Friday, 6 April 2012

Jesus Takes Out Death

It was just last Holy Saturday that I wrote "RIP Jesus?" - basically as a response to the #RIPJesus hash tag trending on Twitter. Which it is again.

Well, I wouldn't use that hash tag because it's not true. Jesus didn't rest in peace. Not on Good Friday, not on Holy Saturday, and certainly not after Easter Sunday. Not then, not now, not ever.

The old tradition says (BCP) "he descended into hell"; (CW) "he descended to the dead". That's not to mean Hell the burn-y place with toasting forks and lakes of sulphur we imagine, but Hades/Sheol/The Grave - the damp, dingy place where the dead hang around awaiting - well, awaiting something. And some old traditions say, after the Crucifixion and before the Resurrection, he went down there and trashed the joint. And I like that old tradition - the idea that Jesus went and said "I'm taking the door off the hinges - you can join me if you like" - and the demons screamed as they realised who had come in through that door - the One that death couldn't keep, the one who could let the captives out.

So as I say, I'm not really one for Rest in Peace, Jesus. He didn't, he doesn't, he won't.


  1. I must admit that I like the idea of Jesus descending to hell, and reeving out the devil and all of his works.

    Unfortunately, where did the devil end up, having been evicted, he became a Politician and we've suffered from them ever since.

  2. Sheol sounds a lot like Paddington station - or King's Cross.


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