CPG 3696b
Author Apollinaris
Greek Text P. Nautin. Homilies pascales II. SChr 36. (Paris 1953), 55-117.

Just how reasonable the types in the law are is revealed in the truth. For example, the sheep is blameless as the law prescribed the Passover sacrifice. It was male. It was one year old. It was taken on the tenth of the month and sacrificed on the fourteenth near evening. It was reckoned the beginning of months when the Passover was completed. For all these things are brought together in Christ and the sufferings of Christ both truly and necessarily, and they cannot make any sense by themselves. Those who do not know Christ would not be able to defend these things or teach why God arranged them.
And what reason is there at all for appointing a sacrifice for the salvation of the firstborns and making an anointing of blood upon the entrances. Why is the slaughter of the sacrifices sufficient for the salvation of the firstborns? Why is the anointing of blood necessary as a sign upon the houses? God, of course, knew the houses of the Hebrews without a sign, so the saying, “I will see the blood and cover over you” (Ex 12:13) is extraordinary. But by referring these things to the truth he will know how reasonable they are, just as we showed in the other things said before. For because the blameless sacrifice suffers for us, the death from the first man formed is destroyed, and the firstborn man in us all is saved, made alive by the resurrection of the Lord. For life, which destroys sin and death, rightly becomes a saving sign to those who share his salvation. And when God looks at it, he saves those who have been anointed by him through faith. In no other way are they able to escape a justly avenging angel except through the blood lovingly poured out for our sake. You see how much power the type has when viewed on the basis of the truth.
Therefore if some Jew would try to say, “Why in the world did the Son suffer for the world to be saved as if it were not saved without this?” let it be said to him, “Why in the world was the Passover sacrifice made for the salvation of the Jewish firstborns as if they would not be saved without this?” And he will not be able to reply at all, for God did not need a sacrifice or a sign to know the houses. But to us this fact pleads the case and testifies to the holy faith, for our wickedness is destroyed in the righteousness of Christ. But it is destroyed in no other way destroyed, for darkness is removed by light. Our death too is abolished through Christ’s life, as darkness is by light.
So that sacrifice too is holy because it was a type of the truth. And this one actually is holy because it is true, given up to death and destruction by the ignorance of the godless, accepted as a holy sacrifice by the will of God, and brought as an offering to the Father by his own will. For he says the Father gave up the Son for us (Rom 8:32) and Christ “offered himself as an offering to the Father for the Church and as a sweet-smelling fragrance” (Eph 5:2). And the will is destructive to those who can expect the destruction of Christ. And the faith is saving for those who seek salvation through the death of the Lord. The vengeance and the death passed them over because they did not hold onto death unto destruction, in keeping with what was said by the Savior, “If anyone keeps my word, he will not see death forever” (Jn 8:51). For through the blood poured out for us we receive the Holy Spirit. For he came into one blood and Spirit so that through the blood, of the same kind as us, we might be enabled to receive the Holy Spirit, which is not of the same kind as us, and that through this we might close off for us the entrance to death.
The entrance to death is twofold and because of this the seal of the blood becomes twofold. He says, “Upon the two posts and upon the lintel” (Ex 12:7). For death enters through sin, as the Apostle says (Rom 5:12). Now sin is either in keeping with reasoning—when we reason unsoundly or incorrectly—or with the passions in us. (These sins of passion too are twofold—either the softness of the soul towards tenderness or its hardness towards roughness.) The reasoning is like a lintel, that is, what is above the door, upon both posts. For it is authoritative and by nature higher up. But the passions resemble the posts, underlying the reasoning just like posts underlie lintels. What are the passions leading to tenderness? Gluttony and drunkenness and a desire for intercourse. What are the hardnesses of the soul? Angers and stubbornnesses, which Paul takes up, saying, “not in carousing and drinking, not in sexual immorality and licentiousness, not in strife and jealousy, but clothe yourself with Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:13,14). So the anointing is similar to the clothing, because, formed by the sufferings of Christ, we have wrapped ourselves with the holiness of Christ, neither taking it off for pleasure nor being exasperated to the point of anger. The anointing and clothing, wisdom which is not fleshly but in line with Christ, is good also for the reasonings, such that we are put to death concerning the fleshly mind as dead but adorned by the spiritual. For in this way sin does not come to us either through the irrational passions or through the senseless reasonings, and death does not oppress us either. Clearly this is the mystery of the anointing.
