But our Lord was trampled on by Death; and in His turn trod out a way over Death.  This is He Who made Himself subject to and endured death of His own will, that He might cast down death against his will.

For our Lord bare His cross and went forth according to the will of Death:  but He cried upon the cross and brought forth the dead from within Sheol against the will of Death.

For in that very thing by which Death had slain Him [i.e., the body], in that as armour He bore off the victory over Death.

But the Godhead concealed itself in the manhood and fought against Death, Death slew and was slain.  Death slew the natural life; and the supernatural life slew Him.

And because Death was not able to devour Him without the body, nor Sheol to swallow Him up without the flesh, He came unto the Virgin, that from thence He might obtain that which should bear Him to Sheol….

With the body then that was from the Virgin, He entered Sheol and plundered its storehouses and emptied its treasures.

He came then to Eve the Mother of all living.  This is the vine whose fence Death laid open by her own hands, and caused her to taste of his fruits.  So Eve the Mother of all living became the well-spring of death to all living.

But Mary budded forth, a new shoot from Eve the ancient vine; and new life dwelt in her, that when Death should come confidently after his custom to feed upon mortal fruits, the life that is slayer of death might be stored up therein against him….

For He Who is the Medicine of life flew down from heaven, and was mingled in the body, the mortal fruit.  And when Death came to feed after his custom, the Life in His turn swallowed up Death….

So then, by one fruit which Death swallowed hungrily, he vomited up many lives which he had swallowed greedily….

For while One was dying on the cross, many that were buried from within Sheol were coming forth at His cry.

Ephrem the Syrian (c.306-373): Homily on Our Lord, 3.