Why did Jesus ‘descend into hell’?
People are sometimes referred to as having “gone to hell and back.” The Bible says the same thing about our Savior as does Christianity. According to the Apostles’ Creed, a declaration of faith with origins that may date back to the questions asked of baptismal applicants in the late second century, the statement is found. As a result, it serves as a reminder that the redeeming power of Christ is available to all peoples and all periods, including those who entered and exited human history prior to his death and resurrection.
He is unable to escape from his own home in hell, which heralds the complete victory of the divine conqueror over Satan.
This belief, like many others in the Christian tradition, is not based on the specific teachings of Jesus as recorded in the gospels, but rather on his personal experience as God’s anointed instrument of salvation, as is the case with many others.
This was a question raised by early Christians.
- According to tradition, they were considered to be residing someplace in hell or an outer chamber of the underworld, having been denied the final rewards of Christ’s redeeming work.
- An excellent illustration of this may be seen in Luke 16, when an uncaring, affluent man is allocated to the netherworld, while a suffering beggar is granted rest in the “bosom of Abraham” (Luke 16:22).
- The metaphorical depiction of the hereafter as a pit or chasm appears in numerous places in the New Testament and also in the Hebrew scriptures.
- It was characterized rather literally with the same images that one would apply to a grave: a place of dust, worms, inaction, and decay, to name a few elements of the description.
- Yahweh was thought to have power over death by this time (as depicted in the narrative of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37), and therefore Christ Jesus came to be portrayed as the agent who won Yahweh’s final triumph over sheol, even for those who were already in it.
This story first published in the March 2013 edition of United States Catholic (Vol. 78, No. 3, page 46). Do you have a question you’d like to have addressed? Inquire with us at [email protected]! Wikimedia image courtesy of Web Gallery of Art
Did Jesus Actually Descend into Hell?
In the Christian church, there has always been a hot button issue that comes up every so often. This issue is concerned with the question of whether or not Jesus went to hell. There are schools of thinking that believe He did and schools of thought that believe He did not. Scripture does not provide a straightforward response to this topic; nevertheless, with more study, a more complete understanding can be gained. In some parts of the world, Christianity has always been viewed with suspicion, and this is no exception.
The outcome of these conferences was a collection of creeds that served as expressions of religious belief.
The Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed are the two most well-known creeds in the Christian church, and they are both written in Latin.
The image is courtesy of Getty Images/Kesu01.
Where Did The Idea of Jesus Descending to Hell Originate? And Did Jesus Descend to Hell?
The Apostles’ Creed is an enlarged form of the Old Roman Creed, which was in use as early as the second century and was adopted by the Church of Rome. The grounds for the formation of the Apostles’ Creed are not well understood by academics. Historically, early church leaders believed the credo was penned by the apostles themselves, although we don’t know for sure. That Jesus had gone into hell is thought to have been added later, about AD 390, to the Bible. This would have occurred at the same time as a bishop by the name of Apollinarius was giving a lecture.
- During the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, this dogma was formally rejected and condemned.
- It was during the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 that the Nicene Creed was formulated.
- Constantine desired for the Christian church to have a declaration of faith that would unify all of the denominations under one roof.
- Apart from the establishment of these creeds, there are scripture passages that are held up as proof that Jesus was crucified and afterwards resurrected.
- Together with Ephesians 4:9, this passage contributes to the development of the belief that Jesus may have gone into hell following his death on the cross.
Understanding the Language and Meaningof the Apostles Creed
It is vitally crucial to be able to comprehend the language of a paper. A person must be familiar with the language and understand the meaning of the terms in that language. When there is a miscommunication, the entire meaning of a document or statement might be altered. Christians and researchers today must recognize that writings from the early church were written in a variety of languages that can be difficult to decipher and interpret. When it comes to translating Hebrew or Greek into English, we must proceed with caution.
- This term literally means “hell,” but it refers to the current version of Hell.
- The New Testament has a reference to hell written in the Greek language.
- The “abode of the dead” is difficult to translate from Greek to English because it is described by only two words.
- This term refers to a place of final punishment or a physical location.
- The phrase “he descended into Hell” is included in the Apostles’ Creed, and it is written in the Greek language as “Hades.” The Greek term for death, Hades, alludes to the condition of being dead.
