St_Hilary_of_Poitiers_cassienHe shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth. I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good. (Psalm 53[54]:5-6).

Destroy them by Thy truth. Truth confounds falsehood, and lying is destroyed by truth.

We have shewn that the whole of the foregoing prayer is the utterance of that human nature in which the Son of God was born; so here it is the voice of human nature calling upon God the Father to destroy His enemies in His truth.

What this truth is, stands beyond doubt; it is of course He Who said: I am the Life, the Way, the Truth (John 14:6).

And the enemies were destroyed by the truth when, for all their attempts to win Christ’s condemnation by false witness, they heard that He was risen from the dead and had to admit that He had resumed His glory in all the reality of Godhead.

[…] They condemned the Lord of Life to death, and paid no heed to God’s truth displayed in Him through His glorious works.

And thus the Truth of God destroyed them when He rose again to resume the majesty of His Father’s Glory, and gave proof of the truth of that perfect Divinity which He possessed.

[…] I will sacrifice unto Thee freely. The sacrifices of the Law, which consisted of whole burnt-offerings and oblations of goats and of bulls, did not involve an expression of free will, because the sentence of a curse was pronounced on all who broke the Law.

Whoever failed to sacrifice laid himself open to the curse. And it was always necessary to go through the whole sacrificial action because the addition of a curse to the commandment forbad any trifling with the obligation of offering.

It was from this curse that our Lord Jesus Christ redeemed us, when, as the Apostle says: Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made curse for us, for it is written: cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree (Gal. 3:13).

Thus He offered Himself to the death of the accursed that He might break the curse of the Law, offering Himself voluntarily a victim to God the Father, in order that by means of a voluntary victim the curse which attended the discontinuance of the regular victim might be removed.

Now of this sacrifice mention is made in another passage of the Psalms: Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared for Me (Ps. 39/40:7); that is, by offering to God the Father, Who refused the legal sacrifices, the acceptable offering of the body which He received.

Of which offering the holy Apostle thus speaks: For this He did once for all when He offered Himself up (Heb. 7:27), securing complete salvation for the human race by the offering of this holy, perfect victim.

Hilary of Poitiers (c.300-368): Homily on Psalm 53 [54], 11;13.

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