Cyril of Jerusalem on the Atonement

Cyril of Jerusalem (ca. 313 – 386)

St_Cyril_of_Jerusalem_Doctor“We were enemies of God by means of Sin; and God ordained that the sinner should die. Of two things, then, one must needs have happened; either that God should adhere to His word, and destroy all men, or that by giving scope to His benignity He should annul His sentence. But see the wisdom of God. He secured, at once, reality for His sentence, and active operation for His benignity. Christ “took on Himself our sins in His body, on the Tree, that we, being dead to sins” through His death, “should live unto righteousness.” He that died for our sakes was not of small account. He was not a literal sheep, He was not a mere man, He was not simply an Angel, but He was God Incarnate. The iniquity of the sinners was not so great as was the righteousness of Him that died for them. Our sins did not equal the amount of His righteousness, who laid down His life for us, who laid it down when He pleased, and when He pleased resumed it.” Lecture xiii. 53.

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