On the Incarnation of the Word 14 – How Could the Word Renew the Stained Image in Man?

Posted: September 6th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Incarnation of the Word | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on On the Incarnation of the Word 14 – How Could the Word Renew the Stained Image in Man?

Athanasius next asks how the stained image in man could be renewed.

For as, when the likeness painted on a panel has been effaced by stains from without, he whose likeness it is must needs come once more to enable the portrait to be renewed on the same wood: for, for the sake of his picture, even the mere wood on which it is painted is not thrown away, but the outline is renewed upon it; in the same way also the most holy Son of the Father, being the Image of the Father, came to our region to renew man once made in His likeness, and find him, as one lost, by the remission of sins; as He says Himself in the Gospels: “I came to find and to save the lost.”

The damaged image was that of the Word. It could only be restored by the Son coming to renew man. And he could only do that as a man.

Whence, naturally, willing to profit men, He sojourns here as man, taking to Himself a body like the others, and from things of earth, that is by the works of His body [He teaches them], so that they who would not know Him from His Providence and rule over all things, may even from the works done by His actual body know the Word of God which is in the body, and through Him the Father.

The act of renewal, of recreation, is a deeper and more intimate work than the unrepeatable original creation. We know the Word in now not merely by his creation and rule over all things, but by the works done by his actual body.


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