The Cure: Reunion & Resurrection
In order to answer the question, “what is salvation,” we have had to understand first the problem, the condition from which we are being saved. We examined the account of humanity’s fall, and St. Paul’s later explanation—that the fundamental human problem is the hereditary disease of death—caused by a separation from the source of life, that is, God Himself. Because of this disease, we humans sin—we act contrary to our own nature, and in opposition to loving union with God, thus perpetuating this separation from Life. How, then, does God deliver us from this condition?
In order to close the separation between humanity and God, the Father sent His Son and Word—the Son Himself being fully God from all eternity—to become human. This solution is both elegant and necessary; humanity is unable to cross the chasm we created in our rebellion against God, only God Himself can heal this schism, and He does so by identifying with us in the most intimate way possible: He becomes one of us. In the person of the Son and Word of God, the separation is closed—the schism between humanity and God is fully healed in the very person of Jesus Christ who unites the fullness of Divinity and the fullness of humanity because He Himself is fully God and also fully human.
Jesus Christ—as the Son of God and the source of all Life and existence—offered Himself to die for the sake of all humanity, destroying the power of the inherited disease of death. When He was crucified by the very people He came to save, He entered the condition of death. But death is like darkness, or like coldness—it has no real existence: like the absence of light, or the absence of heat, it is merely the absence of life. So when Life Himself entered into the condition of death, He utterly conquered it—and because He did so not only as God, but also as human, He opened the way from death to eternal life for every human from the beginning of creation until the end of time. Because He did so not only as human, but also as God, He could not be bound by death, but was raised up again from death on the third day. Like a spotlight shone in a dark corner, or a bonfire lit in a cold room, Christ—who is Life Himself—dispelled all the dark coldness of death and brought the light and warmth of His very Self into the end of earthly life, opening the way to resurrection. So, when the earthly life of humans who have been baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ ends, their experience is no longer the darkness of death, but a new life in and with Christ, the source of Life.
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Samuel the Prophet; Holy Martyr Luke of Bouleutos; Afterfeast of the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary; Stephen, First King of Hungary; Hierotheos, Bishop of Hungary; Oswin the Martyr, King of Deira