Who can sufficiently explain the mystery of the Cross, which served as an instrument of the Savior's suffering? In fact, how many other ways, through which He could fulfill His advice concerning suffering for us! And yet of all He wished and chose this one, as He Himself foretold about Himself: "The Son of Man must suffer a lot" ... (Luke 9, 22). Notice how He says here: He does not just simply and in general outline His sufferings, as somebody else would have done, but, for some mysterious necessity, stands for and as it legitimizes for Himself one kind of death: "The Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands men of sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again "(Luke 24, 7).
Look into the meaning of this "must", and you will see that it is something that does not allow another kind of death, except the Cross. What is the reason for this? One Paul, delighted in the vestibules of paradise and hearing in them unspeakable verbs, can explain it ... can interpret this mystery of the Cross, as in part he did in the epistle to the Ephesians: "that you ... be able to comprehend with all saints that the breadth and length and depth and height, and to understand the love of Christ that surpasses understanding, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God "(Eph. 3, 18-19). Not arbitrarily, of course, the divine view of the apostle contemplates and traces here the image of the Cross, but this already shows that his eyes, which have been miraculously purified from the darkness of ignorance, clearly saw the essence of it. For in the outline, consisting of four opposite rails emerging from the common center, he sees the all-encompassing power and wonderful providence of Him who was pleased to appear in it to the world. Therefore the apostle of each of the parts of this outline acquires a special name, namely: one that descends from the middle, calls depth, going upwards - by height, both transverse - by latitude and longitude. In this way, it seems to me, clearly wants to express that everything that is in the universe, whether above the heavens, in the nether regions, or on earth from one end of it to the other, all this lives and abides by the Divine Will - under the autumn the godparent.
You can still contemplate the divine and in the representations of your soul: look at the sky and with your mind embrace the nether world, spread your mind's eye from one end of the earth to the other, and think about that powerful center that all this connects and contains, and then in your soul the outline of the Cross, stretching its ends from top to bottom and from one end of the earth to the other, imagines itself. This outline was represented also by the great David, when he spoke about himself: "Where will I go from your Spirit, and from your face I will flee? I will ascend to heaven (this is the height) - You are there; If I go down into the netherworld (it's depth) - and there you are. I will take the wings of the dawn (that is, from the east of the sun, this is the latitude) and settle on the edge of the sea (and the west called the west by the sea is the longitude), and there your hand will lead me "(Psalm 138, 7-10). Do you see how David depicts here the inscription of the Cross? "You," he says to God, "exist everywhere, you connect everything with yourself and contain everything in yourself. You are above and you are below, your hand is at your right hand and your hand is great. " For the same reason, the divine apostle says that at this time, when everything will be filled with faith and knowledge. Jehovah above every name will call and worship the name of Jesus Christ from heaven, earth and hell (Eph .1, 21; 2, 10). In my opinion, the mystery of the Cross is also hidden in another "iota" (if viewed with the upper transverse line), which is stronger than the heavens and harder than the earth and stronger than all things and about which the Savior says: "until heaven and earth, not one iota, or a single trait will not pass from the law "(Matthew 5, 18). It seems to me that these divine words mean mysteriously and wonderfully (1 Corinth 13, 12) to show that the image of the Cross is all contained in the world and that it is more eternal than all the contents of it.
For these reasons, the Lord did not simply say: "The Son of Man must die", but "be crucified," in order, that the most contemplative of the theologians show that in the image of the Cross, the almighty power of the One who rested on him and was pleased so that the Cross will be all in all! St. Gregory of Nyssa (116, 598-599).
If the death of our Lord Jesus Christ is the atonement of all, if by his death the mediocrity of the barrier is broken and the calling of the nations is being accomplished, how would He call us if he were not crucified? For on one Cross death endures with outstretched hands. Therefore, the Lord needed to endure this kind of death, spread out His hands to draw the ancient people with one hand, and the Gentiles another, and put them both together. For He Himself, showing what kind of death will redeem all, predicted: "And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to myself" (Jn Xxxxx, Xnumx).
Jesus Christ did not suffer the death of John - the cutting off of the head, nor the death of Isaiah - by sawing, so that even in death his body was not dissected, in order to take away the cause from those who would have been bold to divide His Church. Sainted Athanasius the Great (116, 596).
As the four ends of the Cross connect and unite in the center, so God's power contains both height and depth, and longitude, and breadth, that is, the whole visible and invisible creature. Reverend John Damascene (116, 596).
