Jesus in Paradox

      “Sinners call Him a Samaritan and demon-possessed. Yet He, the true Samaritan, saves sinners who “came down from Jerusalem and fell among thieves”. The demons confess Him, as He expels them, drowning legions of unclean spirits into the sea, seeing the Prince of demons fall like lighting. They cast stones at Him, yet He isn’t taken. He prays, yet hears prayer. He weeps tears, yet makes tears cease. As Man, He asks where Lazarus was laid; as God, He raises Lazarus. He is sold, very cheaply too, for a mere thirty bits of silver; yet He buys the world’s freedom, at boundless cost, for the price was His blood. As a sheep, He is lead to the slaughter; yet he Himself is Israel’s Shepherd, and now the Shepherd of the whole earth too. As a Lamb He is dumb; yet He is the Word, preached by the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He is bruised and wounded, yet He heals every illness and infirmity. He is lifted up, pierced with nails to the tree; yet by that Tree of Life, He brings us back to Paradise. Behold, He saves even the thief crucified with Him, draping the world in darkness as He dies!

“They give Him vinegar mingled with gall to drink. To whom do they give it? He who turned water into wine! He is the destroyer of death’s bitter taste, for He is sweetness itself and the soul’s full desire. He lays down His life, yet He has the power to take it up again. The temple’s veil is rent asunder, for the mystic portals of heaven are opened. The rocks are ripped asunder, and the dead rise up. He dies, yet gives life, and by His death He destroys death. He is buried, but bursts forth again!”

~Saint Gregory the Theologian

*Third Theological Oration Against the Arians, ch 20 as printed in “Daily Readings: The Early Church Fathers” by Nick Needham

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