If He were not God

 

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Paragraph 15 from “Sermon on the Transfiguration of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ” by St. Ephraim the Syrian.  A beautiful reflection.

“The facts themselves bear witness and His divine acts of power teach those who doubt that He is true God, and His sufferings show that He is true man. And if those who are feeble in understanding are not fully assured, they will pay the penalty on His dread day.

If He were not flesh, why was Mary introduced at all?
And if He were not God, whom was Gabriel calling Lord?

If He were not flesh, who was lying in the manger?
And if He were not God, whom did the Angels come down and glorify?

If He were not flesh, who was wrapped in swaddling clothes?
And if He were not God, whom did the shepherds worship?

If He were not flesh, whom did Joseph circumcise?
And if He were not God, in whose honor did the star speed through the heavens?

If He were not flesh, whom did Mary suckle?
And if He were not God, to whom did the Magi offer gifts?

If He were not flesh, whom did Simeon carry in his arms?
And if He were not God, to whom did he say, “Let me depart in peace”?

If He were not flesh, whom did Joseph take and flee into Egypt?
And if He were not God, in whom were words “Out of Egypt I have called My Son” fulfilled?

If He were not flesh, whom did John baptize?
And if He were not God, to whom did the Father from heaven say, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased”?

If He were not flesh, who fasted and hungered in the desert?
And if He were not God, whom did the Angels come down and serve?

If He were not flesh, who was invited to the wedding in Cana of Galilee?
And if He were not God, who turned the water into wine?

If He were not flesh, in whose hands were the loaves?
And if He were not God, who satisfied crowds and thousands in the desert, not counting women and children, from five loaves and two fishes?

If He were not flesh, who fell asleep in the boat?
And if He were not God, who rebuked the winds and the sea?

If He were not flesh, with whom did Simon the Pharisee eat?
And if He were not God, who pardoned the offenses of the sinful woman?

If He were not flesh, who sat by the well, worn out by the journey?
And if He were not God, who gave living water to the woman of Samaria and reprehended her because she had had five husbands?

If He were not flesh, who wore human garments?
And if He were not God, who did acts of power and wonders?

If He were not flesh, who spat on the ground and made clay?
And if He were not God, who through the clay compelled the eyes to see?

If He were not flesh, who wept at Lazarus’ grave?
And if He were not God, who by His command brought out one four days dead?

If He were not flesh, who sat on the foal?
And if He were not God, whom did the crowds go out to meet with glory?

If He were not flesh, whom did the Jews arrest?
And if He were not God, who gave an order to the earth and threw them onto their faces?

If He were not flesh, who was struck with a blow?
And if He were not God, who cured the ear that had been cut off by Peter and restored it to its place?

If He were not flesh, who received spittings on His face?
And if He were not God, who breathed the Holy Spirit into the faces of His Apostles?

If He were not flesh, who stood before Pilate at the judgement seat?
And if He were not God, who made Pilate’s wife afraid by a dream?

If He were not flesh, whose garments did the soldiers strip off and divide?
And if He were not God, how was the sun darkened at the cross?

If He were not flesh, who was hung on the cross?
And if He were not God, who shook the earth from its foundations?

If He were not flesh, whose hands and feet were transfixed by nails?
And if He were not God, how was the veil of the temple rent, the rocks broken and the graves opened?

If He were not flesh, who cried out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned Me”?
And if He were not God, who said “Father, forgive them”?

If He were not flesh, who was hung on a cross with the thieves?
And if He were not God, how did He say to the thief, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise”?

If He were not flesh, to whom did they offer vinegar and gall?
And if He were not God, on hearing whose voice did Hades tremble?

If He were not flesh, whose side did the lance pierce, and blood and water came out?
And if He were not God, who smashed to gates of Hades and tear apart it bonds? And at whose command did the imprisoned dead come out?

If He were not flesh, whom did the Apostles see in the upper room?
And if He were not God, how did He enter when the doors were shut?

If He were not flesh, the marks of the nails and the lance in whose hands and side did Thomas handle?
And if He were not God, to whom did He cry out, “My Lord and my God”?

If He were not flesh, who ate by the sea of Tiberias?
And if He were not God, at whose command was the net filled?

If He were not flesh, whom did the Apostles and Angels see being taken up into heaven?
And if He were not God, to whom was heaven opened, whom did the Powers worship in fear and whom did the Father invite to “Sit at my right hand”. As David said, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, etc.”

If He were not God and man, our salvation is a lie, and the words of the Prophets are lies.”

 

 

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