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1 Peter 4:6a For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead.
The ancient church talked a lot about the harrowing of hell, the belief that after Jesus died, he went to hell to preach the gospel and liberate people from Satan’s grasp. There is an ancient homily often read this day that imagines Jesus saying, “I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image.”
Yesterday, we celebrated Jesus’ victory over sin on the cross. Tomorrow, we will celebrate Jesus’ victory over death in the empty tomb. Today, we celebrate that there is no place Jesus will not go to rescue us. We are never out of God’s reach.
MOVING FORWARD: Read the Apostles’ Creed, found on page 53 of The Book of Common Prayer. How do you respond to Jesus’ descent into hell?