[…] Man fell away from God, and his spiritual and physical corruption began.
Self-rule in spiritual life led to slavery to sin and passions. Man began to decay in seductive passions.
[…] Our soul is not healthy, it is sick. Corruption reigns in our soul, and our body is quite obviously subject to corruption.
Many do not notice their spiritual sickness; they stifle the inner groaning and cry of the soul with the noise of life.
But death and bodily decay are irrefutable, and all life’s vivid color pales before this decay.
[…] Humanity has always seen the inner corruption of its spiritual nature, and has always beheld with its own eyes the destruction of the temple of its body.
To admit that you are spiritually rotting and to know that your body is the inheritance of worms—that is the lot of sinful man!
Where is the joy? What can we hope for in the future? Sin is essentially linked with unhappiness and suffering. Sinful awareness paints the future in dark, joyless colors.
The Hebrew Sheol, the kingdom of shadows in the murky Hades of the Hellenes and Romans—both depict a disconsolate future.
Salvation is healing. Salvation is freedom from corruption. Salvation is a return to the original goodness of incorruption; for man was created in incorruption.
Needed was the restoration to health of human nature. This restoration is given in the incarnation of the Son of God.
“We could not have become incorrupt and immortal, had not the Incorrupt and Immortal One not been first made what we are.”
The Incorrupt and Immortal One, in His unity of persons, has assumed “the corruption and death of my stolen nature.”
The nature of corruption received the inoculation of incorruption, and the process of creation’s renewal, the process of man’s deification, has begun, as has also begun the creation of god-humanity.
The sting of death has been blunted. Corruption is conquered, for the antidote for the illness of corruption is given.
All those born of earth have inevitably come to those gates of death and hid behind them, trembling with horror. But now, Christ is resurrected!
What does this mean? This means that salvation is truly wrought. For, human nature has joined with Divine nature in the person of Christ, “unmingled, unchanged, undivided, and inseparable.”
[…] Together with Christ, our human nature has passed through the mysterious gates of death. Death reigns, but not forever!
Death was terrible to the human race before Christ’s death, but after Christ’s resurrection, man became terrible to death, for One of us has conquered death; He did not remain in the tomb, and did not see corruption.
Hilarion Troitsky (1886-1929; Russian Orthodox): From his three-volume work, published by Sretensky Monastery [in Russian]Translated by Nun Cornelia (Rees) @ Pravoslavie.