Throughout the Christian world, Easter resounds with the shouts of "Alleluia! " Praise be given to God for all he has done to mankind!
To save the slave, He has delivered His Son. The Father has so loved the world that he handed over His Son for us all. This is the wonder of the Good Friday drama that the depth of God’s love has been revealed to men.
We cannot speak of Easter Sunday without reference to Good Friday. The Resurrection cannot come unless One has previously died. "Per Crucem ad Lucem—by the Cross to the Light!" The victory of Christ over death ("O Death, I shall be your death") is the fruit of the total sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. Truly, no greater love has man shown than to give one’s life for those he loves. Yet, Our Lord did more. He showed the greatest love by dying for those who hated Him!
What did Christ do during the three days (according to the Jewish count) in the sepulcher? The Scriptures speak to us in different ways of the abode Christ’s soul went to after death.
To the ‘good’ thief, He said: "On this very day, you will be with me in Paradise." And yet, on Easter Sunday, the risen Christ tells Mary Magdalen that He has not yet ascended to the Father, for heaven is closed until Ascension Thursday.
The Apostles’ Creed tells us that "He descended into Hell ", although this does not mean the Hell of the damned. The Latin takes away the ambiguity speaking of it in the plural ‘inferos’ vs. the singular ‘infernum’. What does this refer to? It is the literal sense of ‘inferum/infernum’, that is, the lower region(s). Christ’s soul did not visit Satan’s realm, but the lower regions where the just souls were detained.
St. Peter refers to the same place by the name of prison: "He went and preached to the spirits who lay in prison." This is because the just in limbo, called also elsewhere the bosom of Abraham, were held captive until the Redeemer had fulfilled His mission of ransoming them from all debts to God.
And so, on Easter Sunday, the cries of victory resound loud and clear. The Eastern Christians greet each other with these words which proclaim their rock solid faith: "Christ is risen—He is risen indeed." Victory for the Church triumphant celebrating the anniversary of their glorious King, crowned only after the bloody battle; victory for the Church militant for "This is the victory which has conquered the world, our faith"; victory for the Church suffering because His rising with the glorious body is the pledge of their own resurrection and glory one day after their purgation.