... "The word about the cross for perishing fools is, but for us, the saved - the power of God" (1 Corinth 1, 18) For "the spiritual judge about everything, and the spiritual person does not take what is from the Spirit of God" (1 Corinth 2, 15, 14.) For this is insanity for those who do not accept with faith and do not think about the Goodness and Omnipotence of God, but divine matters are explored through human and natural reasoning, for all that belongs to God is higher nature and reason, and thought, and if anyone begins to weigh: how did God bring everything from non-being into being and for the sake of Cheg , and if he wanted to comprehend it by natural reasoning, he will not comprehend, for this knowledge is spiritual and demonic.If someone, guided by faith, takes into account that the Deity is good and all-powerful, and true, and wise, and the righteous one, he will find everything smooth and smooth, and the way is straightforward, for it is impossible to escape outside faith, because everything, both human and spiritual, is based on faith, for without faith the farmer does not cut the furrows of the earth, nor the merchant on a small tree He does not entrust his soul to the raging abyss of the sea; no marriages occur, nor anything else in life. By faith we understand that everything is brought from non-existence into being by the power of God; By faith we do all things right, both divine and human. Faith, further, is an uninhibited approval.
All, of course, the deed and the miracles of Christ is very great and divine, and surprisingly, but most amazingly, is His Honorable Cross. For death is overthrown, ancestral sin is destroyed, hell is robbed, the Resurrection is granted, the power to despise the present and even death itself is given us, the original bliss is restored, the gates of paradise are opened, our nature is at the right hand of God, we became children of God and heirs not through anything else but through the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. For all this is arranged through the Cross: "All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus," says the apostle, "were baptized into his death" (Rom., 6, 3). "All of you, who were baptized into Christ, put on Christ" (Gal. 3, 27). And further: Christ is God's power and God's wisdom (1 Corinth 1, 24). Here is the death of Christ, or the Cross, clothed us in the hypostatic God's Wisdom and Power. But the power of God is the word of the cross, or because through him God's power was revealed to us, that is, victory over death, or because, just as the four ends of the Cross, being united in the center, firmly adhere and bind tightly, and through the medium of force God also contains the height, depth, length, and breadth, that is, the whole visible and invisible creature.
The cross is given to us as a sign in the forehead, as Israel is circumcised. For through it we, the faithful, differ from the infidels and are recognized. He is a shield and a weapon, and a monument to victory over the devil. He is a seal, so that the Destroying One does not touch us, as Scripture says (Ex. 12, 12, 29). He is a lying rebellion, standing support, a feeble staff, flailing wands, returning leadership, succeeding the path to perfection, soul and body salvation, deviation from all evils, all blessings of guilt, sin of annihilation, the germ of resurrection, the tree of Life Eternal.
Therefore, the tree itself, precious in truth and veneration, in which Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, as a consecrated touch of both the Holy Body and the Holy Blood, must naturally be worshiped; likewise, nails, a spear, garments and holy houses - the manger, the den, the Calvary, the saving life-giving coffin, the Zion - the head of the churches, and the like, as the patriarch David says: "Let's go to his dwelling, let us worship the footstool of His feet." And that he understands the Cross, shows what is said: "Be, O Lord, to the place of Thy rest" (Psalm 131, 7-8). For behind the cross follows the Resurrection. For if the house, the bed, and the clothes of those we love are desired, how much more is that which belongs to God and the Savior through which we are saved!
We also worship the image of the honest and life-giving Cross, even if it was made of a different substance; worship, not revering substance (yes it will not!), but the image as a symbol of Christ. For He, by making a testament to His disciples, said: "Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven" (Matthew 24, 30), referring to the Cross. Therefore, the Resurrection Angel said to the wives: "Jesus is looking for the Nazarene crucified" (Mark 16, 6). And the apostle: "We preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinth 1, 23). Although there are many Christs and Jesus, but one is Crucified. He did not say, "pierced by a spear," but: "crucified." Therefore, we must worship the sign of Christ. For where there is a sign, there will be Himself. The substance from which the image of the Cross consists, even if it was gold or precious stones, after the destruction of the image, if this happened, should not be worshiped. So, to all that is dedicated to God, we worship, giving respect to Himself.
