As Lord Jesus hung there, dying on the cross, the sun was darkened till mid afternoon (see Mathew 27:45). Nature itself was affected by this ultimate act of evil, this murder of God-Man by us all. The curtain of the sanctuary before the Holy of Holies in the Temple split from top to bottom (signifying the end of the Old Testament/Covenant/Law), there was an earthquake, some of the followers of Lord Jesus were resurrected (see Mathew 27:51-53). When He died, His suffering ended and He descended in victory among the dead to release the just into heaven and to show forth Hell's defeat to it. As St Simon Peter states: "It was in the spirit, that He went to preach to the spirits in prison." (1 Peter 3:19).
What is the prayer ? Something like" Hell went to the gates of death expecting to meet a man and encountered God."
Lord Jesus re-united His human Soul and Body (His Divine Person/Spirit was never separated from either) in His glorious Resurrection, restoring His human nature to the original pre-fallen state, restoring our human nature in His. He died about 2 P.M. on the 13th. of Nissan in the Jewish calendar, the day before Passover, and resurrected on Sun. 15th. Nissan at about 6 AM. ( or we assume since this was when Mary of Magdala and the other woman encountered the Risen Lord near His tomb.). If we take that, then Lord Jesus was dead for 40 hours. This points to the 40 days He spent in the desert fasting and praying at the beginning of His public ministry, which points to the 40 years the Israeli people spent as nomads in Palestine before they were strong enough to conquer the Caananites and other peoples living there. All of the universe is affected by Lord Jesus' Resurrection. The joy His human nature experienced in His Resurrection is inexpressible. There is the tradition which makes perfect sense, that the first person Lord Jesus appeared to after His Resurrection was to His Mother Mary. It would be only natural that He would give her this joy after her sufferings from His sufferings.
He appears to some of His apostles in the Upper Room where the Passover had been held on the evening of Resurrection Sun.:
" 'Peace be with you ' He said. When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. At the sight of the Lord, the disciples rejoiced. 'Peace be with you.' He said again.
'As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.' Then He breathed on them and said:
'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men's sins, they are forgiven; if you hold them bound, they are held bound."
Thomas, not being present, refused to believe The Lord had risen. A week after the Resurrection Lord Jesus appeared to the apostles in the Upper Room again; this time Thomas was present:
"Jesus came and stood before them. 'Peace be with you.' He said, then to Thomas: 'Take your finger and examine My hands. Put your finger in My side. Do not persist in your unbelief but believe.' Thomas said in response 'My Lord and My God'. Jesus then said to him:
'You have believed because you have seen; blessed are they who have not seen and have believed." --(St. John 20: 19-23, 26-29)
Over the next 40 days He appears to many people, 500 of His disciples at one time. When He is about to Ascend into Father, He addresses His disciples:
" Thus it is written that the Messiah must suffer, die and rise from the dead on the third day. In His Name penance for the forgiveness of sin is to be preached to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of this. See I send upon you the the Promise of the Father. remain here in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." (Luke 24: 46-49)
"Full authority has been given to Me, both in heaven and on earth; go therefore and make disciples of all nations.
Baptize them in the NAME of the FATHER and of the SON and of the HOLY SPIRIT.'
Teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.
And know that I am with you always, even to the consummation of the universe." (Mathew 28: 18-20).
Lord Jesus then ascended into Father, deifyng His human nature, deifying our human nature in His.
Next Post: Pentecost
Pentecost: The Sending of God the Holy Spirit
"I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always: the Spirit of Truth, Whom the world can not accept since it neither sees Him nor recognizes Him; but you can recognize Him because He remains with you and will be within you."
-Lord Jesus (St. John 14:16-17)
"Anyone who loves Me will be true to My word, and My Father will love him and We will come to him and make Our dwelling place with him.
He who does not love Me does not keep My word.
Yet the word you hear is not just Mine, , it comes from the Father Who sent Me.
This much I tell you while I am still with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, will instruct you in everything and remind you of all that I have told you."
-Lord Jesus (St. John 14: 23-26)
"Yet I tell you the sober truth: it is better for you if I go. If I fail to go the Advocate will never come to you; but if I do go , I will send Him to you.
When He comes He will prove the world wrong about sin, about justice , about condemnation.
About sin-in that they refuse to believe in Me.
About justice in that I go to the Father and you can see Me no more.
About condemnation for the Prince of this world has been condemned.
I have much more to tell you but you can not bear it now. When He comes, however, being the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on His own but will speak only what He hears and will announce to you the things to come.
In doing this He will give glory to Me, because He will have received from Me
what He will announce to you.
All that the Father has belongs to Me; that is why I said that what He will announce to you He will have from Me."
-Lord Jesus (St. John 16: 7-15)
10 days After the Ascension of Lord Jesus into the Father, the 11 Apostles, with Mary, the Mother of Lord Jesus, and 108 other disciples were gathered in the Upper Room in Jerusalem where the Passover-Last Supper had been held:
"When the Day of Pentecost came it found them gathered in the Upper Room. Suddenly from up in the sky came a noise like a strong driving wind which was heard all throughout the house where they were. Tongues as of fire appeared , which parted and came to rest upon each of them. All were filled with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2: 1-4)
Father and Lord Jesus, ascended into Father, send Holy Spirit through Lord Jesus' ascended/deified human nature into the members of His Body/Church gathered in the Upper Room. Holy Spirit begins our adoption into Lord Jesus'
Person, making us adopted sons and daughters of the Father:
"The proof that you are sons is the fact that God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son Who cries out 'Abba' (Daddy/Papa). You are no longer a slave but a son, and the fact that you are a son makes you an heir by God's design." -St. Paul ( Galatians 4: 6-7)
It is Holy Spirit Who is the Co-Redeemer, Mediator of Grace, Who shows us Who Jesus is: "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit."--St. Paul (1 Cor. 12:3). It is Holy Spirit Who conforms us to the Image of Lord Jesus:
"All of us, gazing on the Lord's glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into His very image by the Lord Who is the Spirit."--St. Paul (2 Cor. 3:18).
The Christian life is essentially appropriating God the Holy Spirit, being conformed to Lord Jesus, being sons of the Father.
To be continued.