“He rose up and despoiling the luxuriating Sheol and went from it”

The Mighty One was struck and the sufferings made Him sleep on Golgotha
and for three days the sleep overcame Him on account of the wounds.
And having laid aside His burden of pains in Sheol,
He rose up and despoiling the luxuriating Sheol and went from it.
He deceived death and was there three days in its dwelling place;
and when He laid waste all its treasures, He left it and went out.
He had been wearied by the scourging which He received from the judge,
and He entered and had taken rest in the abode of the dead and pulled it down and came out.
While He was was redeeming the captives He was smitten by the persecutors,
and He reached death but did not become too weak for redeeming.
The sharpened sword met Him on Golgotha
and it made Him sleep heavily by its blow.
Death mixed for Him the cup to drink in the crucifixion.
He drank it to show that even in death He cannot be powerless.
For two days the Mighty One rested among the dead
but on the third day He conquered the region and went out of it.
Like Jonah, son of the Hebrews, He dived down into the whirlpool.
He explored it in two days and arose from it on the third day.
He descended and drew out Adam who had sunk down into the depth of Sheol.
The superb image came out from corruption with its Lord.
On Golgotha the great Saviour was smitten by the lance,
and He failed in strength on Cross, but at the resurrection He conquered corruption.
Ambushes surrounded Him to snatch away the captives from Him
and He was dragged away but He did not leave it without redemption.
In three days He subdued His wounds so that they might be healed,
and with victory the Redeemer returned from the place of sufferings.

St Jacob of Sarug

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