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The Lamb that was Slain

March 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Holy Week, Triduum

The Lamb that was Slain*

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.

PartialRestorationLambOfGodOdenthalStPankratius32He 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 land 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. 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.

RembrandtTheCrucifixionCat478It 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, dishonored in the prophets.

It is he who was made man of the Virgin, he who was hung on the tree. It is he who was buried in the earth, raised from the dead, and taken up to the heights of heaven. He is the mute lamb, the slain lamb, the lamb born of Mary, the fair ewe. He was seized from the flock, dragged off to be slaughtered, sacrificed in the evening, and buried at night. On the tree no bone of his was broken; in the earth, his body knew no decay. He is the One who rose from the dead, and who raised man from the depths of the tomb.


* From an Easter homily by Saint Melito of Sardis, bishop, Second Reading, Office of Readings, Liturgy of the Hours, Thursday of Holy Week.


Art: Partial restoration of Die bemalte Marmoplatte aus dem alten Hochaltar der Pfarrkirche zeigt ein Lamm mit goldenem Nimbus, das einen Kreuswimpel trägt (The painted Marmoplatte from the old high altar of the parish church shows a Lamb with Golden Nimbus, who carries a banner of the cross) St. Pankratius Church in Odenthal, photographer GFreihalter, 7 February 2011, CCA-SA; The Crucifixion, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1646, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less; both Wikimedia Commons.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Patricia

    “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, dishonored in the prophets.”
    The above excerpt from today’s posting is a beautiful illustration of God’s Economy in Salvation for He does not do for man that which man himself can accomplish. Jesus is the fulfillment, the ALL in ALL, of the Father!s plan unfolding in the Old Testament. Jesus by His freely given obedience to His Father’s will, as the Lamb of God, achieved our salvation on the cross. How precious, sacred, meaningful and glorious are these Holy Days!

  • Cathy

    For a purpose only known to divine providence I am looking forward to this entering in to this mystery.Such a odd Lent and now to enter in for the tridiumn
    on the feast of Esther and St Gabriel. Like I said such an odd Lent. Peace and Blessings

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