Behold the God-Man

god-manA reflection on the death of Jesus from Gregory of Nazianzus, an early Church Father from the 300’s AD:

He was tempted as Man, but he conquered as God. He hungered, but he fed thousands. He thirsted, but he cried, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.” He was wearied, but he is the Rest of them that are weary and heavy laden. He was heavy with sleep, but he walked lightly over the sea; he rebuked the winds, and he made Peter light as he began to sink.

He pays tribute, but it is out of a fish—indeed, he is the King of those who demanded it. He is called a Samaritan and a demoniac, but he saves him that came down from Jerusalem and fell among thieves; the demons acknowledge Him, and He drives out demons and sinks in the sea legions of foul spirits, and sees the Prince of the demons falling like lightning.

He is stoned, but is not taken. He prays, but he hears prayer. He weeps, but he causes tears to cease. He asks where Lazarus was laid, for he was Man; but he raises Lazarus, for he was God.

He is sold, and very cheap, for it is only for thirty pieces of silver; but he redeems the world, and that at a great price, for the Price was his own blood. As a sheep he is led to the slaughter, but he is the Shepherd of Israel, and now of the whole world also. As a Lamb he is silent, yet he is the Word, and is proclaimed by the Voice of one crying in the wilderness. He is bruised and wounded, but he heals every disease and every infirmity. He is lifted up and nailed to the Tree, but by the Tree of Life He restores us—indeed he saves even the Robber crucified with Him, and he wrapped the visible world in darkness. He is given vinegar to drink mingled with gall. Who? He who turned the water into wine, who is the destroyer of the bitter taste, who is Sweetness and altogether desire.

He lays down his life, but he has power to take it again. And the veil is rent, for the mysterious doors of Heaven are opened; the rocks are cleft, the dead arise. He dies, but he gives life, and by his death destroys death. He is buried, but he rises again. He goes down into Hell, but he brings up the souls. He ascends to Heaven, and shall come again to judge the quick and the dead.

–Gregory of Nazianzus, The Third Theological Oration: On the Son 1, 19-20.

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