Then he is gracious unto him, and says, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
Read Chapter 33
Gregory The Dialogist
5. The Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus, shews mercy on man, by having assumed the form of a man. Through this compassion He says to His Father on behalf of redeemed man, Deliver him from going down to corruption. For as we before said, His saying, Deliver him, is His shewing forth man’s nature free by taking it upon Him. For by that flesh which He assumed, He proved the freedom of this also which He redeemed. This ransomed flesh is, in truth, ourselves, who are fettered by the consciousness [al. ‘condition.’] of our guilt. But by the righteousness [‘aequitate.’] of so mighty a Redeemer are we set free, as He says Himself, If the Son hath set you free, ye shall be free indeed. [John 8, 36] And in behalf of this ransomed man it is well said, That he go not down to corruption. For it had been said above, His soul shall draw near to corruption. It is declared afterwards, That he go not down to corruption. As if He were to say, Because he is aware, from a sense of his infirmity, that he is not far from corruption, therefore let him not descend to the death of corruption. For he would rightly go down to corruption, if he were to consider that by his own strength he was far removed from it. But because he has approached thereto with humility, he ought to be mercifully delivered therefrom; that the more he confesses he is weak by nature, he may be the more strengthened against the sins which assail him. For whoever extols himself above his proper condition, is weighed down by the very burden of his pride, and plunges himself the lower, the more he has rushed into the sin of pride, and has separated himself far from Him Who is truly exalted; [Luke 14, 11] and he sinks the more to the bottom, from the very fact, that he considered himself in union with the highest; as is said by the Prophet to the soul which exalts itself, The more beautiful thou art, go down, and sleep with the uncircumcised. [Ez. 32, 19] For every one who neglects to consider the hideousness of his infirmity, but looks through haughtiness of pride to the credit of his virtue, sinks the lower, from his being more beautiful. Since from priding himself on his merits, he falls into the lowest depths of destruction, on account of the very qualities, for which he considered himself worthy of honour. And he descends and sleeps with the uncircumcised, because he perishes in eternal death with other sinners. Because then this man humbly confessed that he was near to corruption, it is well said of him, Deliver him from going down to corruption; in order that he may the more escape punishment, from his not turning his eyes towards what is wrong. But because there was no one for whose merits the Lord could have needs been reconciled to us, the Only-begotten of the Father, taking on Himself the form of our infirmity, alone appeared just, in order that He might intercede for sinners.
6. And the Messenger, when speaking in behalf of this ransomed man, well says, I have found a way to propitiate for him. As though the Mediator between God and man were plainly to say, Because there was no one to appear before God as a righteous intercessor in behalf of man, I have made Myself a Man, to gain propitiation for mankind; and in manifesting Myself as a Man, I found a way of justly propitiating for him. And because the Lord, in taking on Him infirmity, when He endured our punishment in His death, reversed our corruption by His rising again, that Messenger fitly subjoins the sufferings of our mortal state, and shews pity on them.