- Kenneth West, a theological researcher, describes this in the following remark about 1 Peter 3:18-22.
- This is a transformation that has occurred as time has progressed.
- More specifically, the term “hell” came to refer to the location where Satan resides.
This was not what hell was like according to the languages of the Bible. Many churches nowadays do not say the Apostle’s Creed, which is a sad state of affairs. The ones who still do so often do so without including this statement. Photo courtesy of Aaron Burden via Unsplash.
Did Jesus Descend to Hell?
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke contain accounts of the events that occurred immediately after Jesus’ death. Each report presents a vivid and clear description of these occurrences. InMatthew 27:50-53we read that Jesus cried out and gave up His spirit. Then the curtain of the sanctuary fell down and the earth shook. Rocks were split and the tombs of the saints opened up. Mark 15:38says “Then the curtain of the Temple was ripped in two from top to bottom.” Luke 23:44-45states “It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, because the sun’s light failed.
- In his description, he shares with readers about the earthquake and darkness that was prophesied by Daniel, Elijah, and Zechariah.
- The tearing of the veil is mentioned in all three accounts and speaks to the importance of this event.
- It hung in the Temple over the entrance to the Holy of Holies.
- InExodus 26we learn that on the Day of Atonement, Aaron could enter and place the blood on the atonement seat.
- This speaks volumes about the tearing of this veil.
- Jesus’ death andresurrectionmeant that no longer did we have to go through rituals or prepare sacrifices to enter into God’s presence.
- Everything spoken of by the Old Testament prophets had happened.
Why Do Some People Think Jesus Descended into Hell?
The concept that Jesus went into hell is still held by many Christians today, although many have called this belief into doubt. Some people are unable to comprehend this concept for whatever reason. Fr. Sev Kuupuo explains why Jesus descended to hell and what the aim of His descent was: “Jesus went to Hell in order to release souls who had been imprisoned for a long period of time.” The mission of Jesus’ ascension into Hell was to bring about the release of the holy people of the Old Testament.
He had to save the holy people of the Old Testament who were waiting for Him in Abraham’s bosom as well as the rest of the world.
In conclusion, those who believe that Jesus descended into hell believe that He did so in order to save souls and to fulfill the sacrifice for our sins on the cross. It is not a notion that He traveled to that location and stayed for a time. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/Tomertu
Why Do Some People Believe Jesus Did Not Descend into Hell?
Many different reasons are used by those who profess their opinion that Jesus did not descend into hell in order to support their position. The most widely held belief is that Jesus was God manifested in human form. He is the one who created the area we know as hell. He forbade Satan from enteringheavent and living in hell for the rest of his days. After all, if God created hell and decided its purpose, how could he possibly visit it? Wasn’t Jesus a holy figure who had no business being in this place?
They have comprehended the significance of this sentence.
How Should Christians Respond to This?
There are numerous possible responses to this topic, and each answer will be shaped by the individual’s viewpoint. The fact that Christians do not live in Greek culture makes it difficult for them to understand what is meant by this remark. They are unable to communicate in Greek. We just do not understand what some terms in Greek mean. Our answer should be to devote the necessary time to studying the Scriptures. Investigate the Biblical languages in greater depth. Inquire of your pastor or a fellow believer in Christ about anything.
According to John Jones of the First Presbyterian Church, “no confessional declaration should be confirmed unless the affirmer understands what the statement entails.” According to its appropriate interpretation, the Apostles’ Creed expresses a fundamental theological truth.” It has been suggested that the Apostles Creed contains a sentence that is problematic among certain Christians.
Before taking a position on anything, we must first conduct thorough research.
He was executed by hanging on a cross.
The brilliance of this is that he did not remain in that location.
Replies to this question may vary depending on who you ask, and those answers will be shaped by your personal viewpoint. Because they do not live in Greek civilization, Christians today may be perplexed as to what to make of this remark. They are unable to communicate because of a language barrier. Simply put, we are unable to determine what certain Greek words mean. It is appropriate for us to respond by devoting time to studying the Scriptures. Research the languages of the Bible to see what you can find out.
This will assist you in comprehending and processing something that is genuinely beyond the scope of our human intellects.
According to its proper interpretation, the Apostles’ Creed affirms a crucial doctrinal truth.” A sentence in the Apostles Creed has caused some Christians to express skepticism.
