On the Incarnation of the Word 31 – Impossible Not To Die, Impossible To Remain Dead

Posted: September 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Incarnation of the Word | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on On the Incarnation of the Word 31 – Impossible Not To Die, Impossible To Remain Dead

Athanasius continues to defend the Resurrection against those incredulous about it. But I want to focus on the manner in which he develops the core of the argument itself.

For if He took a body to Himself at all, and—in reasonable consistency, as our argument shewed— appropriated it as His own, what was the Lord to do with it? or what should be the end of the body when the Word had once descended upon it? For it could not but die, inasmuch as it was mortal, and to be offered unto death on behalf of all: for which purpose it was that the Saviour fashioned it for Himself. But it was impossible for it to remain dead, because it had been made the temple of life. Whence, while it died as mortal, it came to life again by reason of the Life in it; and of its Resurrection the works are a sign.

Jesus was mortal because he was fully human in every way. He inherited the same consequences of the ancestral sin — death. And thus he could not but die. Being human means bodies. Period. We are an embodied being. There is no place where our bodies stop and the “rest” of us continues in any way that can be defined. Our minds and our spirits affect our bodies. Our bodies and our minds affect our spirits. Our embodied spirituality transforms our minds. Though Jesus remained faithful to God in every way, lived the life of the faithful man — the true man, he was in every other way fully human to the core of his nature. There are traditions in Christianity that make Jesus different from us in his nature in one way of another. When we do that, we destroy the power and beauty of the Incarnation.

However, Jesus was also — in his body — Life itself, the divine Logos, the Word. And as the temple of the Logos, that which creates and sustains all life, it was also impossible for him to remain dead. We follow an embodied and a living Lord. It’s important to remember and live within that reality.


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