The Harrowing of Hades

resurrection2There is an ancient Christian account from the Gospel of Nicodemus that describes what happened between the time that Jesus died on the cross and his resurrection.  It is the account in which our Lord descends into Hades and empties it of its prisoners. 

While the Gospel of Nicodemus (or Acts of Pilate) is not considered “scripture,” it was used to create the Resurrection Icon and was also utilized for writing church hymns, particularly for Holy Saturday.  With that being the case, I believe it is a beneficial read for Christians.  It was probably written in the mid 200’s, though it likely existed in verbal form long before that.  I have cut out the first half of the gospel, which as far as I know, is not used for teaching or hymns in the Church.  The latter portion is more theologically authentic though. Continue reading The Harrowing of Hades

Christ’s Descent into Hades – icon explanation

This is one of my favorite Eastern Orthodox icons.  It is referred to as Christ’s Descent into HadesAnastasis or Resurrection Icon.  It is the primary icon of Pascha (Easter).

Some key features: