I love the several sections in Paul’s letters in which he meditates poetically on the cruciform paradoxes of apostolic ministry. The death/life paradox saturates 1 Corinthians 1-4 and 2 Corinthians 4.
I came across this lovely passage the other day in the volume on Mark in IVP’s Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture that sounds a similar note. It’s from Hippolytus of Rome (170-235 CE), commenting on God’s declaration to Jesus at his baptism:
Listen to the Father’s voice: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” This is he who is named the son of Joseph, who according to the divine essence is my only begotten. ”This is my beloved Son,” yes, none other than the One who himself becomes hungry, yet feeds countless numbers. He is my Son who himself becomes weary, yet gives rest to the weary. He has no place to lay his head, yet bears up all things in his hand. He suffers, yet heals sufferings. He is beaten, yet confers liberty upon the world. He is pierced in his side, yet repairs the side of Adam (p. 15).