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Nature of Christ, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

16- The Importance of the "One Nature" for Propitiation and Redemption


The belief in the One Nature of the Incarnate Logos is essential, necessary and fundamental for redemption. Redemption requires unlimited propitiation sufficient for the forgiveness of the unlimited sins of all the people through all ages. There was no solution other than the Incarnation of God the Logos to offer this through His Divine Power. Image: An ancient Coptic icon of Jesus Christ on the holy Cross صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: صورة قبطية أثرية بها السيد المسيح على الصليب Image: An ancient Coptic icon of Jesus Christ on the holy Cross

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: صورة قبطية أثرية بها السيد المسيح على الصليب

Thus, if we mention two natures and say that the human nature alone performed the act of redemption, it would have been entirely impossible to achieve unlimited propitiation for man's salvation. Hence comes the danger of speaking of two natures, each having its own specific tasks.

In such case, the death of the human nature alone is insufficient.

Accordingly St. Paul Says:

" For had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. " (1 Cor. 2:8).

He did not say; they would not have crucified the man Jesus Christ. The term "Lord of Glory" here affirms the One Nature and its necessity for redemption, propitiation and salvation; this is because the one who was crucified is the Lord of Glory. Obviously, He was crucified in the body, but the body was united with the Divinity in One Nature, this is the essential basis for salvation.

St. Peter says to the Jews: ".But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for murderer to be granted unto you and killed the Prince of Life. " (Acts 3:14,15). Here he confirms that the One crucified was the "Prince of Life" a term which denotes divinity. St. Peter never separated the 'two natures or facts involved in the crucifixion, due to the importance of their unity for the enactment of redemption.

St. Paul also says in his letter to the Hebrews: "For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (Heb. 2:10)

Whilst suffering, He never forgot His divine message: "For by Him were all things created. " (Col. 1:16). In another instance St. Paul says: "For Him and by Him all things".

When the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to St. John the Visionary, He said to him:

"I am the First and the Last, I am He that lives, and was dead and behold, I am alive for evermore Amen... and have the Keys of hell and death." (Rev. 1:1 7,18).

Thus it is He Who was dead that is the First and the Last and in Whose Hands are the keys of hell and death.

Here Christ did not separate His Divine nature from His human nature while speaking about His death.

Therefore, He who died is the Lord of Glory, the Prince of life, the Prince of Salvation and the First and the Last.

It is very dangerous, for our salvation, to separate between the two natures, as we have discussed this issue before here on in other sections. Perhaps some would say 'who declared such separation? Is it not the Council of Chalcedon that declared the belief in two united natures?! Yes, it did but the Tome of Leo says also that Christ is two: God and man, the One astonished us with miracles and the other received disgrace and suffering!

What then? If that one being is alone the receiver of suffering, then where is the salvation we gained?!

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