After the anointing is the eating, bringing the divine body into us and mixing with it for a union. He says, “The meat is eaten on this night, roasted by fire” (Ex 12:8). The night is this present age. “The night is spent,” Paul says (Rom 13:12). The partaking of the holy body is through fire, that is, through zeal which is on fire and boiling. He says, “Boiling in the Spirit” (Rom 12:11), and he says, “I came to cast fire on the earth and how I wish it were already kindled” (Lk 12:49). Just as the fire taken for the enjoyment of the meats expresses boiling zeal, so also the unleavened bread expresses sincerity and the bitter herbs expresses the tribulations to follow. For he says, “Unleavened bread is eaten with bitter herbs” (Ex 12:8). The manner is sincere and not evildoing, having taken off that old knavishness like leaven and taken up the new unknavishness to be leavened. For he says, “For our Passover sacrifice, Christ, was made. Therefore let us celebrate, not with the old leaven or with the leaven of wickedness and evil but with the unleavened bread of purity and truth” (1 Cor 5:7,8). And tribulations are bitter herbs. “But also in the tribulations,” he says, “do we boast, knowing that tribulation produces endurance, endurance authenticity, authenticity hope, and hope does not put to shame” (Rom 5:3-5). “We must enter into the kingdom through many tribulations” (Ac 14:22). Therefore we allow tribulation like seasoning because of the hope and the kingdom which comes from it.
The ordinance forbids eating the meat raw. This would be meaningless to those listening in a bodily way. Through it God forbade what never would have happened anyway. For no one would eat it raw. But on our side it gives great meaning not to come idly to a partaking of the divine body. For it is rendered unpartakable for those who handle it idly and do not seek after a mixing with it through good works. He says, “Faith without works is dead” (Jm 2:26). And because of this, tribulations are conferred upon those who handle it idly for their benefit, as Paul says, so that they might partake of his holiness (Heb 12:10).
The flesh’s love for pleasure produces idleness concerning the spiritual works. Therefore the lawgiver makes this clear with another symbol and forbids eating also what is boiled in water. That which is boiled is prepared for the pleasure of eating. The divine food is not to be received with pleasure. For spiritual power is not mixed in a fleshly way. So do not boil the holy meat, he says, mixing it with pleasures, but only let it be eaten roasted with fire, as the zeal is intense and not pleasure-loving. The love of pleasure is not a love for God, as Paul says (2 Tm 3:4), and for those “whose God is their stomach” (Phil 3:19) God is not God. And those who change the eucharist into extravagant feasting are not acceptable to the Apostle, as they make the most holy communion into a pretext for much and many kinds of eating and drinking. Paul says to them, “It is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For each receives his own supper when he eats, and whoever drinks becomes drunk. For don’t you have houses for eating and drinking? Or do you think little of the Church of God and shame those who do not have? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you? In this I do not commend you” (1 Cor 11:20-22). He says the trials are happening to them because of this careless use concerning the holy food, for they do not approach what is holy in a holy manner. For he says, “Because of this many among you are weak and sick and a good number have fallen asleep. If you judged yourself, we would not be judged” (1 Cor 11:30,31). Those who do not present their body ready for mixing with his body are liable for godlessness against the Lord. He gave us this so that, having been mixed with it, we are further mixed with the Holy Spirit. For also because of this the Word of God entirely gave himself to a body and became flesh, according to the words of the Evangelist (Jn 1:14), in order that, since we were not able to participate in the Word, we might participate in his flesh, powerfully adapting our flesh to the spiritual flesh and the spirit to the Spirit. Thus we would be rendered the likenesses of Christ, becoming the temples of the Spirit, as the Apostle says, “You are the temples of God” (1 Cor 3:16), and again, “Do you not know that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?” (1 Cor 6:19) And by being mixed with the Holy Spirit he is made a part of the body of Christ and made to be treated with holiness, treated as members of Christ. For he says, “Do you not know that your members are the members of Christ? So will I take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it not be” (1 Cor 6:15). So in this way and with these kinds of symbols the lawgiving arranged the preparation of the holy food, arranging the prefiguration then for our benefit.
