St Gregory of Nyssa: Have You Accepted the Scriptures?

Bright Tuesday and Feast of Sts Aristarchus, Pudens and Trophimus, the Apostles of the 70

Gregory_Nyssa_Square.jpg“FURTHERMORE, it is possible,” she said [St. Macrina], “to gather many other testimonies from the holy Scriptures to support the doctrine of the resurrection. Ezekiel, for example, leaping over the whole interval of time and space by his spirit of prophecy, takes his stand at the very moment of the resurrection by his power of foreknowledge. As if already beholding that which will be, he brings it before the view of his narration. He sees a vast plain extended without limit and on it a great heap of bones, thrown about here and there haphazardly. Then he sees them moved together by divine power towards the bones which belong to them, and growing into their own joints. Then sinews, flesh, and skin enwrap them (which the psalm calls ‘covering’), and a spirit gives life and awakens all that were lying dead (Ez. 37.1-4).

“Why should one mention the apostle’s enumeration of the miracles connected with the resurrection, which is readily available for the reader? The passage tells how at a command and the sound of trumpets, all together in a moment of time, those who are lying dead will be changed into a condition of immortal nature (1 Cor. 15.51-53). We shall also pass over the words of the Gospels, because they are well known to everyone. The Lord does not merely say in words that the dead will rise, but He brings about the actual resurrection, beginning His wonder-working with those miracles which are nearer to us and less likely to be disbelieved. First He shows His life-giving power in mortal diseases, dispelling sufferings by His word of command (e.g. Jn. 4.46-53 and Lk. 7.1-10). Then He wakes a newly-dead child (Lk 8.49-56). Next He raises from the coffin a young man who is already being carried to the tombs and gives him back to his mother (Lk. 7.11-17). After this, when the dead Lazarus has already begun to decompose, after four days He leads him out living from the tombs, by the command of His voice bringing to life the man who was lying dead (Jn. 11.1-44). Then, when His own humanity has been pierced with nails and spear, He raises it from the dead on the third day, keeping the prints of the nails and the wound of the spear as evidence of His resurrection. Concerning these deeds I do not think it is necessary to go into detail, as there is no doubt among those who have accepted the Scriptures.”

—St Gregory of Nyssa, On the Soul and the Resurrection

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