Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cyril of Alexandria on the Importance of Having a Divine High Priest

"Seeing therefore that the Law condemneth them that sin and decreeth sometimes the uttermost punishment to them that disregard it, and in no wise pitieth, how was not the manifestation to them on earth of a Compassionate and truly Merciful High Priest necessary? Of One who should made the curse to cease, should stop the condemnation and free sinners with forgiving grace and with the bending of clememcy? For I (He says) am He that blotteth out thy transgressions and will not remember. For we have been justified by faith and not out of the works of the Law as it is written. On Whom then believing are we justified? Is it not on Him who suffered death for us after the flesh? Is it not on One Lord Jesus Christ? Have we not on declaring His death and confessing His Resurrection been redeemed?

If therefore, we have believed on a man like us and not rather on God, the thing is man-worship, and confessedly nothing else: but if we believe that He who suffered in the flesh is God, Who hath been made also our High Priest, we have in no ways erred, but acknowledge the Word out of God made Man: and thus is required of us faith God-ward, Who putteth out of condemnation and freeth from sin those taken thereby. For the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins, as Himself too saith.

Contrasting therefore with the salvation and grace that is through Christ the harshness (so to speak) of the Law's severity, we say that Christ was made a merciful High Priest. For He was and is God Good by nature and Compassionate and Merciful always, and hath not become this in time but was so manifested to us."

-St. Cyril of Alexandria, Tome III Against Nestorius

Cyril of Alexandria, Five Tomes Against Nestorius and Other Works. (Lexington: Createspace, 2013), pp.96-97

No comments: