Reckoned Among the Wicked: He Bestowed Paradise

 

When the Maker of the universe was raised up on wood, the earth quaked. The Christian heart soars to think what God did in Jesus on the cross. The Creator of all things was nailed by worms of men to planks of wood, where he triumphed over all powers, and over death and hell, on their behalf.

All this is part of the mystery of the Trinity. While reading St Hilary on the Trinity, I found words which make the Christian spirit to soar. I do not fully understand his argument that Jesus, because he is God, did not fear the pain of the cross. But he makes compelling arguments to show that we must not consider that Jesus died as any man would. Let me share some of what Hilary wrote (paraphrased somewhat):

The Power of the universe stripped himself of the flesh, courageously put the demonic powers to shame, and triumphed over them in himself. We see the triumph in these things:

  • That when they sought to crucify him, they could not endure his presence when he offered himself.
  • He was under sentence of death, but from it was seated within one day at the right hand of God.
  • When pierced with nails, he prayed for the persecutors.
  • When he was reckoned among the wicked, he bestowed paradise.
  • When he was raised up on the wood, the earth quaked.
  • While he hung there, sun and day took to flight.
  • He who had called back souls into the bodies, went forth from the body.
  • He was buried as one dead, but rose as God.

Jesus’ body was no normal body, for when people but touched it, they were healed. His spittle restored sight. His presence made the devils to cry out. The soul that vivified Jesus’ body is the explanation for this, for it was the very soul of God. And to think, this wondrous God came to earth for us worms, to fetch us home with him. To save, deliver, and sanctify us. God be praised for evermore and evermore.