Triduum – Part Two

What was Jesus doing after he died?

It’s a question that I’ve been asked on a number of occasions. The creeds tell us that he descended to the dead, so I take that to mean that he was in the same place that all humans are after they die, in Hades, waiting for the resurrection. But what was he doing there?

May I suggest a simple explanation. Nothing.

Jesus dies as the Sabbath comes in and he achieves on the day of humanity (the sixth day) a perfect and complete victory over sin and death. It is finished. Just as the Godhead rested on the Sabbath, so the Son rests, having achieved all that he needed to. It was, to coin a phrase, very good. The resurrection on Sunday morning would be the proclamation of the victory, the evidence of new life in Christ, but for now all that was needed was to enter into the sanctuary having made the supreme sacrifice.

As the words of the song below say, your response is very simple:

Can’t you see it’s over,
Can’t you see it’s done,
Can’t you see you can be free?

Today in the Triduum Christ rests, having won everything for you, a victory that is yours for the taking if you but recognise your need for it and acclaim the one who has won it for you.

2 Comments on “Triduum – Part Two

  1. Peter,
    Nothing is probably the only sure answer to give but it perhaps disguises the “everything” Jesus accomplishes by descending to the dead. As Gregory the Great says “Christ went down into the deepest abysses of the sea when he went into the Lowest Hell, to fetch forth the souls of his elect. Before redemption, the depth of the sea was a prison, not a way…But God made of this abyss a road”. May your Triduum continue to be edifying and have a joyous and blessed Easter!
    Pax et Bonum!

  2. I very much like Tom Wright’s Libretto for the Easter Oratorio

    On the seventh day God rested
    in the darkness of the tomb;
    Having finished on the sixth day
    all his work of joy and doom.
    Now the word had fallen silent,
    and the water had run dry,
    The bread had all been scattered,
    and the light had left the sky.
    The flock had lost its shepherd,
    and the seed was sadly sown,
    The courtiers had betrayed their king,
    and nailed him to his throne.
    O Sabbath rest by Calvary,
    O calm of tomb below,
    Where the grave-clothes and the spices
    cradle him we did not know!
    Rest you well, beloved Jesus,
    Caesar’s Lord and Israel’s King,
    In the brooding of the Spirit,
    in the darkness of the spring.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.