The Mystery of the Incarnation: The Theotokias
Indeed, the personality of the Virgin, the Mother of God, has above the greatest importance concerning the mystery of the incarnation. We cannot taste or touch it and feel or live it and take its blessings except after comprehending the divine connection between the divine and human natures in the divine factory (the womb of the Virgin Mary).
Since the mystery of incarnation is the foundation of all mysteries of Christianity, the prophets became expert in the Old Testament with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in casting the large light on this mystery–that is in their description for the Virgin as the Second Heaven.
Thus the Virgin is not a box which has a jewel from which we took the jewel and discarded the box. NO!
These words are dangerous for two reasons: First: Because God the Word became flesh. He took from the flesh and blood of the Virgin and was weaned with her milk (Heb 2:14).
Thus, the Virgin is not just a box for the divine body. Second: If she was just a box, those who say this destroy the mystery of the incarnation from the view of its benefits to mankind. So the intention of the mystery of the incarnation is what the church says in the Theotokia of Friday: “He took from what is ours and gave us what is His.” He took our flesh — He was born with it; He acted and worked with it; then with it He died; and with it He rose; and He raised us with Him; He ascended with it; thus He lifted us up with it to the heavens, and He sat at the right of His Father, and He prepared a place for us (Eph 2:5,6)… Thus He became the firstborn among many brethren, and He is bringing them to glory (Heb 2:10). Consequently, the expression of the box and the jewel is an expression that separates the body of the Virgin from the body of Christ. Subsequently, it is a separation of the body of Christ from my body. Indeed, this separation leads us to the person isolated from God. The truth is that Christianity is built on an important foundation: “It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me,” (Gal 2:20) our believing in the inability of the person to comprehend God without God.
From the marvelous symbols that the Theotokias record for us in this matter:
- The Holiest of Holies: It is symbolic of the Virgin in that it is separated from the rest of the temple, anointed and consecrated for the incarnation of God in it. With this the Virgin became the living model to the way that makes us participants in the divine nature — not unless there is the detachment from sin and the sanctifying of the heart and its consecration to God.
- The Ark Overlaid with Gold: The ark made with wood that does not rot, overlaid with gold. For the wood that does not rot is a symbol for the purity of the Virgin and the gold is a symbol for the divinity. This is a symbol that all the heavenly gifts are not from our wooden nature, but it is a heavenly gift of gold that covers our nature. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.” In addition to this, we put in front of our eyes that purity is a divine grace related with the presence of God with us.
- The Covering of the Ark with the Cherubim Overshadowing it: This expression is synonymous with the saying of the Bible, “The power of the Highest will overshadow you.” This symbol uncovers to us the depth of God’s concern for us who overshadows us with His caring and protects us with the protection of His wings so that the sun shall not strike us by day nor the moon by night.
- The Golden Pot and the Manna that was Hidden in it: If the golden pot received honor in the Old Testament with the placement of the manna in it, so the Virgin with her giving a body to Christ has received great honor and carried the True Manna and presented Him to us — that whoever eats from it will never die.
- The Golden Lampstand Carrying the Light: It was a symbol for the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Light. “We exalt you, O Mother of the True Light” because she carried the True Light that gives light to every person that comes into the world. The Virgin is a lampstand. Subsequently, the church (i.e. the community of believers) became lampstands. “And the lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.” (Rev 1:20) It also alludes to the seven orders of the church.
- The Golden Censer — a symbol of the Virgin. The gold is a symbol of her purity, and the censer carries the live coal of divinity and does not burn. The censer is used in prayer, and therefore the Virgin lays for us the way of being with God — that is prayer.
- The Rod of Aaron that Blossomed: It was a symbol for the conception of the Virgin without a blemish.
- The Blossom of Incense: It was a symbol of the Virgin whose fragrance spread in the world.
- The Burning Bush which was Blazing with Fire and was not Burned: It was a symbol of the divine conception from the Virgin.
- A comparison between the Virgin the Mother of Salvation — and Eve the mother of death.
- The Ladder which Jacob Saw — firm on the earth and ascending to heaven and the angels descending on it… It was a symbol for the Virgin whose body God used for coming down from heaven to our nature. Then He ascended our nature to His heaven.
- Mount Sinai: The word of God coming down on it was a symbol of the Virgin, the carrier of the Word.
- The Mountain which Daniel Saw and had Cut a Rock from: It was a symbol of the Virgin from whom Christ took a body from without anyone touching the mountain.
- The Gate that Ezekiel the Prophet Saw Closed, not opened or a person entering it. “Because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.” (Ezekiel 44:2) This was a symbol of the Virgin, the Ever-Virgin.
- A symbol for the Virgin is that she is the city of God, the dwelling of the joyous (Ps 87:7). “The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Is 60:3)
- The cloud is a symbol of the Virgin: “Behold, the Lord rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt.” (Is 19:1)
- Mary is the Rational Paradise that the Second Adam dwelt in (the Lord Jesus).
- Mary is a new second heaven that the Sun of Righteousness shined from. (Mal 4:2)
- Mary is the dough of all mankind who presented herself to Christ so that He would take a body from her.
- Mary is the woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet, and the twelve stars crown her head. The woman is the Virgin, the sun is Christ, and the moon is John the Baptist, and the twelve stars are the pure apostles. (Rev 12:1-2)
- She became higher than the Cherubim and elevated above the Seraphim because she became a throne for God carried by the Cherubim and the Seraphim.
- Isaiah the prophet said about her, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel which is translated, ‘God with us.'”
- The Tablets of the Covenant Written with the Finger of God were a symbol of the Virgin from whom the Word of God took flesh. And from the marvelous expressions which were recorded in the Theotokias:
“The Father looked from heaven and did not find anyone that resembles you, He sent His Only-Begotten, He came and took flesh from you.” “The unincorporeal incarnated; and the Word took a form; and the One without a beginning began; and the eternal became temporal; and they handled the incomprehensible; and they saw the unseen.” (The Wednesday Theotokia)
“He did not cease to be God and became a Son of Man, but He is the true God, He came and saved us.” “The womb that fell under the condemnation and gave birth to children with heartache became a spring for the absence of death.” (Friday Theotokia)
Click Here for The Last Part of The Tasbeha Praise – http://www.vimeo.com/8054017