the death of Jesus is our death

When doing some reading on the incarnation, I came to this quote by Athanasius, one of the church fathers from the time of the Nicene creed, regarded by some as one of the most important thinkers of the early church:

The Saviour came to accomplish not His own death, but the death of men; whence He did not lay aside His body by a death of His own — for He was Life and had none — but received that death which came from men, in order perfectly to do away with this when it met Him in His own body.

St. Athanasius, on the incarnation of the Word

I never thought of it this way, but it fist perfectly with my intuitive view on atonement and the cross, in which Jesus took on Himself not like some would say the punishment of sin, but sin itself, and death, and evil. The powers of evil overtook Him but could not hold Him down, the darkness wasn’t able to extinguish the Light itself, death was not able to take Him, since He was Life itself!

So He who was Life took our death, and did away with it…
He who was Light took our darkness, and did away with it…
He who was without any sin, took our sin…
He who was Love, took our hate…
All powers of evil overpowerd Him, who was Goodness Himself. And it could not do a thing against Him!

Jesus conquered all the powers!

The mystery of Christus Victor is bigger than we could understand, or than my words could ever describe… And there’s much more to say about this quote than this incoherent rant…



2 responses to “the death of Jesus is our death

  1. The Athanasian creed was one of his most important contributions, much of what went into the Nicene Creed was secondary compared to the in depth study of the relationship between God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit detailed in the Athanasian Creed. As with many of the revisions of the creeds of the early church, they were modified to address some new form of heresy that attempted to exploit the weaker aspects of earlier versions. Many of these attempts are repackaged versions of the same false philosophies, such as Arianism and Pelagianism; Stoicism and Epicureanism would have been the forerunners dealt with by Paul in Acts chapter 17.

  2. Interesting… I never heard about the Athanasian creed…but I do like that quote as I tend to like the Christus Victor view of the atonement (not that that should surprise anyone here). =D

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