Man was banished from Paradise by God’s just judgment, and condemned to death, and made subject to corruption….

In His pity, God…earnestly strove to emancipate man from the wide-spread and enslaving bonds of sin, which had made life such a mass of iniquity, and to effect man’s return to a life of happiness.

For it was sin that brought death like a wild and savage beast into the world to the ruin of the human life.

But it behoved the Redeemer to be without sin, and not made liable through sin to death.

Further, it was fitting that His nature should be strengthened and renewed, and trained by labour and taught the way of virtue which leads away from corruption to the life eternal….

For the very Creator and Lord Himself undertakes a struggle in behalf of the work of His own hands, and learns by toil to become Master.

And since the enemy snares man by the hope of Godhead, he himself is snared in turn by the screen of flesh.

And so are shown at once the goodness and wisdom, the justice and might of God.

God’s goodness is revealed in that He did not disregard the frailty of His own handiwork, but was moved with compassion for him in his fall, and stretched forth His hand to him.

His justice is revealed in that when man was overcome He did not make another victorious over the tyrant, nor did He snatch man by might from death.

Rather, in His goodness and justice, He made man – who had become through his sins the slave of death – himself once more conqueror and rescued like by like…

And His wisdom is revealed in His devising the most fitting solution of the difficulty.

For by the good pleasure of our God and Father, the Only-begotten Son and Word of God and God, bent the heavens and descended to earth.

[…] And God being perfect becomes perfect man, and brings to perfection the newest of all new things, the only new thing under the sun, through which the boundless might of God is manifested.

For what greater thing is there, than that God should become Man?

And the Word became flesh without being changed, of the Holy Spirit, and Mary the holy and ever-virgin one, the mother of God.

[…] And He becomes obedient to the Father Who is like unto us, and finds a remedy for our disobedience in what He had assumed from us, and became a pattern of obedience to us without which it is not possible to obtain salvation.

John Damascene (c.675-749): De Fide Orthodoxa 3,1.

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