Sanctified in him

Daily Reading for May 2 • Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, 373

What advantage then was it for the immortal to have assumed the mortal? Or what improvement does the everlasting one get by putting on the temporal? How great can any reward be for the everlasting God and King in the bosom of the Father? Don’t you see that this too was done and written because of us and for us? The Lord became man for us, we who are mortal and temporal, so that he might make us immortal and bring us into the everlasting kingdom of heaven. . . .

It is not the Word then (viewed as the Word) that is improved. For he had all things and has them always. But it is the human race, which has its origin in him and through him, that is the one who receives the improvement. For when he is now said to be anointed according to human terms, it is we who in him are anointed, since also when he is baptized, it is we who in him are baptized. But on all these things the Savior throws significant light when he says to the Father, “And the glory that you gave me, I have given to them, that they may be one, even as we are one.” Because of us, then, he asked for glory. And the words “took” and “gave” and “highly exalted” occur so that we might take, and to us might be given and we might be exalted in him. He also sanctifies himself for us so that we might be sanctified in him.

From Discourses Against the Arians by Athanasius, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament IVb, John 11-21, edited by Joel C. Elowsky (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2007).

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