Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Resurrection

It is said then in the Psalms, "I laid me down and slept, and rose up again, because the Lord sustained me." Again, in another place, "Because of the wretchedness of the needy and the groaning of the poor, now will I arise, says the Lord." And elsewhere, as we have said above, "O Lord, you have brought my soul out of hell; You have saved me from them that go down into the pit." And in another place, "Because You have turned and quickened me, and brought me out of the deep of the earth again." In the 87th Psalm He is most evidently spoken of: "He became as a man without help, free among the dead." It is not said "a man," but "as a man." For in that He descended into hell, He was "as a man:" but He was "free among the dead," because He could not be detained by death. And therefore in the one nature the power of human weakness, in the other the power of divine majesty is exhibited. The Prophet Hosea also speaks most manifestly of the third day in this wise," After two days He will heal us; but on the third day we shall rise and shall live in His presence." This he says in the person of those who, rising with Him on the third day, are recalled from death to life. And they are the same persons who say, "On the third day we shall rise again, and shall live in His presence." But Isaiah says plainly, "Who brought forth from the earth the great Shepherd of the sheep." Then, that the women were to see His resurrection, while the Scribes and Pharisees and the people disbelieved, this also Isaiah foretold in these words, "You women, who come from beholding, come: for it is a people that has no understanding." But as to the women who are related to have gone to the sepulcher after the resurrection, and to have sought Him without finding, as Mary Magdalene, who is related to have come to the sepulcher before it was light, and not finding Him, to have said, weeping, to the angels who were there, "They have taken away the Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him"—even this is foretold in the Canticles: "On my bed I sought Him Whom my soul loves; I sought Him in the night, and found Him not." Of those also who found Him, and held Him by the feet, it is foretold, in the same book, "I will hold Him Whom my soul loves, and will not let Him go." Take these passages, a few of many; for being intent on brevity we cannot heap together more.

_______ Rufinus: Commentary on the Apostles' Creed