Before making a decision on something, we must conduct thorough research.
When it came to atonement, Jesus was the ultimate offering. This man died on a cross, as he should have been. As it turned out, he did die and go to the afterlife. The beauty of this is that he did not remain in that location. He has risen from the dead once more and will do so once more.
Did Jesus ‘Descend into Hell’ after his death?
Following his crucifixion, did Jesus “Descended into Hell,” as millions of Christians recite in The Apostles’ Creed every week during their weekly church services? It is supported by nearly 2,000 years of Christian tradition, as well as a biblical reference in 1 Peter 3:19-20: “After being raised from the dead, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits – to those who had been disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.” (This is the New International Version.) What is referred to as the “harrowing of hell” is what Christ experienced while descending into Hades or hell between his death and resurrection.
During the early centuries of the Christian church, it was thought that after his death, Christ went into hell in order to save the souls of the righteous, such as Adam and Eve.
Ancient paintings from the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as similar icons that are still in use in Greek and Russian Orthodox churches today, depict Christ standing over the broken gates of hell, angels binding Satan and Satan crushed under the gates of hell, while Christ pulls out two figures representing Adam and Eve who have been imprisoned because of their sin.
The Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus, written around 215 A.D., is an early version of the Apostles’ Creed that alludes to Christ’s ascension into the world of the dead.
He was raised to life again on the third day, after which he ascended into heaven, where he is now sitting at the right side of the Father, and he will return to judge those who are alive and those who are dead.
2.27 and 31 of Acts as a result of your refusal to abandon me to the world of the dead, as a result of your refusal to allow your holy one to witness deterioration As a foreshadowing of what was to come, he talked of the Messiah’s resurrection, stating that he had not been abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor had his body begun to decay.
- 10 He who descended is also he who soared far beyond all the heavens, in order that he may fill all things with himself.) 17th chapter of Revelation When I first saw him, I collapsed at his feet, like if I were dead.
- What exactly is Hell?
- Damnation, according to historian Alan Bernstein, author of the book “The Formation of Hell,” has a rich cultural past that predates the Christian doctrine of hell.
- While in Babylonia, Jews were introduced to Zoroastrianism, which holds that there is an unending battle between good and evil, with virtue ultimately triumphing.
- Between around 300 B.C.
- Translations from Hebrew to Greek were made by using the phrases Tartarus, Hades, and Gehenna in place of the Hebrew ones.
- Historically, the name Gehenna was used to refer to a ravine outside of Jerusalem that served as a waste dump.
- As a waste dump, it was almost certainly a frequent source of fire as trash was burnt, further stressing the idea of the fires of everlasting damnation as the source of all evil.
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He Descended into Hell, or Did He?
The Apostles’ Creed is one of the oldest ancient confessions of the Christian faith. To this day, it is still in use by a large number of Protestant groups as well as the Roman Catholic Church, among others. In spite of this, it has a particular phrase that has sparked much dispute throughout history. The creed is as follows: I believe in God the Father Almighty, the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth, and I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, as revealed in the Bible.
- He was sent into the depths of hell.
- He has climbed to the throne of God the Father Almighty and is now sitting at the right hand of the Almighty.
- For the sake of my own salvation, I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic (or Universal) Church, the communion of saints, the forgiving of sins, the resurrection of the body, and a hereafter in which we will live forever.
- It is the statement “he fell to hell” that has been the source of ongoing debate in the church for centuries.
- Is it possible that he truly went to hell?
- Let’s take a look at this crucial and intriguing issue in further detail.
- When the question “Did Jesus genuinely fall into hell?” is posed, we must first clarify the concepts used in the discussion.
Jesus didn’t go to that place.
As a result, when early Christian writers wrote things like “He went to hell” or “He descended to the dead,” they were referring to this.
His body was laid to rest, and his spirit was transported to the land of the dead.
One such phrase is “the abyss,” which appears in Romans 10:7.
“Paradise,” for example, is a representation of the last resting place of the virtuous dead.
Then there are words like as “Gehenna” and “Hades,” which relate to the location where the unrighteous dead are buried.
What Do You Think of 1 Peter 3?
