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The Rev. Robert Hart: Sermon for Easter 2008

March 27, 2008

Another sermon for Easter that I found moving is this one by the Rev. Robert Hart of the Continuum blog, taking Isaiah 53 as its starting point; Fr. Hart has a very good reflection on how this passage and Hosea 6 complement each other:

I want to remind us of the prophecy we heard on Good Friday, from the sixth chapter of the book of Hosea:

“Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”

Here what the prophet Hosea gives us is complementary to the prophecy of Isaiah concerning the Suffering Servant.

Whereas Isaiah tells us that this individual, this one man, bore the sins of the whole world (as St. Paul would later develop it, the one for the many) Hosea tells us that we ourselves went through this death. The Lord has “torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” We are told that it is we who have died and that we have risen the third day. The answer to this mystery is expressed best in that oft repeated and simple phrase of the St. Paul the Apostle, who constantly tells us that we are “in Christ.” Christ’s death was our death. And his resurrection was our resurrection.

Indeed, by His stripes we are healed!  Thanks to Fr. Hart and the Continuum for providing these reflections for us.

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