For Good Friday: a reading from Alexander of Alexandria
From Faith and Life: readings complied from ancient writers, here is an excerpt from Alexander of Alexandria, who was Patriarch of Alexandria in the fourth century, and mentor to Athanasius. (I mentioned this one last year.) Like him, Alexander was a strong proponent of the orthodox faith against Arius.
Behold what a return Israel made for benefits! They slew their Benefactor, rendering evil for good, affliction for joy, death for life. Him who had raised their dead, healed their lame, cleansed their lepers, opened the eyes of their blind, they nailed on the wood; they hung up on the tree Him who spread out the earth; they pierced with nails Him who laid the foundations of the world; they bound Him who absolved sinners; they gave Him vinegar and gall to taste, who offered the food and drink of life and righteousness; they marred His hands and feet, who had brought healing to theirs; they closed His eyes, who had opened theirs; they committed Him to the sepulchre, who raised up the dead, not only before His Passion, but even while hanging on the Cross. Creation, in amazement, said, “What is this new mystery? The Judge is judged, and is silent; the Invisible is beheld, and is not confounded; the Infinite is seized, and is not wrathful; the Immeasurable is circumscribed, and resists not; the Impassible suffers, and avenges not Himself; the Immortal dies, and complains not; the Celestial is buried, and calmly bears it.” For the Lord Incarnate was condemned, in order to bestow mercy on us; bound, in order to loose us; seized, in order to free us; He suffered, to heal our sufferings; He died, to restore life to us; He was buried, to raise us up again. One, in truth, was condemned, thousands were set free; One was buried, thousands rose again. This is the Mediator between God and men; this is the Resurrection and Salvation of all; this is the Guide of the erring, the Shepherd of rescued men, the Life of the dead, the Rider on the cherub-car, the Leader of Angels, and the King of kings; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
–St. Alexander of Alexandria
This Good Friday, let us remember that He suffered that we might be healed.