Gesta Romanorum Vol. II (1871)/Of Christ, who died that we might live
OF CHRIST, WHO DIED THAT WE MIGHT LIVE.
A certain king had a wife named Cornelia. It happened, that under a wall in one of the king's castles, two serpents were discovered; one, male, and the other, female. The king, hearing of this, interrogated his learned men as to the signification; and they assured him, that they were hidden there to predict the death of a man or woman. They further declared, that if the male were killed, a man should die; if the female, a woman and a wife. "If this be so," said the king, "kill the male serpent, and let the female live; for a man ought more willingly to die himself than permit the death of his wife." And he gave this reason for it; "If my wife live, she may bring forth many sons who may succeed to my throne; but if she should die, the kingdom would want an heir."
My beloved, the king is Christ; the wife, our human nature, for which he gave himself to death.