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On The Incarnation Essay

1256 words - 6 pages

Religion is a time old method used universally to express beliefs and help us understand some mysteries of life before time, in the present, and the future life, or afterlife. Although, it is not that simple to comprehend. Over time, it has morphed and evolved into ideas and traditions completely different from what was previously known and taught. One of the biggest changes of all time in religious history was brought about when Jesus Christ, Son of God, became flesh here on Earth. Not only did this bring change, but it also caused many conflicts and doubts. In the book On The Incarnation Saint Athanasius resolves some of these issues and heresies by providing counter arguments to prove Jesus’ full humanity and divinity. He discusses religious affairs both in favor of the incarnation and those opposed to believing it, showing them the flaws in their ways.

Many have asked the question, why would God, the highest divine being, come down to our level and live among sinful humans? Why would He not instead choose to manifest himself in something more notable, such as the sun, moon, or stars? Saint Athanasius then offered up this counterargument- “God did not come to make a display. He came to heal and to teach the suffering man”(Athanasius 43). The Lord instead came for our salvation in a way that our simple minds could decipher. “He ensured that men should recognize him in the part who could not do so in the whole, and that those who could not lift their eyes to His unseen power might recognize and behold Him in the likeness of themselves” (Athanasius 43). Also only humans needed to be brought back to God, for animals and inanimate objects had done nothing nor could they have considering that humans hold the covenant with God (Pohle 2/24).

Why is it that the world needed saving though? It all began with the endowing of our Original Sin by Adam and Eve in the creation story. For a long time, there was no hope for life after death, until Jesus came along and opened up the gates of Heaven for us. Humanity was lost without His saving grace, because He was the only one that could save us. “To change the corruptible to incorruption was proper to none other than the Savior Himself, who in the beginning made all things out of nothing, that only the Image of the Father could re-create the likeness of the Image in men, that none save our Lord Jesus Christ could give to mortals immortality” (Athanasius 20). Jesus was the most competent of the three Divine Persons to rehabilitate creation because it was through Him that creation came into being in the first place (Pohle 2/7).

Jesus was the one that became incarnate, but He never ceased to be fully divine either. How could that be? We as humans will never apprehend this absolute mystery, we must just simply have faith and believe in this mystery of faith. “He has not assumed a body as proper to His own nature, far from it, for as the Word He is without body” (Athanasius 3). A manifold amount of...

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