The text reads as follows: For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order that he might reconcile us to God, having been put to death in the flesh but raised to life in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they had previously refused to obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, namely, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has ascended into heaven and is sitting at the right hand of the Father, with angels, authorities, and powers subjected to him, baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus’ descent is mentioned here, but Peter also speaks about the entire path of Christ’s obedience—his life, death, and resurrection—in this passage.
- If you take that term to apply to the time period between Christ’s death and resurrection, it refers to the time when Christ went out and “announced” his triumph over Satan, death, and all evil, which was accomplished via his substitutionary death.
- At one point during the fall, it’s almost as if Jesus is shouting, “Hey everybody, I won!” and proclaiming his victory to everyone there in the land of the dead.
- In 1 Peter 3, he is preaching it to people who live under the surface of the earth.
- At the end of both 1 Peter 3 and Philippians 2, we see that he is being recognized as Lord by all people in heaven, on earth, and under earth—that is, the place where the dead are interred.
- Jesus is referred to as “King” in that country as well.
- What makes Jesus the King that he is?
According to author Michael Heiser’s book The Unseen Realm (which I do not endorse in its whole), this land of the dead is actually a representation of the dominion of the serpent as described in the Old Testament.
During his ascension, Jesus kicked down the gates of the kingdom of the serpent, demonstrating that he is also King there.
God, in the person of Jesus, penetrated even the realm of death and announced his victory as he descended into the depths of the earth.
The most important reason is that it provides a clear picture of why the ancient heresy of Apollinarianism is not true.
To put it another way, according to Apollinarian philosophy, Jesus was merely a material creature on earth, in terms of his human nature, during his time here.
And what better theory to use to oppose this error than the concept of Jesus’ descent, which holds that Jesus, according to his human soul, deliberately went to the region of the dead and declared triumph there?
According to my research, the emphasis placed on the descending clause in successive revisions of the Apostles’ Creed may have been due to the church’s ardent opposition to Apollinarianism at the time.
As a result, it is significant in terms of soteriology.
During his ascension, Jesus was victorious over the dominion of the adversary.
In his slide, he wasn’t attempting anything novel.
In the face of death and the world of the dead, he has achieved victory by his death on the cross.
In addition to his victory over death and, thus, his capacity to raise us from the grave and into new life in him, this substitution has a number of other consequences.
In many cases, the arguments opposing this belief are based on statements made by Jesus at his crucifixion.
First and foremost, in John 19:30, Jesus declares, “It is finished.” This was right before he was killed.
When Jesus stated, “It is completed,” he was referring to the completion of his active obedience.
There was nothing further that could be done in that situation.
Because death is a component of the penalty for sin, he is effectively dead during his descent.
He took our place and endured the brunt of our wrath.
He wasn’t attempting anything new this time.
As a result of what I’ve already done, here’s what happened: “I’m the winner!” His accomplished labor on the cross was applied to his physical existence, his post-resurrection teaching and ministry, and the domain of the earth after his resurrection.
Christ now has complete authority over all things as a result of his sinless life and atoning death.
The applications of what he has already done to rescue people in every domain of reality—under the earth, on the earth, and in the heavens—are as diverse as the people he has saved.
Several metaphorical terms are used in Scripture to refer to the righteous compartment of the place of the dead, one of which is “paradise,” as you may recall.
When the dead are waiting for the resurrection, they are waiting “down” in the place of the dead, to use the Bible’s geographical and metaphorical terminology.
The nature of paradise has altered as a result of Jesus’ resurrection, which took place on Easter Sunday.
As a result, we’re talking about going to heaven today since that’s where Jesus is and where the righteous dead are, respectively.
“Yes, Jesus went down to the place of the dead, to paradise, to the righteous compartment, because he was righteous,” would have been the universally acknowledged conclusion.
As a result, the spatial language shifts.
He’s in the throne room of heaven, and the rest of the angels have accompanied him there.
Please keep in mind that Dr.
Brian Arnold go into further detail about this subject on Episode 25 of Faith Seeking Understanding.
Matthew Emerson is a professor of religion at Oklahoma Baptist University, where he also holds the Floyd K.
He is the author of “He Descended to the Dead”: An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday, which was published in 2008. (IVP Academic, 2019). Dr. Emerson graduated with honors from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned his Ph.D.
Did Jesus really descend into hell?