The cross is four-pronged for the sake of the Christ, the Son of God, who created and keeps the higher and more durable, and everything that exists, and who has connected it above with that which is on earth, above descended, to raise us, who raised us from heaven and made us heavenly, in Himself and Himself, who summoned the ends of the world to worship the True and Living God, who had assimilated to Himself, who recreated us with the heights of glory and the depths of poverty and humility, and the breadth of mercy and love. Sainted Simeon of Thessaloniki (113, 283).
All parts of the world were brought to salvation by parts of the Cross. St. Basil the Great (113, 283).
Who is not touched, looking at the Wanderer, so poorly returning to His house! He was our guest; We gave Him the first night in a stall between the animals, then we escorted Him to Egypt to an idolatrous people. He did not have where to lay his head, "he came to his own, and his own did not receive" (John 1, 11). Now they sent Him on the road with a heavy Cross: they laid upon Him the heavy burden of our sins. "And, carrying His Cross, He went out into a place called the Frontal" (John 19, 17), holding "all by the word of His power" (Heb. 1, 3). Carries the Cross true Isaac - the tree on which to be sacrificed. Heavy Cross! Under the weight of the Cross falls on the road strong in abuse, "who made the power with his own arm" (Luke 1,51). Many cried, but Christ says: "Do not weep for me" (Luke 23, 28): this Cross on the shoulders is power, is the key that I otpru and I will remove from the confined doors of hell Adam, "do not cry". "Issachar is a strong ass, lying between the channels of water; and he saw that peace is good, and that the earth is pleasant: and he bowed his shoulders to bear a burden "(Gen. 49, 14-15). "A man comes to his work" (Psalm 103, 23). The bishop carries his throne to bless all the parts of the world with his outstretched arms. Leaves on the field Esau, taking a bow and arrows to get and bring game, "catch fishing" to his father (Gen. 27, 5). Christ the Savior comes out, taking the Cross instead of the bow to "catch the catch" in order to draw all of us to Himself. "And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to myself" (John 12, 32). Moses comes out, takes the staff. His cross, stretches out his hands, divides the Red Sea of passions, takes us from death to life, and the devil. as a pharaoh, he drowns in the depths of hell. Sainted Dimitry of Rostov (103, 907).
The cross is a sign of wisdom spiritual, Christian, cross and strong, as a strong weapon, for spiritual wisdom, the cross, is a weapon against the opposing church, as the apostle says: "For the word about the cross for perishing fools is, but for us, God's. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will reject the intelligence of the reasonable ", and further:" The Greeks seek wisdom; and we preach Christ crucified ... God's power and wisdom of God "(1 Corinth 1, 18-19; 22-24).
In the heavenly lives a dual wisdom among people: the wisdom of this world, which was, for example, among Hellenic philosophers who do not know God, and spiritual wisdom, as it is for Christians. The worldly wisdom is madness before God: "Has not God changed the wisdom of this world into insanity?" - says the apostle (1 Corinth 1, 20); spiritual wisdom is considered to be insanity in the world: "For the Jews is a stumbling block, and for the Greeks it is madness" (1 Corinth 1, 23). Worldly wisdom is a weak weapon, impotent hostility, weak courage. But what kind of spiritual wisdom is the weapon, this is evident from the words of the apostle: the weapons of our war ... strong by God for the destruction of strongholds "(2 Corinth 10, 4); and "the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4, 12).
The image and sign of the worldly Hellenic wisdom are sodomogorrian apples, of which it is narrated that from the outside they are beautiful, but inside their dust is stinking. The image and sign of Christian spiritual wisdom is the Cross, for to them they have been revealed and, as it were, the keys to us are the treasures of the wisdom and the mind of God. The wisdom of the world is ashes, but by the word of the cross we have all the blessings: "Behold, the joy of the whole world is coming to the Cross" ... Sainted Dimitry of Rostov (103, 846).
The cross through the uneducated convinced and converted the whole universe, persuaded not in subjects of unimportant, but in the doctrine of God, true piety, evangelical life and the future Judgment; he made philosophers all ... (44, 34).
Thanks to the Cross, we no longer wander in the deserts, because we have learned the true path, we no longer live outside the Kingdom, because we found the door (36, 443).
The cross drew the universe, expelled the error, revealed the Truth, made the earth Heaven, turned people into Angels. St. John Chrysostom (46, 822).
The cross of Christ is the teaching of Christ. Bishop Ignatius (Bryanchaninov) (108, 355).
