The Message version of 1 Peter 4:1-11
“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want. You’ve already put in your time in that God-ignorant way of life, partying night after night, a drunken and profligate life. Now it’s time to be done with it for good. Of course, your old friends don’t understand why you don’t join in with the old gang anymore. But you don’t have to give an account to them. They’re the ones who will be called on the carpet—and before God himself. Listen to the Message. It was preached to those believers who are now dead, and yet even though they died (just as all people must), they will still get in on the life that God has given in Jesus. Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!”
Today, is called “Holy Saturday,” it is the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter. It commemorates the day that Jesus’ body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell.
In Christian theology, the Harrowing of Hell(Latin: Descensus Christi ad Inferos, “the descent of Christ into hell”) is the triumphant descent of Christ into Hell (or Hades) between the time of his Crucifixion and his Resurrection when he brought salvation to all of the righteous who had died since the beginning of the world. After his death, the soul of Jesus was supposed to have descended into the realm of the dead.
Maundy Thursday, marked the crucifixion of Jesus, Good Friday Jesus was carried to the tomb, prepares for burial and the entrance was secured with a stone. Now we wait, we lament waiting for new life to come forth.
“Death is the final wilderness and Jesus faces it alone to secure salvation for every one created by God. Death has been imagined by artists and theologians throughout the years since the crucifixion. They have described death as a place of suffering, darkness, and pain. And, yet God desires wholeness and life, and even the depths of hell to be restored. Christ, on this Holy Saturday breaks the world free from its chains and opens us to the power of God’s restoring love. If Jesus can rescue disobedient, broken, lifeless people from the wilderness of hell itself, then surely Jesus can rescue our world from its disobedience, broken, and lifeless systems and structures that have us bound, from all the places that feel like wilderness: addition, racism, consumerism, all kinds of phobia’s…the catalogs of personal and systemic sin that goes on and on.” (Paraphrased from the pamphlet).
On this Holy Saturday, we may lament for a time but as believers we know that Christ is victorious over death. Yet, the forces of death and darkness continue their fight in our world. The devil knows that he has lost the war but he rages battles still because he will not give up until the very end. There are signs all around us of wildernesses being renewed by believers in Christ because we are called to transform our world for goodness, for God! Keep fighting the good fight!
Where do you see signs of death being overcome?
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Breath Prayer: God, set me free from my chains.
~Blessings and Peace~