st-irenaeus-of-lyonAs He became man in order to undergo temptation, so also was He the Word that He might be glorified.

The Word remained quiescent, that He might be capable of being tempted, dishonoured, crucified, and of suffering death.

But the human nature was swallowed up in the divine, when it conquered, and endured without yielding, and performed acts of kindness, and rose again, and was received up into heaven.

He, therefore, the Son of God, our Lord, being the Word of the Father, and the Son of man, since He had a generation as to His human nature from Mary – who was descended from mankind, and who was herself a human being – was made the Son of man (Is. 7:13).

Wherefore also the Lord Himself gave us a sign, in the depth below, and in the height above, which man did not ask for.

For man never expected that a virgin could conceive, or that it was possible that one remaining a virgin could bring forth a son, and that what was thus born should be “God with us”.

He never expected that He who was born in this way would descend to those things which are of the earth beneath, seeking the sheep which had perished, which was indeed His own peculiar handiwork.

He never expected that He would ascend to the height above, offering and commending to His Father that human nature (hominem) which had been found, making in His own person the first-fruits of the resurrection of man.

All of this took place so that, when the time is fulfilled of that condemnation which existed by reason of disobedience, as the Head rose from the dead, so also the remaining part of the body – namely, the body of every man who is found in life – may arise.

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Adversus Haereses 3,19,2-3.

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