The cross is a sign of the future immortality. Rev. Abba Isaiah (66, 338).
You see, than the devil won, so he himself is defeated; He overcame Adam through the tree, and Christ by the tree conquered him. That tree drove us to hell, and this, and those who were cast into hell, took it from there. That tree concealed the naked prisoner, and this naked in a high place revealed a winner. That death fell on descendants, and this one resurrected the former Christ. Who will proclaim the power of the Lord? From the dead we became immortal. Such are the actions of the Cross. St. John Chrysostom (116, 597).
All that was accomplished on the cross-tree was the healing of our infirmity, bringing the old Adam back to where he fell from, and leading to the tree of life, from which the fruit of the tree of knowledge removed us, untimely and unreasonably tasted. Therefore, the tree behind the tree and hands by the hand, hands, courageously spread out - by the hand, unwittingly stretched, hands nailed - by the hand that spewed Adam. Therefore, ascension to the Cross - for falling, bile - for eating, crown of thorns - for evil domination, death - for death, darkness - for burial and return to earth for light. St. Gregory the Theologian (113, 282).
As sin entered the world through the fruit tree, so is salvation through the tree of the cross. Sainted Athanasius the Great (113, 282).
Jesus Christ, destroying that disobedience of Adam, which was first made through the tree, was "obedient even unto death, and the death of the cross" (Phil. 2, 8). Or else: then the disobedience that is committed through the tree, healed by obedience committed on the tree. Sainted Irenaeus of Lyons (116, 597).
If Jesus Christ came to bear our mortal sins and our curse, how else could He take a curse on Himself or satisfy God for our mortal sins, if He did not suffer the death destined for the damned? And this is the Cross, for it is written: "Everyone who is hanged in a tree is cursed before God" (Deuteronomy 21, 22). Sainted Athanasius the Great (116, 597).
The cross of Christ for us is a victorious crown. Rev. Ephraim the Syrian (29, 230).
The cross of Jesus is the taming of all passions until their complete extermination. Rev. Abba Isaiah (34, 10).
You have an honest tree - the Cross of the Lord, which, if you wish, you can delight in the bitter water of your temper. Reverend Neil of Sinai (48, 313).
Cross - a trophy against demons, a weapon against sin, a sword that Christ pierced the serpent (36, 441).
As a lamp contains light on its top, so the Cross on its top had a shining Sun of Truth (36, 441).
Thanks to the Cross, we do not tremble before the tyrant-devil, because we are near the King (36, 444).
The cross is the face of Divine care for our salvation, it is a great victory, it is a trophy erected by suffering, this is the crown of the holidays. St. John Chrysostom (45, 953).
"But I do not want to boast, except by the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for whom the world is crucified for me, and I for the world" (Gal. 6, 14). When the Son of God appeared on earth and when the corrupt world could not bear His sinlessness, unparalleled virtue and libelous freedom and, having condemned this holy Face to a shameful death, nailed to the Cross, then the Cross became a new sign. He became an altar, for it brought a great Victim of our deliverance. He became a divine altar, for he sprinkled on the priceless Blood of the Immaculate Lamb. He became a throne, for on him, the great Messenger of God was pestered from all his works. He became the illumined sign of the Lord of the forces, for "they will look on Him whom they pierced" (In 19, 37). And these pierced by nothing else will know Him, as soon as they see this sign of the Son of Man. In this sense, we respectfully must look not only at the very tree that has been sanctified by the touch of the Most-Pure Body, but on every other that shows us the same image without attaching our respect to the substance of wood or gold and silver, but relating it to Himself The Savior on him who accomplished our salvation. And this Cross was not so much burdensome for Him, as light and saving for us. His burden is our comfort; His exploits are our reward; His sweat is our relief; His tears are our cleansing; His wounds are our healing; His suffering is our consolation; His Blood is our atonement; His Cross is our entrance to heaven; His death is our life. Plato, Metropolitan of Moscow (105, 335-341).
There is no other key that would open the gates to the Kingdom of God, except for the Cross of Christ (112, 291).
Outside the Cross of Christ, there is no Christian progress (112, 357).
Alas, my Lord! You are on the Cross - I am drowned in pleasures and bliss. You fight for me on the Cross ... I lie in laziness, in relaxation, I'm looking for peace and tranquility everywhere (112, 452-435).
My Lord! My Lord! Grant me to understand the meaning of your Cross, draw me to the Cross by Thy destiny ... Bishop Ignatius (Bryanchaninov) (112, 454).