The Incarnation Of The Word
“In the beginning, the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:1-5, 10-14, NLT”
“Death having gained upon men, and corruption abiding upon them, the human race was perishing, rational man made in God’s image was disappearing and God’s handiwork was in the process of dissolution. Death had a legal hold over us from that time forth and it was impossible to evade the law, since it had been laid down by God because of the transgression. The result was truly absurd and incongruous. For it was absurd that God, having spoken, should prove false. God had ordained that man should die if he disobeyed the command and it would be absurd if he were not to die after having transgressed and God’s word should be broken. For God would not be true if man did not die, after He had said we should die.
Again, it is incongruous that creatures who were created rational and had partaken of the Word should be ruined and returned to non-existence through corruption. For it is not worthy of God’s goodness that the things He had made should waste away because the devil deceived men….
…The Word perceived that human corruption would not be undone except by fulfilling the necessary condition of death, but he was unable to suffer death, being immortal and the Son of the Father. So he took to himself a body which was capable of death so that it might be worthy to die in the place of everyone, through partaking of the Word who is above all, and remain incorruptible because of the Word dwelling in it. Thus corruption might be stayed from all by the grace of the resurrection. He offered the body he had taken unto death, as a spotless offering and sacrifice and thus put away death from all his fellows by the offering of an equivalent.
No one else but the Saviour himself, who in the beginning made everything out of nothing, could bring the corrupted to incorruption; no one else but the image of the Father could recreate men in God’s image; no one else but our Lord Jesus Christ, who is Life itself, could make the mortal immortal; no one else but the Word, who orders everything and is alone the true and only-begotten Son of the Father, could teach men about the Father and destroy idolatry.
Since the debt owed by all men had to be paid (for all men had to die), he came among us. After he had demonstrated his deity by his works, he offered his sacrifice on behalf of all and surrendered his temple (body) to death in the place of all. He did this to free men from the guilt of the first sin and to prove himself more powerful than death, displaying his own body incorruptible, as a first fruit of the resurrection of all.
Two miracles happened at once: the death of all men was accomplished in the Lord’s body, and death and corruption were destroyed because of the Word who was united with it. For there was need of death, and death must needs be suffered on behalf of all, that the debt owed by all might be paid. The Word was unable to die, being immortal, so he took to himself a mortal body in order to offer it as his own on behalf of all and in order, by suffering on behalf of all through his union with it, to ‘destroy him who holds the power of death, that is the devil, and free those who all their lives were enslaved by their fear of death.’ (Hebrews 2:14-15).
By death, immortality has reached all and by the Word becoming man the universal providence and its creator and leader, the very Word of God, has been made known. For he became human that we might become divine; he revealed himself in a body that we might understand the unseen Father; he endured human insults that we might inherit immortality.”
– The Incarnation Of The Word, Athanansius (c 296-298AD – 373AD)