The Harrowing of Hell

Before, “It’s Finished!” uttered He,
In Hell then, Satan’s clan rejoiced.
The Beast proclaimed, “Prepare to torment now, Jesus Christ.”
“Is he then coming here?” They asked.
“As subject toy, to thee and me.”
Just then from thunder clap was voiced,
“Remove thy gates, thou hast no choice!”
John Baptist carried out his task.

Then suddenly a flash of light, within the pit, shined bright.
As there stood Jesus in his glory, and in all his might.
“Is it you?” cried first man Adam, “You’ve come to rescue me?”
“From tree of sin, I took your blame on tree at Calvary,”
Then Satan screamed, “Why are you here? And not at my command?”
“Foul fool, your evil plan has failed, and now you shall be damned.”
They wrestled then, foundations shook, and Satan lost in time.
The shackles of the righteous broke, the Beast caged for his crime.
“Oh death! Where is thy sting? Oh Hell! Where is thy victory!”
Christ signed the cross, took Adam’s hand, and then said, “Follow Me.”

To “Alleluia!” Saints departed Hell,
Defeating death as ancient scriptures tell.

Author Notes:

The Apostles Creed
“….was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell.
On the third day he rose again from the dead…”

As in life, John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ in death also, per the Gospel of Nicodemus.

Isaiah 24: 21-22
“And they shall be gathered in the pit together, as
prisoners are gathered, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall be visited.”

David, Psalm 16: 10
” For you will not leave me among the dead; you will not allow your beloved to rot in the grave.”

Zacharias, Luke 1:72-73
“He has been merciful to our ancestors, yes to Abraham himself, by remembering his sacred promise to him, by granting us the privilege of serving God fearlessly, freed from our enemies, and by making us holy and acceptable, ready to stand in His presence forever.”

Abraham’s Bosom, the Righteous part of Hell, Luke 16: 22-26
“Finally the beggar died, and was carried by angels to be with Abraham, in the place of the righteous dead. The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to Hell. There, in torment, he saw Lazarus in the far distance with Abraham…..’So now he is here being comforted, while you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us, and anyone wanting to come to you from here is stopped at its edge, and none there can cross to us’.”

God, Zecharias 9;11
“I have delivered you from death in a waterless pit because of the covenant I made with you, sealed with blood.”

Ephesians 4:9
“This means that His first came down from the heights of heaven, far down to the lowest parts of the earth.”

1 Peter 3: 18-20
“But though His body died, His Spirit lived on, and it was in the Spirit that he visited the spirits in prison, and preached to them – the spirits of those who, long before Noah, had refused to listen to God, though He waited patiently for them while Noah was building the ark.”

Acts 2: 24
“God has raised up Christ, having loosed the sorrows of Hell, as it is impossible that He be holden by it.”

Psalm 24: 7
“Open up! Oh ancient gates, and let the King of Glory in. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, invincible.”

There is also an Apocryphal book, The Gospel of Nicodemus, that gives a detailed account of Christ’s descent into Hell. But this very detailed book was left out of the bible, because its age could not be authenticated. It gives an eyewitness account by two named people, of the many, who were raised from the dead when Christ was crucified, as Luke noted in his Gospel.

This poem is Queriet.
This is a “Queriet”, so called from the queries or questions that are an essential feature of the first eight line stanza of each cycle. It was created by our very own Pantygynt. You can have as many questions and answers as you wish but the first stanza of each cycle must contain at least one question. The first stanza is also syllabic to the syllable count of 8,8,13,8,8,8,13,8.
I, grappling with this form for my Trials of Jesus – Part 1, remarked that I did not feel comfortable with the original rhyme scheme for this stanza that was originally abbcdbbc. The cd in the middle seemed to hang unsupported. So Pantygynt agreed to modify the scheme to run: abbcabbc.

If appropriate, both question and response may come from one and the same person, as in a soliloquy. I have not found this necessary here.

The second part of the cycle contributes more detail and covers 10 lines of metered rhyming couplets. Any meter consistent over the 10 lines can be used. Here I have gone for iambic heptameter (14 syllables).

The whole poem concludes in the manner of a sonnet with a rhyming couplet of iambic pentameter.

This picture is from Yahoo images.

Synergy of Poetry and Verse. Author, Poet, Photographer

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