God So Loved the World, He Died for Sinners 

Christ is risen! 5478201215_948b524771_w

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  (John 3:16-18)

Theodoret of Cyrus (d. 457AD) comments:

… we believe that while we were still transgressors and suffering from the ailment of impiety, Christ the Lord accepted death for our sake; and from this we learn the depths of the lovingkindness. After all, perhaps someone would accept death for a righteous person; but in his case it was in the excess of love that he underwent death for sinners. In fact, he added, But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (5:8): God, on the contrary, shows the extraordinary degree of his love for us in that the death of Christ happened not for righteous people, but for sinners; now we have been justified through faith in him, but when he accepted death for us, we were still caught up in sins of all kinds. . . .

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After all, If while enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more now that we are reconciled shall we be saved by his life (5:10): If while adversaries and enemies we were granted such care that he gave over to death the Son for us, how could it be that with reconciliation made we do not have a share in eternal life?  (COMMENTARY ON THE LETTERS OF ST PAUL Vol 1, p 71)

[Christ our Lord accepts death for our sake.  He comes to defeat death, not inflict death on anyone.  “For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord GOD; so turn, and live” (Ezekiel 18:32). Christ dies for sinners, He does not choose to kill them.  This is certainly a rebuke to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and his synod of bishops who have chosen to bless death and to inflict death on others, unlike our Lord.
Jesus said … “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26).  St Paul says death is God’s last enemy to be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26).  In that Kirill and the synod bless death on others, they have chosen sides against the risen Christ in the Pascal season and embraced God’s enemy death.]

 Indeed, He is risen!

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