Your name was before the creation of the sun. I see you hung on the cross – Exposition of the Ninth Hour of Great Friday

From generation to generation, you years will not wither. Your name was before the creation of the sun. I see you hung on the cross. Behold today, I see You hanging on the cross O Almighty God. How can Your own creation do that to You, O You who summoned all those who are wounded and cured their wounds. O You the True Physician, You were hung on the cross as a criminal by the sinful who shouted with their evil voices saying, “We have no King but Caesar.”

At the ninth hour, our Savior was crucified, and he opened His mouth and shouted in Hebrew, “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani? Which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And there was a great fear among those around Him.

When the hour, which He only knew, drew near, He said, “I thirst.” For He knew what was written regarding Him. Someone took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, put it on a rod, and gave Him to drink. When He tasted the vinegar, He said, “It is finished!” Thus he fulfilled David the prophet’s prophecy in the Psalms. Then He shouted with a great voice and gave up the Spirit.

Who will preach the captives about the one who tasted death on their behalf and who will lead the way to paradise to prepare the way for the kingdom? Rejoice today, all you righteous, prophets, and patriarchs.

The first man, the head, who was freed from sadness, has been renewed in the new man who conquered death, ended its pride and broke its bitter thorn. God the Word, in His perfection, and went to Hell by the soul, which He took from Adam’s nature and made it one with Himself. And the souls were in captivity; He lifted with Him according to His great mercy. The last enemy is Satan whom He chained with shackles. When the evil guards and the forces of darkness say Him, they ran away from Him because they knew His great power. Those who were in captivity cried in one voice, “Blessed is your coming to save us.” He then took Adam by the hand and lifted him and his descendants with him and admitted them to paradise where there is comfort and joy.

[Exposition of the Ninth Hour of Great Friday, Coptic Orthodox Church]

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