Friday, April 18, 2014

God, the Son, Comes as Servant to Suffer for Sin

Surely he has borne our griefs
        and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
        smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
        he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
        and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
        we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
        the iniquity of us all.  (Isa 53:4-6)

Thus then, too, though demonstrated as God, He does not refuse the conditions proper to Him as man, since He hungers and toils and thirsts in weariness, and flees in fear, and prays in trouble.  And He who as God has a sleepless nature, slumbers on a pillow.  And He who for this end came into the world, begs off from the cup of suffering.  And in an agony He sweats blood, and is strengthened by an angel, who Himself strengthens those who believe on Him, and taught men to despise death by His work.  And He who knew what manner of man Judas was, is betrayed by Judas.  And He, who formerly was honored by him as God, is contemned by Caiaphas.  And He is set at naught by Herod, who is Himself to judge the whole earth.  And He is scourged by Pilate, who took upon Himself our infirmities.  And by the soldiers He is mocked, at whose behest stand thousands of thousands and myriads of myriads of angels and archangels.  And He who fixed the heavens like a vault is fastened to the cross by the Jews.  And He who is inseparable from the Father cries to the Father, and commends to Him His spirit; and bowing His head, He gives up the ghost, who said, “I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again.”  And because He was not overmastered by death, as being Himself Life, He said this: “I lay it down of myself.”  And He who gives life bountifully to all, has His side pierced with a spear.  And He who raises the dead is wrapped in linen and laid in a sepulcher, and on the third day He is raised again by the Father, though Himself the Resurrection and the Life.  For all these things has He finished for us, who for our sakes was made as we are.  For “Himself has borne our infirmities, and carried our diseases; and for our sakes He was afflicted,” as Isaiah the prophet has said.

This is He who was hymned by the angels, and seen by the shepherds, and waited for by Simeon, and witnessed to by Anna.  This is He who was inquired after by the wise men, and indicated by the star.  He who was engaged in His Father’s house, and pointed to by John, and witnessed to by the Father from above in the voice, “This is my beloved Son; hear Him.”  He is crowned victor against the devil.  This is Jesus of Nazareth, who was invited to the marriage-feast in Cana, and turned the water into wine, and rebuked the sea when agitated by the violence of the winds, and walked on the deep as on dry land, and caused the blind man from birth to see, and raised Lazarus to life after he had been dead four days, and did many mighty works, and forgave sins, and conferred power on the disciples, and had blood and water flowing from His sacred side when pierced with the spear.  For His sake the sun is darkened, the day has no light, the rocks are shattered, the veil is rent, the foundations of the earth are shaken, the graves are opened, and the dead are raised, and the rulers are ashamed when they see the Director of the universe upon the cross closing His eye and giving up the ghost.  Creation saw, and was troubled; and, unable to bear the sight of His exceeding glory, shrouded itself in darkness.  This (is He who) breathes upon the disciples, and gives them the Spirit, and comes in among them when the doors are shut, and is taken up by a cloud into the heavens while the disciples gaze at Him, and is set down on the right hand of the Father, and comes again as the Judge of the living and the dead.  This is the God who for our sakes became man, to whom also the Father has put all things in subjection.  To Him be the glory and the power, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the holy Church both now and ever, and even for evermore.  Amen.

Hippolytus, Against the Heresy of One Noetus

No comments: