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The Mysteries of Baptism and our salvation

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The Mysteries of Baptism and our salvation By: St Cyril of Jerusalem

The Mysteries of Baptism and our salvation
By: St Cyril of Jerusalem
(Catechetical Lecture 19)
 
 
The Power of Baptism
You’ve proven yourselves capable of understanding these profound secrets by
receiving the divine baptism, a rite that breathes life into our spirit. As we move
deeper into these teachings, we need to focus on the significance of the baptism
that occurred one evening.
 
The Ceremony of Baptism
In the initial stage of the baptism, you entered the baptistery, stood facing the
West, and were asked to stretch out your hand as a symbolic rejection of Satan.
This ritual hails from an old tale where the tyrannical Pharaoh enslaved the free
and noble Hebrews. God sent Moses to free them from the harsh rule of the
Egyptians.
 
The Exodus: Old Testament Symbols
In the story, the Hebrews marked their doors with lamb’s blood to protect their
houses from the destroyer. They miraculously gained freedom, only to be
pursued by their enemies. Even as the sea parted for them, Pharaoh continued
the chase until he met his fate by drowning in the Red Sea.
 
From Old Testament to New: Christ’s Salvation
Transitioning from the old to the new, we see Moses, sent by God to Egypt,
replaced by Christ, sent by the Father into the world. Christ arrived to save those
burdened by sin. In the past, the lamb’s blood was a symbol of protection; now,
the blood of the flawless Lamb, Jesus Christ, serves as our refuge against demons.
 
Overcoming Evil: The Power of Baptism
Just as Pharaoh relentlessly pursued his people to the sea, the relentless demon,
our adversary, follows us to the waters of salvation. However, just like Pharaoh
drowned in the sea, this demon vanishes in the purifying water of baptism.