Holbein, Hans the Younger
The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb
O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
– Book of Common Prayer
His cross stands empty in a world grown silent
Through hours of anguish and of dread;
In stillness, earth awaits the Resurrection
While Christ goes down to wake the dead.
In a Special Holy Saturday Podcast and Post over at The Sacred Page.
On Holy Saturday we meditate on one of the most obscure lines in the Apostles’ Creed: “he descended into hell.” What does this part of the Creed refer to? Is it biblical?
Moreover, what does it mean to say Christ “descended into hell”? Did he experience the torments of wicked?
Christ and the “Spirits in Prison”
In 1 Peter we read that Christ continued to save souls–even after his death.
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. (1 Peter 3:18–21)
According to this passage, after he died, Christ went to those who died in the flood judgment.
Where were these figures? The “hell of the damned”? Well, not quite.
Let’s look at this passage in light of ancient Judaism…
To continue, click here. The download is available at the bottom of the post. Well worth a listen today.
Jesus lay in the grave dead… The earth, still, awaits the Resurrection.
Christ became obedient for us unto death, even to the death of the cross. Amen.
Read more on Holy Saturday here.
From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday:
What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled…
Read on here.