Sundays:  Pastor's Class 9:00 AM (Ephesians)
               Divine Liturgy 10:30 AM

Wednesdays: Pastor's Class 10:00 AM (Psalm 119 deep dive)
                    Divine Liturgy 7:00 PM




March 29, 2024 Pastor: Rev. Dean Kavouras

MY GODLutheran Church
Cleveland, Ohio
March 29, 2024
by: Rev. Dean Kavouras

Good Friday
Quincque Vult

“Who although he is God and Man yet he is not two, but one Christ. One not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by assumption of the Manhood into God.”

Every Sunday during Advent we confess the Athanasian Creed as our opening chapel devotion. We confess the same on Trinity Sunday each year as well.

Now if you want to understand who this Christ is, who “died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” Who by angelic decree was named “Jesus, for “he shall save his people from their sins.” He “who in the fullness of time was born of woman, born under the Law to redeem those who are under the Law,” if you want to know WHO he is, then listen again to the words of the Athanasian Creed.

“Who although he is God and Man yet he is not two, but one Christ. One not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by assumption of the Manhood into God.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ – whose bleak yet wonderful death we mark this evening with deep reverence and eternal thanksgiving – did not convert his Godhead into flesh, but assumed Manhood into God. There was no “confusion of persons” at the incarnation, but only this eternally redeeming miracle that all must believe to be saved: that our Lord assumed Manhood into God.

The pop-Jesus of neo-Evangelical culture, to whom slinky Christian seductresses sing “love songs,” is what Saint Paul calls “another Jesus” in 2 Cor. 11:4. But the “real” Jesus imbibed, not just our sin, but our entire humanity. Every last bit of it. Every last drop of it. Brimming over as it is with sin’s corruption, blindness, darkness, evil intentions of the heart, believing nothing, hoping nothing, loving nothing but itself, scornful of his Creator, fierce holder of illogical and irrational cultural dogmas, self-righteous to the core to the max, subject to every imaginable accident, catastrophe, illness, weakness of mind body soul and condition – and finally succumbing to the cessation of his life. Or in the words of Moses in the 90th Psalm “For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh.”

Now any sane person would run away from this as far, and as fast as he could …

But not the Eternal Son of the Father who, rather than run, happily assumed humanity into himself. Into the Godhead.

Would your elected officials, or the high priests of dead culture do that? Would you? Would you take a blood transfusion from a person diagnosed with AIDS, or Hepatitis B?

If a woman were in search of a donor for in vitro fertilization – would she search for the most diseased, genetically impoverished donor she could find? Would she wade through the shallow end of the gene pool, as they say, seeking out those who are genetically disposed to illness? Lest we suffer from pride let us remember that we all live in the shallow end of the gene pool. It was forever shallow until “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” (Jn. 1:14) Until Jesus assumed humanity into his divinity at his Holy Incarnation.

“Not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood into God.

How far did our Lord take things? Was he just born into humanity, content to show solidarity with us by living our lives, suffering the normal range of human woes that we all endure, and then hoping to “die with dignity.”

How far did our Lord take his love for us?

He took it to the max.

He paid the price of human sin in order to chase it far away from us. To send it to hell, so to speak, where it belongs. Where the devil and his angels, and all who refuse the Life that Jesus offers, can deal with it in a shadowy world without end.

Now if Jesus were “converted into man” we would not be here tonight. But instead we would be out partying like there was no tomorrow, or flattened into the asphalt by a convoy of Satanic steam-rollers so that if the first one did not do the job, then the second, or the tenth would serve.

But as it is – God be praised - our Lord did not convert Godhead into humanity, but “assumed humanity into God.”

By virtue of his taking us into himself we are renewed – but of course that simple word does not cover the matter nor do any, except the words of holy liturgy which is where otherwise blasphemous sinners are supplied with sparkling tongues.

“Give us lips to sing thy glory,
Tongues thy mercy to proclaim,
Throats to shout the hope that fills us,
Mouths to speak thy holy name.
Alleluia! Alleluia! May the light which thou dost send
Fill our songs with alleluias, Alleluias without end!”