The tree of life, planted by God in paradise, pre-sketched this Honest Cross. For since death entered through the medium of the tree, it was necessary that through the tree, Life and Resurrection be granted. The first Jacob, having bowed to the end of Joseph's rod, designated the Cross by means of an image, and, having blessed his sons with variable hands (Gen. 48, 14), he very clearly traced the sign of the Cross. The same signifies the rod of Moses, who crossed the sea in the cross, and who saved Israel, and defiled Pharaoh; arms cross-shaped and pulling Amalic; the bitter water, delighted by the tree, and the rock, tearing and pouring out springs; A rod that acquires Aaron the dignity of the priesthood; the serpent on the tree, lifted up in the form of a trophy, as if it were slain, when the tree healed those who looked faithfully at the dead enemy, just as Christ the Flesh, who knew no sin, was nailed for sin. Great Moses says: you will see that your life will hang on a tree in front of you (Deuteronomy 28, 66). Isaiah: "All the day long I have stretched out my hands to an ungodly people, walking in a way that is not good, according to their own thoughts" (Isaiah 65, 2). Oh, if we, who worshiped him (that is, the Cross), received an inheritance in Christ, who was crucified! The Monk John of Damascus. Exact statement of the Orthodox faith. St. Petersburg, 1894. Book. 4, ch. II, p. 213-216.
For this, the Church elevates and builds the Cross of Christ, so that by fighting with this banner you will overcome your enemies. For the warriors of the king of the earth, when they are kept near the military banner, are better against the enemy; and the warrior who moves away from him rather dies. Constantine the Great, when he could not defeat Maxentius (Maxentius), there appeared in the sky the sign of the Cross and a voice was heard: "By this sign conquer!" And when he ordered to depict the sign of the cross on all weapons, immediately defeated the enemies.
To us now is also the Church Cross of Christ in the Church, so that by this sign we will overcome the enemies and keep close to it. The Cross of Christ is raised and raised so that we will conquer and defeat demons, and we, the fallen ones, rise and reform ourselves, according to the Lord's words: "And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to Himself" (John 12, 32). The Cross of Christ is raised and raised, so that when we look at it we are healed if we are wounded by the sting of a serpent. And Moses commanded the serpents stung in the wilderness, and dying to look at the brazen serpent made by the command of God; and those who looked at him were healed, and not wanting to look, they died. This serpent was the prototype of the now-erected Cross of Christ, and those who will look at it will also be healed, and those who do not want to look will perish.
The Cross of Christ is raised and raised, so that we, looking at it, recall and contemplate the sufferings of Christ, for the sake of our salvation He took them on Himself, and that we thank Him for the immeasurable relief to us. The Cross of Christ is raised and raised, so that we worship him and know what salvation has been gained (103, 728).
Let this vain world be exalted in its pride, let it be proud of its happiness, let it enjoy the temporary sweetness of sin; To us, the same glory and delight - the Cross of the Lord: "And I," says the apostle, "do not want to boast, except by the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal. 6, 14).
And our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the Cross is both praise and glory, for He is not so glorified, he works many miracles, enlightening the blind, healing the lame, cleansing the lepers, lifting from the dead and lifting the dead, how much glorified the Cross was. It is not in vain that Chrysostom calls the Holy Cross the glory of the Son of God: "The Cross is glory to the Son, as well as to the Father, the glory of the Son; the Father is famous in His Son, the Son is glorified through His Cross. " We will consider in part what praise the apostle and every Christian in the Cross of Christ. And we will do this for our good, with God's help.
Verily, it is fitting for us to "glory except in the cross of the Lord" (Gal. 6, 14), because in the Cross of the Lord we find the reward for our crosses, according to the Scripture: "if we suffer with Him, that we might be glorified" (Rom. 8, 17). For as we are associates with our Lord Christ, being His members, according to the apostle's words: "You are the body of Christ, and separately the members" (1 Corinth 12, 27), so our crosses have in common with the Cross of the Lord, and then , that the Cross of Christ has prepared for us, then we will receive our crosses in it.
Do not think that the Cross of the Lord, with which the apostle boasts, is only a material cross made of wood, but the mind of him is most of all the suffering of the Lord, after which He left us an image to follow in His footsteps. And when I, sinful, speak of our crosses, do not think that they are wooden or silver, or human art is made of some other substance: these are sorrows, troubles, sorrows, diseases and all other suffering , with which the Lord tempts us in this life, like gold in the crucible. For "the smelter is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, but the Lord tests the heart," says the Scripture (Proverb 17, 3). And in another place: "He tested them like gold in the crucible and took them as a sacrifice all-perfect" (Prem. 3, 6). These are our crosses! And we must bear them, thanks to God and associating ourselves with the sufferings of Christ (103, 733).
