We are Your servants, we are Your creatures: You hast made us, You have
redeemed us. Any one can buy his servant, create him he cannot; but
the Lord has both created and redeemed His servants; created them, that
they might be; redeemed them, that they might not be captives ever. For we
fell into the hands of the prince of this world, who seduced Adam, and made
him his servant, and began to possess us as his slaves. But the Redeemer
came, and the seducer was overcome. And what did our Redeemer to him who
held us captive? For our ransom he held out His Cross as a trap; he placed
in It as a bait His Blood. He indeed had power to shed His Blood, he did
not attain to drink it. And in that he shed the Blood of Him who was no
debtor, he was commanded to render up the debtors; he shed the Blood of the
Innocent, he was commanded to withdraw from the guilty. He verily shed His
Blood to this end, that He might wipe out our sins. That then whereby he
held us fast was effaced by the Redeemer's Blood. For he only held us fast
by the bonds of our own sins. They were the captive's chains. He came, He
bound the strong one with the bonds of His Passion; He entered into his
house? into the hearts, that is, of those where he did dwell, and took away
his vessels. We are his vessels. He had filled then with his own
bitterness. This bitterness too he pledged to our Redeemer in the gall. He
had filled us then as his vessels; but our Lord spoiling his vessels, and
making them His Own, poured out the bitterness, filled them with sweetness.

Augustine Sermon 80

"But to whom did He give His soul as a ransom for many? Surely not to God. Could it, then, be to the Evil One? For he had us in his power, until the ransom for us should be given to him, even the life (or soul) of Jesus, since he (the Evil One) had been deceived, and led to suppose that he was capable of mastering that soul, and he did not see that to hold Him involved a trial of strength (thasanon) greater than he was equal to. Therefore also death, though he thought he had prevailed against Him, no longer lords over Him, He (Christ) having become free among the dead and stronger than the power of death, and so much stronger than death that all who will amongst those who are mastered by death may also follow Him (i.e. out of Hades, out of death's domain), death no longer prevailing against them. For every one who is with Jesus is unassailable by death."

Origen Commentary on Matthew XVI ,8 From here.
Gustav Aulen, Christus Victor (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1951), 4. Citing,  Commentary on Matthew XVI, 8; Aulen, op. cit., p. 49. In footnote 13, Aulen says, "Translation from Rashdall, p. 259. where the Greek is printed in full." 

[C]onsider it settled that, without satisfaction, that is, without voluntary payment of the debt, God can neither pass by the sin unpunished, nor can the sinner attain that happiness, or happiness like that, which he had before he sinned; for man cannot in this way be restored, or become such as he was before he sinned.
He who does not pay says in vain: "Pardon"; but he who pays makes supplication, because prayer is properly connected with the payment; for God owes no man anything, but every creature owes God; and, therefore, it does not become man to treat with God as with an equal.--
But this [satisfaction] cannot be effected, except the price paid to God for the sin of man be something greater than all the universe besides God.
If it be necessary, therefore, as it appears, that the heavenly kingdom be made up of men, and this cannot be effected unless the aforesaid satisfaction be made, which none but God can make and none but man ought to make, it is necessary for the God-man to make it.

Anselm Cur Deus Homo, various bits from here


18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.  For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example,that you should follow in his steps.

22 “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1 Pe 2:18-23 (NIV)

Nothing had been done if Christ had only endured corporeal death. In order to interpose between us and God’s anger, and satisfy his righteous judgement, it was necessary that he should feel the weight of divine vengeance. Whence also it was necessary that he should engage, as it were, at close quarters with the powers of hell and the horrors of eternal death. We lately quoted from the Prophet, that the “chastisement of our peace was laid upon him” that he “was bruised for our iniquities” that he “bore our infirmities;” expressions which intimate, that, like a sponsor and surety for the guilty, and, as it were, subjected to condemnation, he undertook and paid all the penalties which must have been exacted from them, the only exception being, that the pains of death could not hold him. . . . not only was the body of Christ given up as the price of redemption, but that there was a greater and more excellent price – that he bore in his soul the tortures of condemned and ruined man.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2:16:10 - See more


God, according to Abelard, does not need to be reconciled to humanity. God already loves us. Our problem is that we do not realize this and because of our sin and ignorance live in alienating fear of God. The cross of Jesus is an act of God's love that inspires new motive into our actions so that we see how much God loves us and we begin to love in return.(1)

The great question for us now is, Do we believe in that love of God which Christ taught by His words, and of which His followers saw in His voluntary death a crowning manifestation? And remember that even belief in the love of God will do us no good unless it awakes answering love in ourselves -- unless it adds to our hatred of the sin which separates us from God and increases our love of other men. (2)

(1) The Story of Christian Theology, by Roger Olson, p 328-29
(2) Principles and Precepts, by Hastings Rashdall, p126.
[Posted by Kevin Jackson]

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