Good Friday: Day of Conquest

Now for a slightly different Good Friday theology…

But at the ninth hour, penetrating to hades, [Jesus] there by the brightness of His splendour extinguished the indescribable darkness of hell, and, bursting its brazen gates and breaking the iron bars brought away with Him to the skies the captive band of saints which was there shut up and detained in the darkness of inexorable hell, and, by taking away the fiery sword, restored to paradise its original inhabitants by his pious confession.

John Cassian, Institutes 3.3

Ps 107:10-16
Some sat in darkness and deep gloom, *
bound fast in misery and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God *
and despised the counsel of the Most High.
So he humbled their spirits with hard labor; *
they stumbled, and there was none to help.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, *
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them out of darkness and deep gloom *
and broke their bonds asunder.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy *
and the wonders he does for his children.
For he shatters the doors of bronze *
and breaks in two the iron bars.

Isa 45:1-3
Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus [Kyrios–i.e., “Lord”–in many Greek textual traditions], whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.


About Derek Olsen

I'm a layman within the Episcopal Church with a PhD in New Testament and an interest in most things medieval, monastic, and liturgical. My chief job is keeping up with my priestly wife and our two awesome kids. In addition to that, I earn a living, run the St Bede's Breviary, listen to loud goth/industrial music, and do some stuff for the church. I currently serve as Secretary to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music where I'm also co-chair of the Calendar committee and chair of the Digital Publications committee.
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One Response to Good Friday: Day of Conquest

  1. bls says:

    Yeah, I like this idea. Love the Harrowing of Hell.

    But we still have to suffer through the day. No getting around it.

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