Sermon notes and audio files
Eckardtesian Thought: I think, therefore I write . . .
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Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Here we celebrate the very moment of his resurrection: before its annunciation to the women by angels; before his appearance to Mary Magdalene, before he came to Peter, or Cleopas, or the Twelve, or James, or the 500 brethren, or Paul.
Even before the first witnesses on earth, who were the guards, the keepers: who, the Evangelest tells us, became as dead men.
The very moment of his resurrection would have been the first moment of Sunday, the first day of the week; in Hebrew reckoning this is sundown of the night before, as it is written, there was evening and morning, the first day. Therefore the Sabbath, which was Saturday, passed when the sun set, and a new day and a new week began at that moment.
And at sundown on Holy Saturday, therefore, a new creation was begun, for this was the beginning of the third day. For Christ had said that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Thus we count the days: Good Friday, the first, Holy Saturday, the second, and the first moment of the next, at the end of the Sabbath, the third. With the coming of the third day there comes the fulfillment of all, and Christ rises from the dead.
For thus it was written: on the third day of creation, dry land was raised out of the sea; on the third day Abraham received his beloved son Isaac back, as it were, from the dead; on the third day, as Joseph had prophesied, the chief butler was restored from prison to his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand; on the third day the Lord came down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai; on the third day the Lord answered Hezekiah’s prayer and he entered the house of the Lord; on the third day of the month of Adar the rebuilding of the temple was completed, to the rejoicing of the returned Israelites. So it was that on the third day our Lord Jesus rose from the dead.
And how fitting, for God himself is three. Not three Gods, but three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And as these three Persons are one God, so it is that the three days of which we speak are essentially one: for consider, he died at the very end of Good Friday, just before the setting of the sun, and he rose at the very start of Easter, just at the setting of the sun on Saturday. So it was virtually for only one day that he was dead, in part so that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying, Thou wilt not let thy holy one to see corruption. For had he been in the grave for a longer time his body would have decayed, and he would have seen corruption; thus it was that essentially only one day passed by. Yet we say it was three days, for in the Hebrew counting a part stands for the whole. Thus we count Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: three days, yet virtually only one. Behold, three in one, much like God himself, who is three Persons in one Godhead.
Further, the reality of this resurrection at this moment means that God will not delay any longer than is necessary in coming to our aid. Immediately upon the carrying out of this necessity of three Christ rises from the dead. He waits no more. He bursts the bonds of death and comes forth. He conquers hell and the grave exactly when he had said he would, and not a moment later.
Yet no one knew of it yet. They would find out soon enough, but see here that it happened before its discovery. O Christian, take great comfort in this fact: for in all your afflictions, in all your sorrows, in all your pining and pain you must languish for a season, even as the disciples and the women wept through that night. They wept, for they did not yet know, as it is written: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. You weep because you have not yet come to the point of witnessing your deliverance from sorrows. But see, it has already come. For Christ is risen already! So let us celebrate this night the moment of the resurrection, the night before it was discovered, and let us rejoice in knowing what good things he has already prepared for us.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!