The Goodness of Good Friday – The cross of Jesus

The following is from a sermon preached by fourth century Pastor and Bishop in Constantinople John Chrysostom.  Great thoughts on the wonder of the victory Christ has accomplished in the cross!  Thanks be to God for the victory!

Do you see then that the devil was defeated by the very means he used to conquer? By a tree the devil laid Adam low, and by a tree Christ defeated him. The tree sent men to the world below, but the second called back those who had already gone down. The first tree buried man, already naked and a captive; the second revealed the victor naked to all the world.

The first death condemned those who were born afterward, but the second death raised up even those who were born before. Who will speak of the powers of the Lord? Though dead we became immortal. Such is the great achievement of the cross. Do you now understand the victory and the way it was won? Learn now how this victory was achieved without any labor or effort of our own. We bloodied no weapons, nor stood on the battle line, nor bore any wounds, nor saw any fighting, and yet we won the victory. It was the Lord’s combat, but ours was the crown. And since it is our victory, let us be like soldiers and raise joyous voices in song in praise of our achievement. Praising the Lord let us say: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?

All this was the glorious result of the cross. The cross is our trophy raised against the demons, our sword against sin and the sword Christ used to pierce the serpent. The cross is the Father’s will, the glory of the only-begotten, the joy of the Spirit, the pride of the angels, the guarantee of the Church, Paul’s boast, the bulwark of the saints, and the light of the entire world.

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