Anastasius of Antioch: Christ died and rose to life that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living Wednesday, Apr 22 2015 

Anastasius_SinaiChrist died and rose to life that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living (Romans 4:19).

But God is not God of the dead, but of the living.

That is why the dead, now under the dominion of one who has risen to life, are no longer dead but alive.

Therefore life has dominion over them and, just as Christ, having been raised from the dead, will never die again, so too they will live and never fear death again.

When they have been thus raised from the dead and freed from decay, they shall never again see death, for they will share in Christ’s resurrection just as he himself shared in their death.

This is why Christ descended into the underworld, with its imperishable prison bars: to shatter the doors of bronze and break the bars of iron and, from decay, to raise our life to himself by giving us freedom in place of servitude.

But if this plan does not yet appear to be perfectly realized — for men still die and bodies still decay in death — this should not occasion any loss of faith.

For, in receiving the first fruits, we have already received the pledge of all the blessings we have mentioned.

With them we have reached the heights of heaven, and we have taken our place beside him who has raised us up with himself, as Paul says: In Christ God has raised us up with him, and has made us sit with him in the heavenly places.

And the fulfillment will be ours on the day predetermined by the Father, when we shall put off our childish ways and come to perfect manhood.

For this is the decree of the Father of the ages: the gift, once given, is to be secure and no more to be rejected by a return to childish attitudes.

There is no need to recall that the Lord rose from the dead with a spiritual body, since Paul in speaking of our bodies bears witness that they are sown as animal bodies and raised as spiritual bodies: that is, they are transformed in accordance with the glorious transfiguration of Christ who goes before us as our leader.

The Apostle, affirming something he clearly knew, also said that this would happen to all mankind through Christ, who will change our lowly body to make it like his glorious body.

If this transformation is a change into a spiritual body and one, furthermore, like the glorious body of Christ, then Christ rose with a spiritual body, a body that was sown in dishonour, but the very body that was transformed in glory.

Having brought this body to the Father as the first-fruits of our nature, he will also bring the whole body to fulfillment. For he promised this when he said: I, when I am lifted up, will draw all men to myself.

Anastasius of Sinai (7th Century): Oration 5 (on the Resurrection of Christ), 6-7,9, PG 89 1358-1359, 1361-1362 @ DivineOffice.org

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Anastasius of Antioch: Cross, Resurrection and Glorification Thursday, Apr 24 2014 

Anastasius_SinaiChrist, who has shown by his words and actions that he was truly God and Lord of the universe, said to his disciples as he was about to go up to Jerusalem:

We are going up to Jerusalem now, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the Gentiles and the chief priests and scribes to be scourged and mocked and crucified.

These words bore out the predictions of the prophets, who had foretold the death he was to die in Jerusalem.

From the beginning holy Scripture had foretold Christ’s death, the sufferings that would precede it, and what would happen to his body afterward.

Scripture also affirmed that these things were going to happen to one who was immortal and incapable of suffering because he was God.

Only by reflecting upon the meaning of the incarnation can we see how it is possible to say with perfect truth both that Christ suffered and that he was incapable of suffering, came to suffer.

In fact, man could have been saved in no other way, as Christ alone knew and those to whom he revealed it. For he knows all the secrets of the Father, even as the Spirit penetrates the depths of all mysteries.

It was necessary for Christ to suffer: his passion was absolutely unavoidable. He said so himself when he called his companions dull and slow to believe because they failed to recognise that he had to suffer and so enter into his glory.

Leaving behind him the glory that had been his with the Father before the world was made, he had gone forth to save his people. This salvation, however, could be achieved only by the suffering of the author of our life, as Paul taught when he said that the author of life himself was made perfect through suffering.

Because of us he was deprived of his glory for a little while, the glory that was his as the Father’s only-begotten Son. But through the cross this glory is seen to have been restored to him in a certain way in the body that he had assumed.

Explaining what water the Saviour referred to when he said: He that has faith in me shall have rivers of living water flowing from within him, John says in his gospel that he was speaking of the Holy Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive.

For the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified. The glorification he meant was his death upon the cross for which the Lord prayed to the Father before undergoing his passion, asking his Father to give him the glory that he had in his presence before the world began.

Anastasius of Sinai (7th Century): Homily 4:1-2, PG 89. 1347-1349 @ Crossroads Initiative.

Anastasius of Antioch: Here in Our Hearts Christ Makes His Abode, Saying: “Today Salvation has Come to This House” Saturday, Aug 6 2011 

Jesus took with him Peter, James and John, and led them up a high mountain where they were alone.

There, before their eyes, he was transfigured. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.

Then the disciples saw Moses and Elijah appear, and they were talking to Jesus.

[…] Let us listen, then, to the sacred voice of God so compellingly calling us from on high, from the summit of the mountain.

So, with the Lord’s chosen disciples, may we penetrate the deep meaning of these holy mysteries, so far beyond our capacity to express.

Jesus goes before us to show us the way, both up the mountain and into heaven….

It is for us now to follow him with all speed, yearning for the heavenly vision that will give us a share in his radiance, renew our spiritual nature and transform us into his own likeness, making us for ever sharers in his Godhead and raising us to heights as yet undreamed of.

Let us run with confidence and joy to enter into the cloud like Moses and Elijah, or like James and John.

Let us be caught up like Peter to behold the divine vision and to be transfigured by that glorious transfiguration.

Let us retire from the world, stand aloof from the earth, rise above the body, detach ourselves from creatures and turn to the creator, to whom Peter in ecstasy exclaimed: Lord, it is good for us to be here.

It is indeed good to be here, as you have said, Peter. It is good to be with Jesus and to remain here for ever.

What greater happiness or higher honor could we have than to be with God, to be made like him and to live in his light?

Therefore, since each of us possesses God in his heart and is being transformed into his divine image, we also should cry out with joy:

It is good for us to be here – here where all things shine with divine radiance, where there is joy and gladness and exultation; where there is nothing in our hearts but peace, serenity and stillness; where God is seen.

For here, in our hearts, Christ takes up his abode together with the Father, saying as he enters: Today salvation has come to this house.

With Christ, our hearts receive all the wealth of his eternal blessings, and there where they are stored up for us in him, we see reflected as in a mirror both the first fruits and the whole of the world to come.

Anastasius of Sinai (7th Century): Sermon on the Feast of the Transfiguration, nn. 6-10, from the Office of Readings for the Feast of the Transfiguration @ Crossroads Initiative.