houses which had the sign of the blood; and the Hebrew people was marvelously delivered. The enemy, however, after their rescue, pursued after them Exodus 14:9, 23, and saw the sea wondrously parted for them; nevertheless he went on, following close in their footsteps, and was all at once overwhelmed and engulfed in the Red Sea. Now turn from the old to the new, from the figure to the reality. There we have Moses sent from God to Egypt; here, Christ, sent forth from His Father into the world: there, that Moses might lead forth an afflicted people out of Egypt; here, that Christ might rescue those who are oppressed in the world under sin: there, the blood of a lamb was the spell against the destroyer; here, the blood of the Lamb without blemish, Jesus Christ…there, the tyrant was pursuing that ancient people even to the sea; and here the daring and shameless spirit, the author of evil, was following you even to the very streams of salvation. The tyrant of old was drowned in the sea; and this present one disappears in the water of salvation.(St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 19)
PrayerAlmighty God, who command us
to prepare the way for Christ the Lord,
grant in your kindness, we pray,
that no infirmity may weary us
as we long for the comforting presence
of our heavenly physician.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
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