Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Cyril of Alexandria on the burning bush as a type of the Incarnation
Those who rejected the orthodox view of Christ as one person with two natures, argued that it would not be possible for any man to take on the glorious divine nature. In defending his view that in Christ God did not merely assume the form of a man but became a man, Cyril of Alexander points to the theophany of the burning bush in Exodus 3 as a type of the incarnation:
It was not impossible to God, in his living kindness, to make himself capable of bearing the limitations of manhood. And he foretold this to us in enigmas when he initiated Moses, depicting the manner of the incarnation in types. For he came down in the form of fire onto the bush in the desert, and the fire played upon the shrub but did not consume it. When he saw this Moses was amazed. Why was there no compatibility here between the wood and the fire? How did this inflammable substance endure the assaults of the flame? Well, as I have already said, this event was a type of a mystery, of how the divine Word supported the limitations of the manhood; because he chose to. Absolutely nothing is impossible to him (Mk 10:27) (On the Unity of Christ, p. 79).