Our Lord was not glorified at the time when Herod's horrible birth terrified, called the star of the wise men from the east and shook the idols of Egypt. Not at the time when I turned water into wine in Cana of Galilee, when I filled the fishermen's net with many fish, when I sowed five thousand people with five loaves. Not at a time when walking on the sea, as by land, forbade the winds and calm the agitated sea, or when it was transformed in Tabor, when the widow and daughter of Jairou resurrected from the dead son, when he cried out of the tomb of the quadruped Lazarus. Not then did He say: "Now the Son of Man is glorified" (John 13, 31). When? When I was approaching the Cross, when I was ready to ascend it; Being at the gates of suffering, He said: "Now the Son of Man is glorified." Maybe someone would say to Him at that time: Lord! You go to dishonor, to suffer, to scold, to spit, to stress on the cheeks, to hurt, to taste vinegar and bile, to the most bitter death - how do you call yourself glorified? However, the Lord says: "Now the Son of Man is glorified," for, he says, I am going to suffer, to the Cross, and therefore I will be glorified. This very suffering is My glory, for when "I will be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself" (John 12, 32). When I die, I will fill the horizon with the universe, I will quench the heavenly lights, shake the earth, open the coffins, I will bring the dead alive. And they who do not now acknowledge Me as the Son of God will say: "Verily. He was the Son of God "(Matthew 27, 54). When I am nailed to the Cross, then I will sit at the right hand of God the Father; when I suffer, I will enter into my glory, for "the Son of man must suffer much ... and on the third day rise again" (Mark 8, 31).
Here we also recall the cross of the apostle Paul, whom he boasts: "in works, immensely in wounds, more in dungeons and many times at death" (2 Corinth 11, 23). Is not this the cross of Paul? We beat them with sticks and stones, stayed day and night in the depths when the ship overturned (2 Corinth 11, 25) - is this not Paul's cross? Let us listen, how he boasts to them: "I will much more willingly boast of my infirmities" (2 Corinth 12, 9), that is, in the labors and sufferings that he received before the exhaustion of the body. "Blessed," he says, "in weaknesses, in resentments, in needs, in persecutions, in oppression for Christ" (12, 10). And after all that he says: "I know a man in Christ who ... was delighted to the third heaven" (2 Corinth 12, 2). That's what makes the cross of suffering! He takes to Heaven still in the body, delighting him with listening to angelic sweet songs (103, 735-736).
At the time when Pilate, beating Jesus and crowning Him with a crown of thorns, took Him out of the praetorium to the people and said: "Will I crucify your king?" All shouted like one: "We have no king but Caesar" (John 19 , 15). They did not want to hear anyone call Christ King. When our Lord ascended to the Cross, they are no longer a word, but the very thing they called him King, making the inscription on the Cross: "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews". And although some of them objected to Pilate: "Do not write: the King of the Jews", but when Pilate said "what I wrote, I wrote", immediately agreed with him, fell silent and without any grumbling and indignation looked at this title and, reading the inscription was called Christ the King, for in the Gospel it says: "This inscription was read by many of the Jews, because the place where Jesus was crucified was not far from the city" (John 19, 19-22). The whole of Jerusalem read this inscription, calling Christ the King. What changed the hearts of the evil people so much that they, not wanting to hear the name of the King at first, then tolerated condescendingly with the written titles of His King? Truly, it was the Cross of the Cross: Our Lord wanted to show in this royal title the honor of the Cross and the reward for suffering in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The honor of the Cross is such that after the time of the Lord's suffering the cross is already planted at the top of the consecrated chapters and crowns of the king, why St. Cyril called the Jerusalem crown, saying: "The cross is a crown, and not dishonor." Since ancient times, he has been dishonorable, since he served to execute the evildoers, but he became an honest crown after the King of Glory voluntarily suffered on him. Sainted Dimitry of Rostov (103, 736-737).
Those who with faith and love worship the Cross, know the inherent power and use it to defeat the devil. St. John Chrysostom (45, 957)