Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Some thoughts on the Incarnation, Crucifixion and Resurrection.

James has posted a very interesting question, refering to St. Athanasions fine treatise "On the Incarnation"

I tried to respond by replying on his "comment" area, but I couldn't say what I needed to in the allowed characters, so my response is here.

I like to think in steps. It makes is easier to rationally deduce something if you take it one step at a time.

So, step by step, here's what I (and I suspect the Church) affirm:

1) Jesus Christ after the incarnation was fully God and fully man.
2) Because He is fully God, he is indestructable.
3) Because His Body is (and was) fully human it is destructable.
4) When Christ rose from the dead he possessed the same precise "portions" of Divinity and Humanity that he possessed before the Resurrection.
5) He is today no more Divine than he was before the Crucifixion.
6) He is today no less Human than he was before the Crucifixion.
7) His surrender of his Body to Crucifixion was a one time thing. It was sufficient. It was enough.
8) Therefore he need not surrender his body again to Crucifixion.
9) However, his flesh (even though we think of it as Deified) is still "Crucifyable"
10) Therefore, if Christ has not been crucified, one may speculate that He would never have died, just as he now never dies.
11) The only way to kill Christ is for Him to willing give Himself up to death.
12) To think that He is somehow more Divine now than he was then is to disbelieve in the incarnation.
13) To think that He is somehow less Human now than he was then is to disbelieve in the incarnation.

So, in my thinking, the bottom line is: the only way you can kill Jesus is if he willing surrenders Himself to death. We do not believe He will do that again.

And it all makes sense when compared to what St. Athanasios has said.


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