Saturday, August 25, 2007

Through his blood Christ reconciled the world to God

~by St. Ambrose

When Christ reconciled the world to God he himself was certainly not in need of reconciliation. What sin could he do penance for, when he had no sin in him? Moreover, when the Jews were asking for the half-shekel, the offering given for sin according to the Law, he said to Peter:
‘Simon, what is your opinion? From whom do the kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from foreigners?’ And when Peter replied, ‘From foreigners’, Jesus said, ‘Well then, the sons are exempt. However, so as not to offend these people, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that bites, open its mouth and there you will find a shekel; take it and give it to them for me and for you.’
He showed that he does not owe an offering for any sin of his own, for he was not a slave of sin: the Son of God was free from all fault. For the son gives freedom; it is the slave who is guilty. So Jesus is completely free, and he does not make payment to redeem his soul. The price of his blood was more than enough to redeem all the sins of the entire world. It is right that he who owes nothing for himself should be able to give freedom to others.

Let me say more. Christ owes nothing for his own redemption and owes nothing as propitiation for sin. But more than that, if you consider any one of us then you will see that none of us owes anything as a propitiatory offering, because Christ himself is that offering, the offering for all and the redemption of all.

What man’s blood now has the power to redeem him, when Christ has shed his own blood for the redemption of all? Is there anyone whose blood could be compared to Christ’s? Or what man is so powerful that his could make an offering of propitiation greater than the offering that Christ made of himself when he alone reconciled the world to God by his blood? What greater sacrificial victim can there be, what superior sacrifice, what better advocate could there be than Christ, who became the atonement for the sins of all, who gave his life for our redemption?

Individual propitiation, individual redemption is not needed, because the blood of Christ is the price of all. By that blood the Lord Jesus redeemed us, and he alone has reconciled us to the Father. He laboured at this to the end, for he took our own burdens on himself when he said, Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this :)