Beloved, you know the achievement of Christ and the glorious victory of the Cross…Now let me tell you something even more remarkable, the manner in which he gained his victory, and you will marvel all the more. Christ conquered the devil using the same means and the same weapons that the devil used to win. Let me tell you how this occurred. The symbols of our fall were a virgin, a tree and death. The virgin was Eve (for she had not yet known man); then there was the tree; and death was Adam’s penalty. And again, these three tokens of our destruction, the virgin, the tree, and death became the tokens of our victory. Instead of Eve there was Mary; instead of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the wood of the cross; instead of Adam’s death, the death of Christ. Do you see, then, that the devil was defeated by the very means he used to conquer?
(Daily Readings from the Writings of St. John Chrysostom, p. 127)