Brian and I met yesterday at Albina Press to catch up and talk some theology. One thing we touched on was the importance of the church fathers, and how they are a safe guideline to understanding the Scriptures. As I was working on some translations in Mounce‘s Basics of Biblical Greek workbook, I came across a beautiful passage that I did not recognize. I looked up where it came from found it is from 1 Clement, one of the earliest church fathers. Here is the passage and translation:
1 Clement 49:6 – ἐν ἀγάπῃ προσελάβετο ἡμᾶς ὁ δεσπότης· διὰ τὴν ἀγάπην, ἣν ἔσχεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς, τὸ αἷμα αὐτοῦ ἔδωκεν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν ἐν θελήματι θεοῦ, καὶ τὴν σάρκα ὑπὲρ τῆς σαρκὸς ἡμῶν καὶ τὴν ψυχὴν ὑπὲρ τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν.
In love the master received us: on account of the love, which Jesus Christ our Lord had for us, his blood he gave on our behalf in the will of God, and his flesh on behalf of our flesh, and and his life on behalf of our lives.
Whatever the genre of this verse, it makes the point that Christ stands in solidarity with humanity and came to redeem the human person in his or her entirety—and this comes from the love Christ had for us.