Death slew him by means of the body which he had assumed; but the same body proved to be the weapon with which he conquered death. Concealed beneath the cloak of his manhood, his godhead engaged death in combat; but in slaying our Lord, death itself was slain. It was able to kill natural human life, but was itself killed by the life that is above the nature of man.
Death could not devour our Lord unless he possessed a body, neither
could hell swallow him up unless he bore our flesh; and so he came in search
of a chariot in which to ride to the underworld. This chariot was
the body which
At length he came upon Eve, the mother of all the living. She
was that vineyard whose enclosure her own hands had enabled death to violate,
so that she could taste its fruit; thus the mother of all the living became
the source of death for every living creature. But in her stead Mary
grew up, a new vine in place of the old. Christ, the new life, dwelt
within her. When death, with its customary impudence, came foraging
for her mortal fruit, it encountered its own destruction in the hidden
life that fruit contained. All unsuspecting, it swallowed him up,
and in so doing released life itself and set
He who was also the carpenter’s glorious son set up his cross above
death’s all consuming jaws, and led the human race into the dwelling place
of life. Since a tree had brought about the downfall of mankind, it was
upon a tree that mankind crossed over to the realm of life. Bitter
was the branch that had once been grafted upon that ancient tree, but sweet
the young shoot that has now been grafted in, the shoot in which we are
meant to recognize the Lord
We give glory to you, Lord, who raised up your cross to span the jaws of death like a bridge by which souls might pass from the region of the dead to the land of the living. We give glory to you who put on the body of a single mortal man and made it the source of life for every other mortal man. You are incontestably alive. Your murderers sowed your living body in the earth as farmers sow grain, but it sprang up and yielded an abundant harvest of men raised from the dead.
Come then, my brothers and sisters, let us offer our Lord the great and all-embracing sacrifice of our love, pouring out our treasury of hymns and prayers before him who offered his cross in sacrifice to God for the enrichment of us all.