†ďHe who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?Ē
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
H ERE THE APOSTLE PAUL speaks about the most sensitive subject in the whole Bible. For he depicts God the Father offering His Son to be slaughtered on the cross without Him feeling a fatherís pity over His only Beloved Son. The mind here stops mesmerized as the image is beyond imagination, because He is not a lamb led to slaughter but His only and Beloved Son. If only it were slaughter by knife but a crucifixion of the body on the cross of shame and dishonor, with nailing of hands and feet. This is the worst death for man. It is not the death of an hour but death through bleeding till the last blood drop. Our imagination being limited are we able to reach the feelings of the Son on the cross? How did His Father leave Him to bleed and suffer alone bearing in His tender flesh all the works of manís sins, of every man? Nay, bearing in front of everyone the curse of shame attached to those crucified?
If only it were the sins of an individual then it would have been bearable, but the sins of everyone without exception. At this point the Apostle Paul stops a moment before the horror of this catastrophe. If the Son could bear to obey till death, then what is the equivalent in return for this sacrifice that is beyond description?
Here the Apostle Paul expands asking Christ the utmost of possible demands! How could He not give us with Him every thing, an earned right in return for that blood slaughtered with the horrible pains He bore. But St Paul was perplexed and did not define his demands saying that we asked to be free of ďall thingsĒ in return for the cross. What is ďall thingsĒ?
Is it sin counted the poisoned thorn that hurt man, killing him?
Or is it terrifying death that due to manís fear of it was enslaved to its power?
Or is it the imminent judgment of mankind for every deed done?
Or is it Godís anger which man gained due to his disobedience?
Or is it his belonging to the devil, Godís hated enemy?
Or is it the old serpentís advice into which wiles man fell?
Or is it due to hatred to his brothers abiding in manís heart?
All of these filled the heart of the Apostle Paul who amassed them all and said: ďall thingsĒ.
We cannot reduce the works of the Son on the cross for they go beyond mind and imagination, because that which the devil did to old mankind greatly disfigured it. After man had been created in the image of God, the image was greatly disfigured, therefore to regain the image of God required a new creation with the image of Christ and His works in it. Thus can man regain with continuous change the image of His Creator in glory.
Had it not been for the cross of Your Son, O Lord, we would not have been able to stand before You. Your Sonís cross made us don the garb of Your chosen.
We now beg You for the sake of Your Sonís cross, to accept us.
We do not know how we should pray, but Your Holy Spirit intercedes for us.
We groaned in our souls to remove our old flesh, and here You have made us wear the new one through Your grace.
The era of sadness and groaning has passed, because we live in the joy of Christís resurrection.
Your Beloved Son promised to give us all things. There is therefore nothing we can ask for anymore.
If we are invited to You, then Your love suffices.
July 9, 2005
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