The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

Christ the Vanquisher of Death

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Hades groans on Holy Saturday. Learn more about Patristic Nectar Publications.

The banquisher of death, the conqueror of every evil. Everything that threatens us in that trying to tear our lives to pieces is crushed. Today Hell is groaning, it has a huge ball of poison in its belly and it's writhing. Ancient Faith Radio and patristic nectar publications present the arena Sunday homilies and theological reflections with Father Josiah Trenne. Father Josiah is the pastor of St Andrew Orthodox Christian Church in Riverside, California. He is also the founder of Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. For more information on patristic nectar publications, please visit...

...our website at www dot patristic nectar dot org. And now, Father Josiah, in the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit, one God, this great and holy Saturday morning is much anticipated by the church. Every year it's an outrageous service. Probably some of you who are visiting with us here to honor friends or family who were baptized today, wonder what in the world's going on. Multiple annointings, baptisms, cuismations, tonsuring priests, throwing bay leaves all over the Church. What's going on is the celebration of the most glorious victory in the history of the human race and civilized people.

The Greeks, the Romans and all Western peoples have always thrown bay leaves as a sign of victory, the same leave we weave crowns out of and put on the heads of Olympiads. We throw them and toss them and wash on them, walk on them to proclaim that we are free, free people, and that we honor and worship the victorious Christ, the Banquisher of death, the conqueror of every evil. Everything that threatens us and that's trying to tear our lives to pieces is crushed. Today, hell is groaning, it has a huge ball of poison in its belly and it's writhing, gritting.

Holy Saturday is the day when our saviors precious body, which he offered for the life of the whole world on holy Friday, is buried in that new tomb that Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea so beautifully gave to Christ. He's been covered, washed, anointed, with murder by the highest women, the murder bearers, who showed their love by caring for his body and standing vigil at his tomb. This is where he is in the body right now, but this is not where he is in the soul. No, in his soul he's in Hell. This is what St Peter tells us, this is what Jude tells us in the New Testament, that he went down to proclaim the good news of his victory to the prisoners, to those who had been held captive under the dominion of death and Satan. And it was that dominion of death, that hideous Pale horse that was so ashen, eating people alive for centuries in every corner of the planet, that had no solution. No one...

...had an answer for death, no one had conquered death, no one could say anything trite when someone would die, because there was no reason to speak positive words when someone was dying and death had not been conquered. Now what we anticipated, at best, was that we might be in the upper part of Hades, not in the the hot spot with all the wicked. Maybe we might have a little bit of of Ref maybe we might be able to see ourselves in some form and as shades is what they were called by the ancients. Everything changes. Today our savior goes down to hell and for the first time, Satan, all the evil spirits, all the dwellers in that dark place of death, see the soul of someone they can't touch. They see a soul irradiated with the divine energies, brighter than any physical light. They can't look at him, they can't penetrate him, they can't imprison him.

In fact, he tells them their time is up. Their Dominion has been removed, their power has been nullified, and everyone there in hades heard our savior preaches victory. John the Baptist, who had been very a short time and had been telling everyone, with whatever strang he had, you better be ready. He said the same thing to the people in Hell that he was saying to the people on Earth. Prepare yourselves. The master have come, the Lord of the temple has come to his holy place. Repent for the forgiveness of your sins. He was a forerunner on the earth and, to the strength of his ability, with God's help, he was a forerunner to those in hades. And now it came true. Having proclaimed the Gospel on the earth. Our Savior went to Hell and proclaim the Gospel there.

One day, God willing, will talk to many who were there, many of our forefathers, the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, all the pious, my patron saint, Josiah, King David, all of these people who were there. God willing, will enjoy the Kingdom of God forever from them and will ask them exactly what it was like, what it was what was it like to be trapped there, and what was it like when Jesus came on Great Saturday? We know a little bit about this. A few of the fathers of the church have talked a little bit about this. What happens today? See Mark, I love seet mark, the ascetic. He says that the great yearners for God, who are pagans but who were searching, grappling with the light, trying to find God, they were thrilled. He says that socrates, when he sight saw Christ, immediately said this is the one I thought of, this is the one. We don't...

...know exactly who was left, although the hymnity of the church implies the only ones who were left were those who absolutely refused to accept the salvation that Jesus was bringing to them. Brothers and sisters, there's only one great truth in life. There's lots of smaller truths and there's only one great falsehood. All those were there's lots of smaller falsehoot too. The Great Truth if that Jesus Christ has conquered death, he's risen, and the great falsehood, you heard it in the Gospel, from those wicked Jews. The great falsehood was that he didn't rise, and therefore they spread around the whole earth this bogus idea that the disciples, who were trembling in hiding from the Roman authorities. According to the Jewish lie, the disciples came and stole the body away, even though there were a posted Roman guard in front of it. This is the great truth. Our Savior has conquered the great lie is that he has not.

Everything in our lives follows from those things. You either believe it and your life is changed forever. When the disciples saw the risen Lord tomorrow, it says in the Gospel you just heard, they fell down at his feet and worshiped him. This was the capstone of everything. It proved who he was, it proved his relationship to the father, that he was in fact the son of God come to destroy the works of the devil and to bring us eternal life. He had full divinity in the disciples worshiped him, and then he told them, my disciples, go into the whole world and make disciples of all the nations, baptize all the world, teach them to follow my sacred commandments and low I'm with you to the end, when I'll come back for you. This sets the whole parameter of our thought. Worship the risen Christ and serve him in his cause. Everything else in our life follows from those things. If we're a lawyer, it's for those two causes. If we're a bus driver, it's for those two causes, if we're a teachers, for those two causes. Worship at the heart of our life and...

...serving God in that little peace of his kingdom that he's given us. A desk, children, grandchildren, a front yard. Everything belongs to him and we want to offer it to him. We want to serve him and fulfillment of his commission. We want to help everyone find the victory over death that we have. Sometimes this means sharing our joys and talking. For some of you at means not talking. Forgive me. Be Wise. Be Wise and so the beautiful things and share your life with God, whatever, if the way God has divined you to do it. This is the great truth and over there the great life. To pretend it didn't happen and then try to pretend, which is very hard to do, that it doesn't matter to you, that knowing that you're going to die and never be delivered really is not that big a deal. Oh, there are so many atheists propounding their idea...

...of today, trying so hard never to think about that, never actually to say anything about what the end of their God awful lie is, which is that there's no future, there's no he'll, nothing dignified about human being, no spark of etern at, eternity in any human bring. You're just going to be snuffed out forever. Doesn't that just make you want to live with verve? I don't think so. Today, our savior gave to US seventeen victors trophies. Every one of these, with the white robes, is a trophy in his cabinet case that he keeps it this parish. Everyone up to about two hundred and sixty now that in our very short life. He has literally taken out of the grip of death, out of the sorrow of darkness,...

...out of the Dominion of passions and sins, and given under life and a family and a hope and confidence that this life that follows the resurrection will take us out from the hands of our enemies. I have so much joy in my heart for all of you, newly illumined, for the sponsors who stepped up to accept this beautiful responsibility of love for the rest of your life to have this relationship with those that you sponsor. Congratulations to all of you. God keep you and made the prayers that we prayed for you that you will be warriors, invincible until your last breath, be true to the glory of the Holy Trinity. Amen. We hope that you have enjoyed and have been edified by this presentation offered to you by patristic nectar publications, a non profit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy...

Fathers. Until next time,.

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