He says, “And the head with the feet and the intestines” (12:9). By head he intimates the beginning of the appearance to the people. This is the first coming. And by feet he intimates the end. This is the second coming, without which the first cannot be believed because it did not fulfill all the things prophesied. For this reason, because the things of the glorious coming have not being fulfilled, the Jews do not believe, supposing that Christ is not the one coming in this way. Because of this he intertwines them and said, “the head with the feet,” that is, the first coming with the second. Thus you should receive the Lord as a sheep led without glory to the slaughter and see the king appearing with glory, both of which the prophet Isaiah foretold, and not demand the redemption of Jerusalem but wait for later when “The Redeemer will come from Zion and turn the godless from Jacob” (Is 59:20) as he saves the remnant of the people which are going to turn to him. On the contrary, you would see that in the first coming “I abandoned my house. I left behind my inheritance” (Jer 12:7), and, “He placed him with the godless for his burial and the rich for his death” (Is 53:9) are fulfilled. So in saying “head with the feet,” he protests to the Jews, “Stop separating the inglorious coming from the glorious one so that you will stop being separated from communion with him by not believing.
But he also says, “With the intestines.” Why is this? Do not be offended because of the appearance but view also what is hidden. Do not consider him to be a man like you because he also is a man according to the body. But know him spiritually and know the Father in him. For as long as you do not view the internal, you do not share in the intestines and you have not yet seen Christ, supposing him a man and not God. He himself says, “The one who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9).
Also to be considered is, “You will not leave it until the morning” (Ex 12:10). And let Paul interpret this for us, saying, we should make memory of the sufferings of the Lord until he comes (1 Cor 11:26). For this is performed until that point, and he saves those who are performing it until the present night passes and it becomes morning and the living Christ shines on us from heaven and he who now saves us through his death saves us through his life. He says, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more will we be saved in his life” (Rom 5:10). So we are already saved in the death of Christ, but then we will be saved in his life.
The symbol of the meat of the sacrifice not being left over until morning pertains to this. For we also will be living then and our coming dying will pass. Right now we are saved in no other way than if we are put to death, but then we will have living salvation. He says, “Do not think of earthly things. For you have died and your life is hidden away with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Col 3:2-4). Therefore also if any of the meats of the victim are left over, they are burned up with fire so that we may know that in the current age Christ has died to sin once for all. No longer does death dominate him but the signs of death are renounced by the power of the Spirit as by fire because life rules.
“But certainly the bones from it will not be ground up” (Ex 12:46). The blessed John says that it has been kept bodily that his legs were not broken. But he also has the spiritual explanation, for the strength in him remained undiminished and because of this decay did not touch the body. For it had a very strong and uncrushible pedestal because the body is held together divinely and not fleshly and it has had the divine birth so as to not be subject to the decay of people. He says, “His flesh did not see decay” (Ac 2:31).
And having examined these things concerning the saving use of the holy food, let us now also put an end to our words, leaving the things after this for another examination. We make the request David made of the Lord, “Open my eyes and I will consider the marvels from your law” (Ps 119:18) so that the recognition of the things of the law is not contemptible to us as to the Jews who stop at the types, but, considering the divine symbols in a divine manner, let us come to the most divine knowledge, in Christ Jesus our Lord, through whom and with whom glory be to the Father with the Holy Spirit forever. Amen.

Translated by AMJ

Last updated: 8-16-2013

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