The best comment on Christ’s Easter victory over death comes from the simply wonderful Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley…
And a hush settles on Hades. It’s been a funny few days. The one in charge so much busier than usual – rushing about, getting involved in affairs upstairs in a much more direct way than normal…
Do yourself a favour and read the rest here!
And the best icon of Christus Victor? Why, the Harrowing of Hell of course…
The Harrowing of Hell
Blessed and broken
I just love the story of the walk to Emmaus. Two disciples walk to Emmaus. They’re at their lowest ebb. (One is named, Cleopas; I suspect the other was his wife, Mary.) A third joins them, and draws them into conversation.
This stranger shows them from the scriptures that was inevitable that the Messiah should suffer; that a blameless life was bound to attract persecution, and even judicial murder.
As they draw near to their place, they invite the stranger in for a meal. Remember, these are two people whose hopes had been dashed; now, through the ministry of the Word offered by this complete stranger, they are able to offer hospitality rather than fall straight into bed and the oblivion of sleep. In fact, they want to hear more.
At the table, the undreamt-of happens. The stranger ‘took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them’. And they know. They begin to comprehend the incomprehensible. Before them is none other than the Lord, the Living One, who has won the victory over death itself. He is there, with them—and then he vanishes from their sight.
I never get tired of hearing this fabulous story. It shows us that even where we have lost all hope—when the absolute worst has happened, and we’ve given in to despair—Jesus Christ is there with us. We are never alone.