‘Hell Took a Body, and Discovered God’


Are there any who are devout lovers of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!

Are there any who are grateful servants?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting?
Let them now receive their wages!

If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their due reward;
If any have come after the third hour,
let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour,
let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.
And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let him not hesitate; but let him come too.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.
For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour,
as well as to him that toiled from the first.

To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.
He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.
Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!

First and last alike receive your reward;
rich and poor, rejoice together!
Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!
You that have kept the fast, and you that have not,
rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!

Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one.
Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith.
Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.

Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.

Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.
He destroyed Hell when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.

Isaiah foretold this when he said,
“You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”
Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.

Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.

O death, where is thy sting?
O Hell, where is thy victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!

Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

The Easter sermon of St. John Chrysostom
Archbishop of Constantinople, ca. 400 A.D.

Published in Religion & Philosophy
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There are 14 comments.

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  1. user_517406 Inactive

    Amen and Amen.  A joyous Easter to you and your family, Jon, and to all here on Ricochet.

    • #1
  2. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Member
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    My favorite Easter sermon.

    You stole my idea, though. I’m usually the one who posts something on this sermon during Easter weekend ;-)

    • #2
  3. Stad Coolidge


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  4. Susan in Seattle Member
    Susan in Seattle

    Thank you so much for this!

    • #4
  5. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller

    Thanks Jon. Amen!

    • #5
  6. user_86050 Inactive

    I’m confused. For some reason, I don’t think that has anything to do with same-sex marriage.

    I appreciate that, by the way.

    • #6
  7. user_525938 Member

    Great preaching from a master at the craft. Thanks for putting it out there.

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher

    One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

    But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

    Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

    Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

    – Luke 23:39-43

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  9. user_6236 Member


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  10. user_124695 Inactive

    Yeah, but what is his opinion of Pizza delivery to Gay weddings?

    Dude, that was like two centuries ago – they didn’t even have Pizza.

    Or, did they?

    • #10
  11. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum

    So appreciate this, Jon! Blessed Easter!

    • #11
  12. ConservativeFred Member

    Thank you.

    • #12
  13. Fjordhopper Inactive

    I just preached this at our Easter Vigil.  It’s among my favorite sermons of all time!

    • #13
  14. Ricochet Coolidge

    I’ve never actually read that though I’m familiar with a number of lines in there.  Now I know where they came from.  Thanks a bunch!

    • #14
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