Who Am I?

On the Incarnation of the Word 54 – He Was Made Man That We Might Be Made God

Posted: November 19th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Incarnation of the Word | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

In this next section, Athanasius makes one of the more profound statements. It captures the process and goal of salvation and our union with Christ in one phrase. It’s the sort of thing that packs an enormous amount into just a few words. Read and reflect on the whole section.

For He was made man that we might be made God

Jesus was made one of us. In the language of Irenaeus (and Paul), Jesus lived the life of the faithful man, overturning our choice as the unfaithful man. In that recapitulation, he broke the power of death over us. Jesus restores us to God, our only source of life. And as we participate in the life, we become participants in the life of God. Because of Christ’s union with humanity, we are able to share in the communion of the life and love of the Triune God. This is the underlying reality that makes Christianity so powerful and compelling. Our God is a God of self-sufficient, eternal love. And we are created to be participants in that life of love.

And, in a word, the achievements of the Saviour, resulting from His becoming man, are of such kind and number, that if one should wish to enumerate them, he may be compared to men who gaze at the expanse of the sea and wish to count its waves. For as one cannot take in the whole of the waves with his eyes, for those which are coming on baffle the sense of him that attempts it; so for him that would take in all the achievements of Christ in the body, it is impossible to take in the whole, even by reckoning them up, as those which go beyond his thought are more than those he thinks he has taken in.

I love this analogy. Have you ever tried to follow the waves of the ocean with your eyes? Have you ever tried to focus and follow a single part, even a single wave? It’s impossible. So it is that our minds cannot compass the wonder of Christ. But as we can stare at the ocean in awe and wonder, so we can behold Christ, even as minds are overwhelmed.

One Comment on “On the Incarnation of the Word 54 – He Was Made Man That We Might Be Made God”

  1. 1 Heaven & Earth (& Hell) 10 – Theosis or Deification said at 5:31 am on July 7th, 2010:

    […] he not only defeated death and provided the means for our healing, he bridged that divide. As St. Athanasius wrote, “For He was made man that we might be made […]