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Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Monday....a word about the Harrowing of Hell

Easter Monday....musings on the Harrowing of Hell.

Descent into Hell, Duccio, 1308
Christian doctrine and belief asserts that Jesus Christ 'descended to hell' in order to preach and proclaim the good news of God's love and mercy to those who had lived and died before his incarnation.   Hell of course is an interesting discussion: and one that often carries with it a lot of personal baggage.   But here the understanding of the church is not that those who lived before Christ were somehow being tortured in the afterlife, or in any discomfort.  The assertion was that they simply waited, slept as it were until the light of Christ would be revealed to them.  

Below is an excerpt from an ancient sermon, where Christ is explaining his presence to Abraham about his purpose in "hell."   I find it quite beautiful and while it should have been posted on Saturday....I thought it a descent Easter Monday thought.

"Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise.  I order you, O sleeper, to awake.  I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell.  Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.  Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image.  Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated."

To this I can only say:  Amen!

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