(19 April 2014, 4 April 2015)
GRANT, O Lord, that as we are baptized into the death of your blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ, so by continual mortifying our corrupt affections we may be buried with him : and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection ; for his merits, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hates nothing that you have made and forgives the sins of all them that are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Job 14:1-14; Psalm 142; 1 Peter 3:17-22; Matthew 27:57-66
This day, between the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, is about the reality of death. Jesus’ death is very clear in the Gospel, even noting a brief funeral, a sealed cave, and soldiers to guard it so nobody could steal the body and start false rumors. As for us, Job, in the Old Testament, laments that death is inevitable and expresses a faint hope that another life might lie beyond. The Psalm takes this a step further, pleading God from a “very low” place (such as the prison of the grave) for rescue. The Epistle and Collect, in turn, deliver us God’s answer to that prayer: Jesus has gone to that prison of the grave, and risen again; and therefore, through Baptism, so shall death yield for us spiritual life that will revive us completely and eternally.