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"Go now and leave your life of sin."

John 8:11

Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)


 

 

 

I

N THE STORY of the adulterous woman we see humanity standing before the Lord, caught in the act of sin. Strangely, people look at themselves as if they are innocent as long as they are not exposed, and that is why here Christ is not addressing the poor woman caught in sin, but in the truth of reality he speaks to humanity exposed for what it is before his eyes. He sees her shielded by the cross and so sets her free to go, with her sins already forgiven beforehand. He gives her forgiveness, not out of an emotional reaction to her particular case or out of the benevolence of the king of glory, rather, out of the depths of his horrifying pain, from the pounding of the nails on his hands and feet into the wood of the cross.

This divine truth, dear brethren, that Christ forgives the sin of man, is not out of compassion or from the overflow of his power and might, but out of a humiliated soul crushed into the ground. Sin is the high-handed despot that broke his soul on the cross and brought him down to the dust of the tomb, oppressed by its evil and tyranny. My friend, as planned, sin defeated the greatness of the God of heaven and earth and pulled him into the abyss, and he only freed himself from its trap through the sharpest bitterness and the pain of death. If not for the power of the Father Christ would never have come back out of the darkness of the tomb, for Christ defeated the cross and the tomb through the power of the Fatherís glory. He rose, as planned, after manís sin overpowered him and fed him the torture of the crucifixion and burial in the tomb, so death was overpowered only by the glory of the Father!!! Even after his loud cry and his tears, it was only because of his godliness that the Father heard him!![1] At that moment it was the familiarity of the Son with the Father that entered as the one mediator, and if not for this Christ would not have risen from the tomb. Christ rose from the dead by the glory of the Father and through the closeness of his sonship as God.

Brethren, do not make light of sin. It is what crucified Christ and fed him the bitterness of death and burial in a tomb.

Through confession sin is forgiven, for it is exactly as the adulterous woman caught in the act. Nothing would have saved her from manís ignorance and the sentence of death by stoning except the mediation of Christ, with his back held up by the cross. Sin is forgiven by the mediation of its placement on the wood of the cross, where it then disappeared. The greatest enemy and murderer of sin is the cross of Christ, and so he who clings to it!

So since it is sin that drove Christ, the king of glory, to empty himself and be raised on the wood of the cross and drove him into the grave for three days, so let no one make light again of the hideousness of sin. The cross of pain and humiliation became our one refuge we run to from the face of sin so it cannot reach us.

I remind you, brethren, of the unavoidable law of the Church received from the crucified one that requires the confession of sin, for by the confession of sin, sin is hung on the nails of the cross. The confession of sin is confession of the crucifixion of Christ and his death, and he who does not have the death of the cross does not have the resurrection.

September 25, 2005

 

 



[1] See Heb 5:7.

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