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Monday, March 28, 2016

St. John of Damascus: "For the resurrection comes after the Cross"

St. John of Damascus: "For the resurrection comes after the Cross"

Video exposing Islam within...

 So, then, this same truly precious and august tree, on which Christ has offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sakes, is to be worshipped as sanctified by contact with His holy body and blood; likewise the nails, the spear, the clothes, His sacred tabernacles which are the manger, the cave, Golgotha, which brings salvation , the tomb which gives life, Sion, the chief stronghold of the churches and the like, are to be worshipped. 

In the words of David, the father of God, We shall go into His tabernacles, we shall worship at the place where His feet stood. And that it is the Cross that is meant is made clear by what follows, Arise, O Lord, into Your Rest. For the resurrection comes after the Cross. For if of those things which we love, house and couch and garment, are to be longed after, how much the rather should we long after that which belonged to God, our Saviour, by means of which we are in truth saved.

Moreover we worship even the image of the precious and life-giving Cross, although made of another tree, not honouring the tree (God forbid) but the image as a symbol of Christ. For He said to His disciples, admonishing them, Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven (Mt 24:30), meaning the Cross. And so also the angel of the resurrection said to the woman, You seek Jesus of Nazareth which was crucified. (Mk 16:6) And the Apostle said, We preach Christ crucified. (1 Cor 1:23) For there are many Christs and many Jesuses, but one crucified. He does not say speared but crucified. It behooves us, then, to worship the sign of Christ. For wherever the sign may be, there also will He be. But it does not behoove us to worship the material of which the image of the Cross is composed, even though it be gold or precious stones, after it is destroyed, if that should happen. Everything, therefore, that is dedicated to God we worship, conferring the adoration on Him.


The tree of life which was planted by God in Paradise pre-figured this precious Cross. For since death was by a tree, it was fitting that life and resurrection should be bestowed by a tree. Jacob, when he worshipped the top of Joseph's staff, was the first to image the Cross, and when he blessed his sons with crossed hands (Heb 11:21) he made most clearly the sign of the cross. Likewise also did Moses' rod, when it smote the sea in the figure of the cross and saved Israel, while it overwhelmed Pharaoh in the depths; likewise also the hands stretched out crosswise and routing Amalek; and the bitter water made sweet by a tree, and the rock rent and pouring forth streams of water (Num xx), and the rod that meant for Aaron the dignity of the high priesthood (Ex iv): and the serpent lifted in triumph on a tree as though it were dead , the tree bringing salvation to those who in faith saw their enemy dead, just as Christ was nailed to the tree in the flesh of sin which yet knew no sin. The mighty Moses cried, You will see your life hanging on the tree before your eyes, and Isaiah likewise, I have spread out my hands all the day unto a faithless and rebellious people. (Is 65:2) But may we who worship this obtain a part in Christ the crucified. Amen.

~St. John of Damascus (c. 675 - 749)
An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book IV, Chap. 11.


St John Damscene against the Muslims