– I am reading your book, “Fly High.” The following question came up. You write that the Lord took upon Himself our human flesh fully with sin existing in it, but except for the sympathy with sin. He died in this flesh and killed the sin. Then it comes out that there is an unforgiven sin remaining with humankind and this sin is our sympathy with sin. The Lord did not take it with Him to Golgotha, did He?
– This is not about sympathy with sin, this is about the existence of sin among us. Sympathy with sin is a sin itself. If we start analyzing Christ, look how deep He went into the nature of a human after the 40-days fast. He allowed satan to tempt Him – to approach and tempt Him. We usually read this extract without paying too much attention to it. However, if you reflect on it, you will see the great humility of Christ and the madness of satan. If he only realized Who he was tempting, he would have never approached Him. But Christ allows tempting Him. The Holy Fathers say that sin does not start with one’s thoughts. The Lord permits thoughts to come and tempt every one of us, in order to see if we are loyal to Christ or not. At that moment, our freedom of choice starts to work. The Holy Fathers say, when a thought has just come, this is not a sin yet, but a sin begins with slowing down and coming into a relationship with this thought. There was a moment when satan was allowed to come and tempt Christ, in other words, test His quality, if I may say so. And the Lord showed His quality. He did not sympathize with sin even for a moment. He denied it at once. I do not say the nature of Christ was sinful. Not at all! But this nature, as well as ours, had the freedom of choice.
And, of course, Christ, being the Perfect Goodness, did not stop for a second at those thoughts.
Archpriest Sergiy Baranov