Day 37/50 of Eastertide (Holy Fifty Days) – The Old Testament sacrifices a symbol for Christ (Part 2) – St. Gregory the Theologian

Thus then and for this cause the written Law came in, gathering us into Christ; and this is the account of the Sacrifices as I account for them. And that you may not be ignorant of the depth of His Wisdom and the riches of His unsearchable judgments, (Romans 11:33) He did not leave even these unhallowed altogether, or useless, or with nothing in them but mere blood. But that great, and if I may say so, in Its first nature unsacrificeable Victim, was intermingled with the Sacrifices of the Law, and was a purification, not for a part of the world, nor for a short time, but for the whole world and for all time.

For this reason a Lamb was chosen for its innocence, and its clothing of the original nakedness. For such is the Victim, That was offered for us, Who is both in Name and fact the Garment of incorruption. And He was a perfect Victim not only on account of His Godhead, than which nothing is more perfect; but also on account of that which He assumed having been anointed with Deity, and having become one with That which anointed It, and I am bold to say, made equal with God. A Male, because offered for Adam; or rather the Stronger for the strong, when the first Man had fallen under sin; and chiefly because there is in Him nothing feminine, nothing unmanly; but He burst from the bonds of the Virgin-Mother’s womb with much power, and a Male was brought forth by the Prophetess, (Isaiah 13:3) as Isaiah declares the good tidings.

And of a year old, because He is the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2) setting out from heaven, and circumscribed by His visible Nature, and returning unto Himself. And The blessed crown of Goodness, — being on every side equal to Himself and alike; and not only this, but also as giving life to all the circle of the virtues, gently commingled and intermixed with each other, according to the Law of Love and Order. And Immaculate and guileless, as being the Healer of faults, and of the defects and taints that come from sin. For though He both took on Him our sins and bare our diseases, (Isaiah 53:4) yet He did not Himself suffer anything that needed healing. For He was tempted in all points like as we are yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). For he that persecuted the Light that shines in darkness could not overtake Him.

[St. Gregory Nazianzus, Oration 45]

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