(7) Jesus said: Blessed is the lion which the man shall eat, and the lion become man; and cursed is the man whom the lion shall eat, and the lion become man.
(11) Jesus said: This heaven shall pass away, and that which above it shall pass away; and they that are dead are not alive and they that live shall not die. In the days when you were eating that which is dead, you were making it alive. When you come in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you have become two, what will you do?
I think we’ve had these two before in different contexts. But what strikes me today — after having lurked in the shadows for so long — is a common thread. What we eat becomes us.
Larry notes the parallel with IPeter 5:8: Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.
(NRSV). That may be valid (if so I would include Genesis 4:7: If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (NRSV) which doesn’t mention lions but is I think what Peter had in mind.
I’m slower to leap into allegory than Larry (I get there but more circuitously) and I want to stay with the image of our food becoming us. The lion becomes man when the man eats the lion. The man becomes lion when the lion eats the man. When we eat the dead the dead become alive.
And the blessing rests on that which becomes the higher when it is consumed.
I’m not altogether sure where Thomas wants us to take this. But the central rite of the canonically based churches is the rite of Eucharist wherein we eat Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood and so become the church the body of Christ on earth.
The end of the project seems to be apotheosis — or to use a term more comforting to at least some Christians — divinization.