Gnostic Doctrine

Sunday, 21 August 2022

Heracleon The Slain Lamb

The Slain Lamb

The nature of Jesus 

Heracleon: Fragments from his
Commentary on the Gospel of Johm

Fragment 10, on John 1:29 (In John 1:29, “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’”) John spoke the words, "Lamb of God" as a prophet, but the words, "who takes away the sin of the world" as more than a prophet. The first expression was spoken with reference to his body, the second with reference to Him who was in that body. The lamb is an imperfect member of the genus of sheep; the same being true of the body as compared with the one that dwells in it. Had he meant to attribute perfection to the body he would have spoken of a ram about to be sacrificed.

The flesh which Christ took was imperfect and fitly represented by the Lamb.
‘He who taketh away the sin of the world’ is the Higher Being, who dwells in the body that is the Logos 

The phrase who takes away the sin of the world indicates the being dwelling in the body the Logos

Heracleon interprets the imperfection of the lamb in relation to other members of its species relative to the imperfection of the body that harbours a perfect being such as the Logos 

Fragment 12, on John 2:13 (In John 2:13, “The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.”) This is the great feast. It was a type of the passion of the Savior, for the lamb was not only slain, but, on being consumed, provided rest as well. When sacrificed, it signified the passion of the Savior in this world; when consumed, the rest that is in the marriage.

but the slaying of the lamb at the Great Feast is typical of the Passion of the Saviour, as again
the eating of it symbolises the Marriage Feast of the future

WE do not deny the perfect sinlessness of Christ. We believe and teach that he was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners" (Heb. 7:26), and that he was "in all points tried as we, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). This was his intellectual and moral status.

Yet he was not perfect. This he says of himself, and therefore we may safely affirm it with him. He tells us that he was not perfected till the third day (Lk. 13:32), when he was perfected in recompense for his obedience unto death (Heb. 2:10; 5:9).

That which was imperfect was the nature with which the Logos, that came down from heaven to do the Father's will, clothed himself. That nature was flesh of the stock of Abraham, compared in Zech. 3:3 to "filthy garments," typical of the "infirmity with which he was compassed."

FOR this "infirmity" called "himself" - AND for all of the same infirmity associated with him by faith in the promises made with Abraham and David, and in him as the Mediator thereof - he poured out his blood as a covering for sin.

Upon this principle, "His own self bare our sins IN HIS OWN BODY to the tree" (I Peter 2:24). Sins borne in a body prove that body to be imperfect; and characterize it as "Sin's Flesh" (sarx amartias). Sin's Flesh is imperfect, and well adapted for the condemnation of sin therein.

Sin could not have been condemned in the flesh of angels; and therefore the Logos did not assume it: but clothed Himself with that of the seed of Abraham. Hence

"The Deity sent His Own Son in the identity of SIN'S FLESH, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:3).


This condemnation accomplished, the body slain was made alive again, and perfected, so that it now lives for the Aions of the Aions, as "the Lord the Spirit."

The goat for a sin offering shows us the antitypical sacrifice of sin's flesh–a pushful, masterful thing–which was put to death on Calvary, ‘that the body of sin might be destroyed’ (Rom. 6:6-10); though in Christ, its pushful masterful tendencies were all overcome beforehand–as Jesus said, ‘I have overcome’–that the sacrifice (without blemish) might be accepted for us." (R. Roberts, The Law of Moses, The Annual Services, 4th ed., p. 199)

"A lamb without blemish" — See John 1:29 where Christ is so styled. Peter identifies the Lord with the Passover Lamb, which is also described as being "without blemish." The lamb is noted for its docility, so that one "without blemish" is representative of meekness and perfect obedience. The hero of the Apocalypse is "the lamb that had been slain" (Rev. 5:6), for the Lord is described in that manner in all his glory of conquest. It is the Lamb that destroys the wild beast of the Apocalypse, for having conquered self; Christ is competent to conquer the world (Prov. 16:32).

Christ escaped the hereditary moral and mental bias of the race, and received such a divine intellectual impress as made him strong, in spirit or mind, and of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord. He was therefore enabled to overcome all the promptings and desires of his unclean nature derived from his mother, and maintained his moral perfection without blemish and undefiled."