The Word Became Flesh (John 1:1-17)
The Gospel reading for the Divine Liturgy of Pascha begins by stating that the Word (or Logos) of God was present with God in the beginning and is God by nature, and all things were created through Him: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1-3). Nevertheless, we humans did not know Him who is the life and light of Mankind, and thus were on a hopeless downward spiral that led to death and destruction. The Out of His abundant love for Mankind, the Word became flesh, He Incarnated and took on our human nature and dwelt amongst us.
The Gospel continues to show us exactly who this was. It says St John the Baptist who was sent by God bore witness of Him who took up our flesh, and it was Jesus Christ. In writing this, St John (the Evangelist) being one of the twelve Apostles had personal experiences of Jesus, he spoke with Him and walked with Him and ate with Him and saw His many miracles and heard His many sermons continuously for three years. He testifies here that Jesus became a Man with the same flesh all humans have, and he beheld the glory of Jesus, full of grace and truth.
This is an important testimony because it shows that God the Word having taken our flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, sanctified it with His blameless and holy life by fulfilling all righteousness, suffered and died in the flesh on the Cross taking upon Him the sin of the world, was buried and victoriously defeated death by His Resurrection on the third day, and ascended with our human nature – now cleansed of sin and liberated from death – offering it to the Father and restoring Mankind’s relationship with the Father through His own flesh.
This is summarised by St Gregory the Theologian who stated that God had to become fully human to save us, since “that which has not been assumed, has not been redeemed”. This is what we are reminded on Pascha, and rightly so, just before we receive the fullness of His flesh and blood, so that our nature too will be cleansed by grace and filled with His light and life, to vouchsafe our inheritance in the Kingdom of God with the only begotten Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Source: Lychnos April 2018 / May 2018