The First Ecumenical Council

“Today, we are more likely to think of Christ only in divine terms: we know that he is God; what we have difficulty with is explaining how he is human as we are. Again, God and human beings are held apart; communion and fellowship have not been restored. But our confession, following the Fathers of Nicaea, is that through what he has done as a human being, we see the transcendent power of God at work. Most importantly, as we have been singing for many weeks now, it is by his death – an all-too-human act – that he destroys death, for he died willingly as a spotless self-offering for our sakes. It is not that because he is God he conquered death automatically, but that in the way he died a human death he shows himself to be God. He does this by freely giving himself to death, so showing that he is stronger than death, that death could not hold him, with the result that the tomb is empty; and so, by his elevation on the Cross, he has ascended into heaven, from where we await the descent of the Holy Spirit and the coming again of our Lord.”  (John Behr, The Cross Stands While the World Turns: Homilies for the Cycles of the Year, pp 94-95)

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