This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, having fulfilled in His body that for which it was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men. This He did that He might turn again to incorruption men who had turned back to corruption, and make them alive through death by the appropriation of His body and by the grace of His resurrection. Thus He would make death to disappear from them as utterly as straw from fire.
For Athanasius, the divinity of Christ was crucial for the salvation of humanity. By receiving a human body, Christ, the eternal Word of God, bestowed the gift of his divinity upon our humanity, says Athanasius. “by virtue of the Word’s indwelling in a single human body, the corruption which goes with death has lost its power over all.””
Nor in any other way was it fitting that our life should be founded, but in the Lord who is before the ages, and through whom the ages were brought to be; that, since it was in Him, we too might be able to inherit that everlasting life.