THE CROSS AND THE RESURRECTION


“Why did Jesus have to die?”

Presbytera Jeannie tries here to answer the question above from one of her students.

However, I would not say that simply stating that Christ had to die to destroy death answers satisfactorily the question of that student.

He could now ask: “Ok, but why God could not simply destroy death without Christ dying?”
He is the Almighty, after all.

Exactly, the answer is just that: He is the Almighty.  The Almighty has no use for slaves. What good slaves can be to Him Who may whatever He wishes?

The answer is in the fact that God cannot deny Himself. He made men in His image, and this means above all that He made us free, free to choose, and this freedom must be preserved at any cost.

Man must be free to choose life eternal, and life eternal is the voluntary submission to the will of God, out of love for Him and His statutes. It is the faith in God and His Word!

This willing submission, in spirit and truth, means the Cross in this world, which men have willingly delivered to the evil one. He died for our sins!

The Cross, that death, meant the destruction of death, because the perfect man (as Adam was called to be) is immune to its clutches.

The fallen man must die in order to avoid the perpetuation of evil and his perennial abode in sin. Death is a decree of mercy and imperium at the same time by God.

The perfect man had to die in order to be resurrected.

Christ, though sinless, had to die as a man in order to be resurrected, in the body, and free us from the bondage which subjects this world, because of the Fall, to the evil one, a bondage aptly summed up in a few words: the fear of death!

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

A sacrifice was necessary, indeed, a sacrifice for us, but to the satisfaction of nobody but us, our needs, and only in the measure that this satisfaction of our vital (in the true sense) needs is the good pleasure of God, then, to the satisfaction of God.

Death ought to be destroyed, but only in a way preserving our free choice, to join the Way (and this means the Cross in this world), teached by the Truth, to Life everlasting.

The perfect man was also the perfect God, because only the Son incarnated could accomplish that complete, voluntary and self-denying obedience.
No man after the Fall could do it.

As you know, the fall of logical beings, both angels and people, occurred through rebellion. When Christ came to bring back into balance that which had fallen, he did not deign, nor provide nor attempt nor decide to make that return by any other gate but that of obedience.

When Christ came, He had the power, as Lord of all to alter even the law of creation, because “He spoke and they were born, He commanded and they were made”. He is the craftsman. And yet, to prove the perfection of His Godly magnificence, He indicated that there should be a return to where the fall occurred. He was forced, therefore, to take on our own nature, to undergo a kind of selflessness that’s inconceivable for the thought process of logical beings and to persuade us, in practice, that our restitution could only succeed in this way.

Venerable Joseph of Vatopaidi

The perfect God had to become a man, because it was man who did need His salvation.

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

That glorification, in absolute humility, obedience and submission (to God, not to men), restored to mankind the Way shown by the Truth to Life, a hope of salvation.

Just a hope, as man must still choose, every man. God cannot deny Himself.

Life eternal is the Faith in a faithful God and His Son, His Word, the Conveyor of His Holy Spirit: our Lord Jesus Christ!

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

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