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Ephrem says that it is impossible to repent when one is in sheol Carm. Nis. 3,16, but not after the resurrection, if one is in hell gehenna. According to Ephrem, those who will surely remain forever in hell will be death itself, sheol, satan and sin, which will lose every power. Indonesia Metro Map In Carm. Nis. 59,8-9 the prosopopoea of death foretells to Satan that Hell will probably be emptied thanks to mercy, and you will remain there alone with your servants. Similarly Ephrem says that some will enter Paradise because they deserve it and some thanks to mercy Carm. Nis. 35,1-5; 39,7; Hymni de Paradiso 5,12-14; 10,14-15; 9,3-6. Ephrem often celebrates Christ’s victory not only over physical death sheol, but also over spiritual death hell, gehenna, Satan and sin see Hymns on Unleavened Bread 4,1-19; 3; 52; Hymni de Nativitate, 26,9. In Hymni de Nativitate 3,18 Ephrem proclaims that Christ has killed death through his own death and says that Christ’s benefits have emptied the left side. Ephrem declares that Jesus has killed our enemy ibid. ,18,27 and Satan Hymni de verginitate 14,11-13; Hymni de fide 38,7; mortal sin has been put to death by him De Domino 21. Christ’s descensus ad inferos upon his death is indeed crucial to several Fathers’ reflection.
Methodius, who follows Origen in many respects, in Symp. 9,2 claims that God, without being responsible for death since the cause of death is sin, not God has given physical death to humanity as a providential gift, so that human beings could not sin forever, and thus should not risk being punished forever that the human being might not sin forever and might not be liable to an eternity of condemnation. Therefore, the very possibility of an eternal punishment is excluded, according to Methodius and surely in line with Origen thanks to God’s providential gift of physical death. A similar idea is found in Ephrem’s Commentary on Genesis 3, where Ephrem interprets the exile of Adam and Eve from Eden after their sin, and thence the introduction of physical death, as a sign of God’s mercy, in that God wanted to make their suffering only temporary, not eternal. It is God’s providence that decided to give physical death to humanity after the fall, in order to shorten human tribulation in the present condition of decay and illness.
Gregory of Nyssa maintains that death entered the world as a consequence of sin; it was not created by God. A biblical basis for this conception is obviously found in Wisd 1:13, The Lord did not create death, and 2:24: Death entered the world because of the devil’s envy. Indeed Gregory ascribes a good deal of responsibility for the fall directly to the devil’s deception, which tends to merge with the deception of the senses. So, he states that the original sin was a wrong judgment due to the deceit of the senses Or. cat. 21,4-5. This sin, however, was also facilitated by a lack of love for God. The skin tunics Gen 3:21 represent the present condition of mortality and liability to passions, which associates humans with irrational animals. The identification of the skin tunics with death is particularly clear in Or. cat. 8: after the fall, God takes off from the human beings the garments of their original happiness, i.e., immortality, confidence parresia, and apatheia, and puts death on them. Since the skin, once it is separated from the animal, is dead, God, in covering the human beings with skin tunics, covers them with death, which is proper to irrational animals.
Gregory emphasizes that this garment, i.e., death and mortality nekrw,thj, remained something alien and external e;xwqen to the human being. Precisely because death is fundamentally alien to humanity since it is not a creature of God Gregory can explain Christ’s victory over death as extending to the whole of humanity Or. cat. 26: by means of his own death, Jesus Christ destroyed the power of death in the same way that light dispels darkness. Christ, who is Life, approached death in order to utterly destroy it, just as fire purifies gold by eliminating all that is alien to it.