Saturday, April 23, 2011

he descended into hell (holy saturday)

The Apostles' Creed affirms that Jesus was "crucified, died and was buried" and then "he descended into hell". On this day, between Good Friday (his death) and Easter (his resurrection) we take a moment to imagine his descent into death and hell, and thus the depths of his love for us. The theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar writes, about the descent into hell, that "Christ disturbs the absolute loneliness striven for by the sinner: the sinner who wants to be damned, apart from God, finds God again in his loneliness, but God, in the absolute weakness of his love...enters into solidarity with those damning themselves".

We resist God. But God comes to us, descends to us, even in the very darkest places in our lives. The last words of Romans 8 (The Message) are helpful:

I'm absolutely convinced that nothing---
nothing living or dead,
angelic or demonic,
today or tomorrow,
high or low,
thinkable or unthinkable,
---absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love
because of the way that Jesus the Master has embraced us.


Blogger Michael said...

I am continually struck by the reality of this statement. There are just too many folks resigned to the "powers" that enslave, addict, crush, abuse, and assault the human Spirit and the human Person. Thank God Jesus was willing to "go there" and lead us back. Bad "religion" as the Gospel OF Matthew shows us in the Saturday story before Easter always seeks with the oppressive powers of domination to "secure the tomb." Make sure Death is the last word, the final word, the absolute word, death closes the deal. Easter is a big NOT to that! You bet He descended to Hell!

5:43 PM  

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