Saturday, December 17, 2011

Why Was Jesus Baptised?

Jesus sanctified baptism when He Himself was baptized, can anyone who scorns baptism pretend to piety? Not that He was baptized to receive remission of sins - for He was without sin- but, being sinless, He was nevertheless baptized that He might impart grace and dignity to those who receive the sacrament. For, “since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same nature,” that we, sharing His incarnate life, might also share His divine grace. Thus Jesus was baptized that we, in turn, so made partakers with Him, might receive not only salvation, but also the dignity.
The dragon, according to Job, was in the water, he who received the Jordan in his maw. When, therefore, it was necessary to crush the heads of the dragon, descending into the water, He bound the strong one, that we might receive the “power to tread upon serpents and scorpions.” it was no ordinary beast, but a horrible monster. No fishing ship could last under a single scale of his tail; before him stalked destruction, ravaging all in her path. But life came running up, that that maw of death might be stopped and all we who were save might say, ‘O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” Baptism draws death’s sting.
Cyril of Jerusalem:
Catechetical Lectures 3.11

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