01 April 2007

Saving Man: Exceeding Wisdom

The following is an excerpt from the Palm Sunday sermon at Holy Incarnation Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church.

The salvation of Noah and his family by destroying the world with a Flood; the salvation of Lot and his daughters by raining down of fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah; the salvation of the children of Israel by wiping out the Egyptian army in the Red Sea; the restoration of the Promised Land by the destruction of heathens—each of these events are spectacular; each of these befits an Almighty God. And even more so, raising a young boy by the prayer of a prophet; raising a dead man by the bones of a deceased saint; giving flesh to an army by the word of still another prophet. And then, even more than these, raising a young girl and a young man and then Lazarus by a touch or a word—these also are public, spectacular and very apt demonstrations of the Lord’s power over death and the grave.

So why did God not determine to restore all of mankind in a similar way—by a decree, or an unforgettable event, or a final indisputable act?

Yet in more spectacular way than we could ever have devised or imagined, for this greatest saving act, Our Lord chose not the agency of a prophet, or to use creation against creation, or to provide a show of force. For our salvation—for the salvation of the entire cosmos by saving all men—Our Lord God determined to become the chiefest prophet and the creation He had made

And, most spectacular of all, Our Lord God determined that in order to destroy death He would enter unnoticed into death’s home and then rob death of its greatest weapon—imprisoning man in the grave. And to restore life to our blood, Our Lord God determined that He would transfuse our poisoned blood with His own life-giving blood.

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