THE LETTER OF BARNABAS
good, his righteousness will precede him; if evil, the reward for his wickedness will be before him. 13 As those who are called we must never lie down and lose consciousness of our sins, allowing the evil ruler to receive the authority against us and force us out of the Lord’s kingdom. 14 And still, my brothers, consider: when you observe that Israel was aban doned even after such signs and wonders had occurred in it, we too should pay close attention, lest, as it is written, “many of us were found called, but few chosen.”13
This is why the Lord allowed his ﬂesh to be given over to corruption, that we might be made holy through the forgiveness of sins, which comes in the sprinkling of his blood. 2 For some of the things written about him concern Israel; others concern us. And so it says: “He was wounded be cause of our lawless acts and weakened because of our sins. By his bruising we were healed. He was led like a sheep going to slaughter; and like a lamb, silent before the one who shears it.”14 3 Therefore we ought to give thanks to the Lord even more abundantly, because he revealed to us the things that have taken place and made us wise in the things that are now; and we are not ig norant of the things that are yet to happen. 4 And the Scripture says, “Not un justly are the nets spread out for the birds.”15 It says this because the person who knows the path of righteousness but keeps himself in the path of darkness deserves to perish. 5 Consider this, my brothers: if the Lord allowed himself to suffer for our sake, even though he was the Lord of the entire world, the one to whom God said
at the foundation of the world, “Let us make a human according to our image and likeness,”16 how then did he allow himself to suffer at the hands of humans? Learn this! 6 Because the prophets received his gracious gift, they prophesied looking ahead to him. He allowed himself to suf fer in order to destroy death and to show that there is a resurrection of the dead. For he had to be manifest in the ﬂesh. 7 And he allowed himself to suffer in order to redeem the promise given to the fathers and to show, while he was on earth preparing a new people for himself, that he is to execute judgment after rais ing the dead. 8 Moreover, while teaching Israel and doing such wonders and signs, he preached to them and loved them deeply. 9 And when he selected his own apos tles who were about to preach his gospel, they were altogether lawless beyond all sin. This was to show that he did not come to call the upright but sinners. Then he revealed that he was the Son of God. 10 For if he had not come in the ﬂesh, how would people have been able to look upon him and survive? For they cannot even look intently at the sun, gazing di rectly into its rays, even though it is the work of his hands and will eventually cease to exist. 11 Therefore, the Son of God came in the ﬂesh for this reason, that he might total up all the sins of those who perse cuted his prophets to death. 12 And so this is why he allowed him self to suffer. For God speaks of the blow they delivered against his ﬂesh: “When they smite their own shepherd, then the sheep of the ﬂock will perish.”17
Matt 22:14. 14Isa 53:5, 7. 15Prov 1:17. 26. 17Cf. Zech 13:7; Matt 26:31.