|The "Epistle of Barnabas"|
|The new creation|
The Lord took on the burden of delivering up his flesh to corruption for this reason, that by his sprinkled blood we should receive the remission of sins and be made holy. For the scripture concerning him relates partly to Israel, partly to us, and it speaks thus: He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, by his stripes we were healed. He was brought as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before its shearer. Therefore we ought to give great thanks to the Lord that he has given us knowledge of the past, and wisdom for the present, and that we are not wholly without understanding for the future. Scripture also says, Not unjustly are the nets spread out for the birds. This means that if a man has a knowledge of the way of righteousness, but turns aside into the way of darkness, he deserves to perish.
Moreover, my brethren, if the Lord endured to suffer for our life, though he is the Lord of all the world, the one to whom God said before the foundation of the world, Let us make man in our image and likeness, how, then, did he endure to suffer at the hand of man? Learn: – The Prophets, who received grace and inspiration from him, made prophecies concerning him. He had to take on human flesh if he was to destroy death and make known the Resurrection from the dead; and so he took on this burden, to fulfil the promise made to the patriarchs, to prepare the new people for himself, and to show while he was on earth that he himself will raise the dead and judge the risen. Furthermore, by teaching Israel and working miracles he made known his message and showed his superabundant love.
By the remission of sins he re-made us in a completely different mould, giving us the souls of children, as though he were creating us afresh. It is about us that (as Scripture tells us) God speaks to his Son: Let us make man after our image and likeness, and let them rule the beasts of the earth, and the birds of heaven, and the fishes of the sea. Seeing the beauty of his creation, he adds Increase and multiply and fill the earth. He was speaking to his Son but I will show you that he speaks to us as well. In the last days he made a second creation; and the Lord says, See, I make the last things as the first. This is what the prophet was talking about when he proclaimed, Enter into a land flowing with milk and honey, and rule over it. See then, we have been created afresh, as he says again through another prophet, Behold, I will take the stony hearts out of the people (that is those people who were already being foreseen by the Spirit) and put hearts of flesh into them. He says this because he was going to appear in the flesh himself and dwell among us. So, my brethren, the habitation of our hearts is a shrine consecrated to the Lord. Moreover the Lord says I will proclaim you in the assembly of my brethren, I will sing hymns to you in the midst of the assembled people of God. We, then, are the people he has brought into the good land.