Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Triumph of the Cross

Triumph of the Cross
Feast Day September 14th

Exaltation of the Cross

From a discourse by Saint Andrew of Crete, bishop

The Cross is Christ’s 
Glory and Triumph

We are celebrating the feast of the cross which drove away the darkness and brought in the light.  As we keep this feast, we are lifted up with the crucified Christ, leaving behind us earth and sin so that we may gain the things above.  So great and outstanding a possession is the cross that he who wins it has won a treasure.  Rightly could I call this treasure the fairest of all fair things and the costliest, in fact as well as in name, for on it and through it and for its sake the riches of salvation that had been lost were restored to us.

Had there been no cross, 

Christ could not 
have been crucified.  
Had there been no cross, 
life itself could not have been nailed to the tree.  
And if life and had not been nailed to it, 
there would be no streams 
of immortality pouring from Christ’s side, 
blood and water for 
the world’s cleansing.  

The legal bond of our sin would not be canceled, we should not have obtained our freedom, we should not have enjoyed the fruit of the tree of life and the gates of paradise would not stand open.  Had there been no cross, death would not have been trodden underfoot, nor hell despoiled.

Therefore, the cross is something wonderfully great and honorable.  It is great because through the cross the many noble acts of Christ found their consummation—very many indeed, for both his miracles and his sufferings were fully rewarded with victory.  

Christ on the Cross Salvation of Mankind
The cross is honorable 

because it is both 
the sign of Gods suffering 
and the trophy of his victory.  
It stands for his suffering 
because on it 
he freely suffered unto death.  
But is also his trophy 
because it was the means 
by which the devil was 
wounded and death conquered, 
the barred gates of hell 
were smashed, 
and the cross became 
the one common salvation
 of the whole world.

The cross is called Christ’s glory; it is saluted as his triumph.  We recognized it as the cup he longed to drink and the climax of the sufferings he endured for our sake.  

As to the cross being Christ’s glory, listen to his words: 

Christ Crucified
Now is the 

Son of Man glorified, 
and in him 
God is glorified, 
and God will glorify 
him at once.  
And once more: 
glorify your name.  

Then a voice came from heaven: 
I have glorified it and will glorify it again. 

Here he speaks of the glory that would accrue to him through the cross is Christ’s triumph, hear what he himself also said: When I am lifted up then I will draw all men to myself.  Now you can see that the cross is Christ’s glory and triumph.

St.Andrew of Crete