Lenten Devotionals

Meditations and prayers for the 40 days.
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April 15, 2017

He Descended

Scott Black Johnston, Senior Pastor

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight people, were saved through water. 1 Peter 3:18-20

“The ancient Christian church,” said the professor in his Irish accent, “celebrated the Triduum. Can anybody tell me what the Triduum is?”

No hands went up. “I’ll give you a hint. You might call it Holy Week.”

“Ah,” said one student, “it is the three days that begin on Thursday night and culminate on Sunday with Easter.”

“Yes,” nodded the professor. “What names do we give to those days?”

“Maundy Thursday.” “Good Friday.” “Easter Sunday.”

“You’re forgetting one,” he said. “Holy Saturday.”

“Huh?”

“Come on,” he responded, “you confess the events of Holy Saturday every time you say the Apostles’ Creed. What did Jesus do between Good Friday and Easter morning? He descended into hell. And what did he do there? Read 1 Peter 3, my friends. Christ preached! Christ brought the good news to those whom most think are beyond saving. And you thought he was just biding his time, waiting for Sunday. No, I tell you. He was busy. He was doing something very important.”

Holy God, we are waiting for tomorrow. We need the light and joy of Easter in our lives. As we wait, remind us that our Lord is never satisfied leaving the lost in their personal hells. This Holy Saturday, focus us on the Christ who kicks down the gates of Hades and brings good news to us in the worst of circumstances. Hallelujah! This is the triumphant Christ whom we long to greet in the morning, fresh from his junket to hell. Amen.

Scott Black Johnston, Senior Pastor