Saturday, April 15, 2017
Sunday School Question: Did Jesus Descended Into Hell?
Reader, where was Jesus human spirit on Holy Saturday if he hadn’t yet ascended to heaven? Following his death for sin, Jesus journeyed to Hades, the City of Death, and ripped the gates off the hinges. I remember being taught that and that Jesus fought Satan to win the Keys of the Kingdom.
There is a great deal of confusion in regards to this question. This concept comes primarily from the Apostles' Creed, which states, “He descended into hell.” There are also a few Scriptures which, depending on how they are translated, describe Jesus going to “hell.” In studying this issue, it is important to first understand what the Bible teaches about the realm of the dead.
Some use Ephesians 4:7-10 to teach that Jesus went to hell or to Hades to release the prisoners held there and take them to heaven or into God’s presence. The idea is that before His death, all Old Testament believers were in Abraham’s bosom—the paradise part of Hades. Hades or Sheol was seen as the place of the dead with three areas or compartments: (1) the abyss or tartarus, the place of confinement for those demons who sinned in the days of Noah; (2) torments, the place of suffering for all unbelievers until the time of the resurrection of the unjust and the Great White Throne Judgment when they will be cast eternally into the lake of fire, and (3) a third place separated by a great gulf (see Luke 16), called Abraham’s Bosom, the place of blessing for believers. Because Christ had not yet died to pay the penalty for their sin, they were not yet able to go directly into the presence of God. After His death, however, the barrier was removed and He took them out of prison and into God’s presence. http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/did-christ-ever-descend-to-hell