The Cross of Christ Provides Life to the Human Race *
Death trampled our Lord underfoot, but He, in His turn, treated death as a highroad for His personal feet. He submitted to it, enduring it willingly, for the reason that by this implies He would be in a position to destroy death in spite of itself. Death had its personal way when our Lord went out from Jerusalem carrying His cross but when, by a loud cry from that cross He summoned the dead from the underworld, death was powerless to avoid it.
Death slew Him by implies of the physique which He had assumed, but that very same physique proved to be the weapon with which He conquered death. Concealed beneath the cloak of His manhood, His godhead engaged death in combat but in slaying our Lord, death itself was slain. It was in a position to kill all-natural human life, but was itself killed by the life that is above the nature of man.
Death could not devour our Lord unless He possessed a physique, neither could hell swallow Him up unless He bore our flesh and so He came in search of a chariot in which to ride to the underworld. This chariot was the physique which He received from the Virgin in it He invaded death’s fortress, broke open its strongroom and scattered all its treasure [cf Mark 3:27].
At length He came upon Eve, the mother of all the living. She was that vineyard whose enclosure her personal hands had enabled death to violate, so that she could taste its fruit therefore the mother of all the living became the supply of death for each and every living creature. But in her stead, Mary grew up, a new vine in location of the old. Christ, the new life, dwelt inside her. When death, with its customary impudence, came foraging for her mortal fruit, it encountered its personal destruction in the hidden life that fruit contained. All unsuspecting, it swallowed Him up, and in so performing released life itself and set absolutely free a multitude of males.
He who was also the carpenter’s glorious son set up His cross above death’s all-consuming jaws, and led the human race into the dwelling location of life. Because a tree had brought about the downfall of mankind, it was upon a tree that mankind crossed more than to the realm of life. Bitter was the branch that had when been grafted upon that ancient tree, but sweet the young shoot that has now been grafted in, the shoot in which we are meant to recognize the Lord whom no creature can resist.
We give glory to you, Lord, who raised up your cross to span the jaws of death like a bridge by which souls may pass from the area of the dead to the land of the living. We give glory to you who place on the physique of a single mortal man and produced it the supply of life for each and every other mortal man. You are incontestably alive. Your murderers sowed your living physique in the earth as farmers sow grain, but it sprang up and yielded an abundant harvest of males raised from the dead [cf John 12:24].
Come then, my brothers and sisters, let us present our Lord the excellent and all-embracing sacrifice of our appreciate, pouring out our treasury of hymns and prayers just before Him who supplied his cross in sacrifice to God for the enrichment of us all.
*From a sermon by Saint Ephrem, deacon
(Sermo de Domino nostro, three-four: Opera edit. Lamy, I, 152-158, 166-168)
Art for this post The Cross of Christ Provides Life to the Human Race: Crucifixion, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1631, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or much less Detail of Photo d’une icône roumaine de St Ephrem le Syrien (diacre et docteur de l’Eglise dit “La Harpe de l’Esprit” ou encore “La cithare de Marie”), icône écrite par une sœur orthodoxe près d’Oradea en avril 2005, prise de vue par Geoffroy Blanc (le propriétaire de l’icône) [Photo of a Romanian icon of St Ephrem the Syrian (Deacon and Doctor of the Church said, “The Harp of the [Holy] Spirit” or “The zither of Mary”), written by an Orthodox icon sister close to Oradea in April 2005, shot by Geoffrey White (the owner of the icon)] Troubageoff, 7 June 2006, CCA-SA 1. Generic each Wikimedia Commons.