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Not without Grief

March 05, 2019
By Martin Luther

The cords of death encompassed Me; the torrents of destruction assailed Me; the cords of Sheol entangled Me; the snares of death confronted Me.

PSALM 18:4-5

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Not without Grief

Some take this in the literal sense of the words: "the ropes of death," that is, the bonds that held Christ three days in death, and "the ropes of hell," that is, the bonds that held His soul in hell for three days. This seems to be the sense of Psalm 16:10, which says that His soul was in hell. But here He says that He endured even the sorrows of death. . .. Peter, too, bears witness to this in Acts when he says (Acts 2:24): "God raised Him up, having loosed the pangs of death," or hell. Therefore [Christ] even sorrowed in death, and God loosed these sorrows by raising Him. . .. I firmly believe that Christ did not feel the punishments and griefs of the damned, who are the children of despair, but that Christ always hoped. Nevertheless, these words testify that He was not altogether without grief. And if there had been no other griefs, yet because He was held by the ropes and in the power of death and hell, this in itself was without doubt loathsome and irksome to His most noble soul, for without putting off the substance He desired freedom and His own brilliant glorification.

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 18 (Luther's Works 10:115-16)

March 5

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