Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume IX/Origen on John/Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John/Book II/Chapter 21

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Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. IX, Origen on John, Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John, Book II by Origen, translated by Allan Menzies
Chapter 21

21.  Christ is Not, Like God, Quite Free from Darkness:  Since He Bore Our Sins.

Now some one will ask how this statement that there is no darkness in Him can be regarded as a thing peculiar to Him, when we consider that the Saviour also was quite without sin.  Could it not be said of Him also that “He is light, and that there is no darkness in Him”?  The difference between the two cases has been partly set forth above.  We will now, however, go a step further than we did before, and add, that if God made Christ who knew no sin to be sin for us,[1] then it could not be said of Him that there was no darkness in Him.  For if Jesus was in the likeness[2] of the flesh of sin and for sin, and condemned sin by taking upon Him the likeness of the flesh of sin, then it cannot be said of Him, absolutely and directly, that there was no darkness in Him.  We may add that “He[3] took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses,” both infirmities of the soul and sicknesses of the hidden man of our heart.  On account of these infirmities and sicknesses which He bore away from us, He declares His soul to be sorrowful and sore troubled,[4] and He is said in Zechariah to have put on filthy garments,[5] which, when He was about to take them off, are said to be sins.  “Behold, it is said, I have taken away thy sins.”  Because He had taken on Himself the sins of the people of those who believed in Him, he uses many such expressions as these:  “Far from my salvation are the words of my transgressions,”[6] and “Thou knowest my foolishness, and my sins were not hid from Thee.”[7]  And let no one suppose that we say this from any lack of piety towards the Christ of God; for as the Father alone has immortality and our Lord took upon Himself, for His love to men, the death He died for us, so to the Father alone the words apply, “In Him is no darkness,” since Christ took upon Himself, for His goodwill towards men, our darknesses.  This He did, that by His power He might destroy our death and remove the darkness which is in our soul, so that the saying in Isaiah might be fulfilled,[8] “The people that sat in darkness saw a great light.”  This light, which came into being in the Logos, and is also life, shines in the darkness of our souls, and it has come where the rulers of this darkness carry on their struggle with the race of men and strive to subdue to darkness those who do not stand firm with all their power; that they might be enlightened the light has come so far, and that they might be called sons of light.  And shining in darkness this light is pursued by the darkness, but not overtaken.


  1. 2 Cor. v. 21.
  2. Rom. viii. 3.
  3. Matt. viii. 17.
  4. Matt. xxvi. 38.
  5. Zech. iii. 4.
  6. Ps. xxii. 1.
  7. Ps. lxix. 5.
  8. ix. 2.