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The wondrous Cross:

Nature trembled and said with astonishment: What new mys­tery is this? The Judge is judged and remains silent; The invis­ible One is seen and does not hide Himself; The incomprehensible One is comprehended and does not resist; The unmeasurable One is measured and does not struggle; The One beyond suffering suffers and does not avenge Himself; The immortal dies and does not refuse death. What new mystery is this?

—Melito of Sardis, Homily on the Passion


All kings when they die have their power extinguished with their life: but Christ crucified is worshipped by the whole world. We proclaim The Crucified, and the devils tremble….

—Cyril of Jerusalem, CatecheticalLectures


Well done, O Cross, that has cast off the ruler, brought home the robber, and called the apostle to repentance, and has not thought it beneath thy dignity to accept us.

-Acts of Andrew

If they were cast out of paradise because of the tree and the eating thereof, shall not believers now enter more easily into paradise because of the tree of Jesus?

—Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures


The sun was darkened, because of the Sun of Righteousness. Rocks were rent, because of the spiritual Rock. Tombs were opened, and the dead arose, because of Him who was free among the dead.

—Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures

The Plan:

It was necessary, then, that one of two things should happen: either that God, in His truth, should destroy all men, or that in His loving-kindness He should blot out the sentence. But be­hold the wisdom of God: He preserved both the truth of His sentence, and the exercise of His loving-kindness. Christ bore our sins in His body on the tree. . . .

—Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures


Since it was through a tree that we lost the Logos in Paradise, it was through a tree again that the Logos was made manifest to all when He showed in Himself the length, the height, the depth, and the breadth, and as one of the oldest Christians said, He gathered together the two people to one God by stretching out both His hands.

—Ireneus, Against Heresies
The Power:

If any disbelieve the power of the Crucified, let him ask the devils; if any believe not words, let him believe what he sees. Many have been crucified throughout the world, but by none of these are the devils scared; but when they see even the Sign of the Cross of Christ, who was crucified for us, they shudder.

—Cyril of Jerusalem, Lecture on the Words, Crucified and Buried

Adam by the tree fell away; thou by the Tree art brought into Paradise.

—Cyril of Jerusalem, Lecture an the Word, Crucified and Buried


He is raised upon a high cross.... Who was He? Painful it is to tell, more terrible not to tell.

—Melito of Sardis, Homily on the Passion


Witness to the cross


Deny not the Crucified; for, if thou deny Him, thou hast many to arraign thee. Judas the traitor will arraign thee first; for he who betrayed Him knows that He was condemned to death by the chief-priests and elders. The thirty pieces of silver bear wit­ness; Gethsemane bears witness, where the betrayal occurred; I speak not yet of the Mount of Olives, on which they were with Him at night, praying. The moon in the night bears witness;

the day bears witness, and the sun which was darkened; for it endured not to look on the crime of the conspirators. The fire will arraign thee, by which Peter stood and warmed himself; if thou deny the Cross, the eternal fire awaits thee. I speak hard words, that thou may not experience hard pains.... The house of Caiaphas will arraign thee, shewing by its present desola­tion the power of Him who was erewhile judged there. Yea, Caiaphas himself will rise up against thee in the day of judg­ment. The very servant will rise up against thee, who smote Jesus with the palm of his hand; they also who bound Him, and they who led Him away. Even Herod shall rise up against thee; and Pilate; as if saying, Why deniest thou Him who was slan­dered before us by the Jews, and whom we knew to have done no wrong?... The false witnesses shall rise up against thee, and the soldiers who arrayed Him in the purple robe, and setonHim the crown of thorns, and crucified Him in Golgotha,andcast lots for His coat. . . .

From among the stars they will cry out upon thee, the dark­ened Sun; among the things upon earth, the Wine mingled with myrrh; among reeds, the Reed; among herbs, the Hyssop; among the things of the sea, the Sponge; among trees, the Wood of the Cross. . ..

—Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures

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