Water into Wine – Death into Life

“Why then did our Lord change the nature of water in the first of his signs? Was it not to show that the Divinity, which had changed natures in the depths of the jars, was that same [divinity[ which had changed nature in the womb of the virgin? At the completion of his signs he opened the tomb to show that the greed of death has no hold over Him. He sealed and confirmed these two uncertainties, that of his birth, and of his death. For these waters, with regard to their nature, were transformed into the [fruit of the] vine, but without the stone jars themselves undergoing change in their nature inwardly. This is a symbol of his body which was wondrously conceived in a woman, and, without a man, miraculously formed within the Virgin.” St. Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on the Diatesseron, 5.6.

St. Ephrem will then write narrating deaths experience of meeting Christ in hades,

“Gluttonous death lamented and said, ‘I have learned fasting which I used not to know. Behold! Jesus gathers multitudes, but to me in his feast a fast is proclaimed for me. One man has closed my mouth which closed the mouths of many. Sheol said, I will restrain my greed; hunger therefore is mine. Behold! He triumphed at the marriage. As He changed the water into wine so he changes the vesture of the dead into life.” St. Ephrem the Syrian, Nisebene Hymns 35.6.

St. Ephrem the Syrian explains to us that Christ’s transformation of water into wine is but a taste of what is to come. Much as dead still water is transformed into living wine so too that dead humanity will be transformed by its union with life.

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