April 7th, 2012| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


It was called Chalcedon (sounds like “Kal-see-dun”), an ancient maritime town in Asia Minor, on the coast of the Sea of Marmara, at the mouth of the Bosphorus.

Today it is called Kadıköy and it is a district of Istanbul, located on Istanbul’s Asian side.

I was wandering around in Kadıköy, a few weeks ago, in search of the best boregi (layers of phyllo, buttered and soft, dusted with sugar, drenched in custard). And I found the perfect sample in Bizim Ev, a little hole-in-the-wall purveyor, between butchers, martial arts studios, mom-and-pop grocers, and hairstylists. And their eggplant boregi was outstanding too. And their pogaca, stuffed with all kinds of veggies. I bought more than I could consume … or so I thought. The box was empty by the time I had negotiated the lanes and alleys and found my way back to the ferry to return to Old Istanbul.

It was during these twilight perambulations in Kadıköy’s market area that I ran into Surp Takavor [Christ the Savior] Gregorian Armenian Church.

The cross stood out.

In a country (Turkey) where 99% of the people are Muslim, and only 0.6% are Christian, the cross stood out.

It was an even more poignant scene when I remembered what Chalcedon (today’s Kadıköy) was famous for in church history.

The Church Council of Chalcedon was held October–November, 451, the fourth of its kind. 370 leaders of the church attended, primarily to express a fundamental doctrine of Christology.

Here was hammered out the Chalcedonian Definition, the conclusive statement on Christ’s Person. The creed that resulted confessed Jesus Christ as fully God: “one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead, … consubstantial [of one substance] with the Father according to the Godhead.”

It also affirmed that Jesus Christ was fully man, “perfect in manhood, … consubstantial with us according to the Manhood … one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten.”

And, it continued, Jesus Christ therefore had two natures: He is “to be acknowledged in two natures, unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably, … concurring in one Person and Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Complicated, but scriptural. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. One person. Two natures. Indivisible but distinct.

If he were not fully God, he could not pay for the sins of man. Only a perfect sacrifice would suffice. And only God is perfect and sinless.

If he were not fully man, he could not pay for the sins of man. Only a human who could die and bear humanity’s punishment for sin could atone for its sins.

Christ was fully God and fully man.

Fully man! He died as only man could. For the sins of mankind.

He Himself likewise also partook
of [flesh and blood] that through death
He might render powerless him who had
the power of death, that is, the devil.
Hebrews 2:14

Fully God! And after his resurrection from the dead, one of his disciples acknowledged Jesus’ deity.

Thomas answered and said to Him,
“My Lord and my God!”
John 20:28

That’s what Easter is all about. He died and rose for our sins, setting us free.

You were … redeemed …
with precious blood, …
the blood of Christ.
1 Peter 1:18–19

Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection for sin have been set free, praise God!

… whoever believes in Him shall not perish,
but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Happy Easter!

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