A Fresco by Fra Angelico depicting the Christ in Limbo (ca. 1442) The Apostles’ Creed is the most well-known of the 12 confessions contained in our Book of Confessions, and it is likely that you are familiar with it. It has been accepted by every branch of the Christian family tree. Because it was initially used as a baptismal credo, it is frequently spoken at baptisms. Furthermore, because it is only 110 words in length, if you have any creed memorized, this is most likely the one you should choose.
- The phrase “descended into hell,” which appears between the phrases “crucified, dead, and buried” and “the third day he rose again,” was not originally included in the Apostles’ Creed.
- that the first reference of Jesus’ descent was made for the first time in history.
- It all depends on who you talk to about it.
- Both phrases are translated as “country of the dead.” As a result, some people, such as Rufinus, feel that this sentence merely implies that Jesus, as a completely human and totally divine entity, went through a genuine human death.
- According to another, “hell” alludes to Gehenna, a valley outside of Jerusalem that was initially used for child sacrifice and later utilized as a waste dump, and that the term “hell” has become Hebrew “shorthand” meaning a place of eternal torment.
- Having to deal with the repercussions of human depravity Critics claim that Jesus’ remarks on the cross (“Today you will be with me in paradise” and “It is done!”) contradict this belief
- To spread the gospel, so providing the residents of hell a second opportunity at redemption. This interpretation is based on a particular reading of Ephesians 4:8–10 and 1 Peter 3:18–20, which appear to indicate that Jesus may have visited the lands of the dead in order to save those who were present. Critics argue that this viewpoint compels an interpretation that was not originally intended.
However, there are other viewpoints, such as those held by John Calvin and those recorded in the Heidelberg Catechism, that suggest that the term “hell” should not be used literally. On the contrary, Jesus’ separation from God, which occurred on the cross, represents the ultimate anguish. The Presbyterian Church, then, has a position on Jesus’ “descending into hell.” All of the above. none of the above. a combination of all of the above (Did you seriously believe I was going to resolve a centuries-old theological argument in a single article?) Our differences in interpretation of this term notwithstanding, we can all agree on the important function it serves as a part of our shared confessional history.
Our ordination vows state that “the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, inspired by the Holy Spirit, are the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s Word to,” and that we “receive and adopt the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do.
- That’s a lot of jargon to say that we think the Bible is the authoritative source for understanding and living out our relationships with God and with one another.
- It is via our admissions that we may engage in discourse with others.
- For example, the Reformer Theodore Beza did not agree with John Calvin’s use of the phrase “he plunged into hell,” preferring to leave it out.
- We shouldn’t expect our religions to provide us with all of the answers.
- It is because of them that we return to the Bible, where, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can meet the love of God, as it was manifested in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- With these words, we proclaim that Jesus loves us so deeply that he was willing to make — and be — the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.
- And we are relieved that death no longer has the last say in any situation.
candidate at Trinity International University. She grew up in Libertyville and attended Trinity International University. Specializing in political science, she is a member of the Presbyterian Church (United States of America) Committee on Theological Education.
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Did Jesus Descend into Hell?
A common assertion in the Apostles’ Creed is that Jesus “descended into hell.” Most Christians are aware with this claim. My doubts are that they understand what this statement actually means or that they are able to reconcile it with the teachings of the Scriptures. What what happened when Jesus fell into hell, and when did it take place, is unknown. Is it true that Jesus died on the cross, as John Calvin claimed? Or did it take place after Jesus died and before He rose again from the grave, as many others have speculated and claimed?
- Is it possible that it was only figurative?
- It has been correctly pointed out that the word “descended into hell” does not appear anywhere in the Bible, and this is true.
- So, where can we turn for assistance in addressing these concerns?
- I believe that these scriptures provide the most accurate interpretation of the term “descended into hell” and demonstrate that the notion is in fact scriptural, despite the fact that the phrase itself does not appear in Scripture.
- At first glance, the sacrificial context of Hebrews 13:11 is obvious: “For the carcasses of those animals whose blood is carried into the holy regions by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burnt outside the camp,” says the author.
- By doing so, he was impugning the animal with his own crimes (or the sins of the people around him), which meant that the animal had now been transformed into sin.
But why would you go outside the camp?
What was the message that sentence was intended to convey?
He dwelt in the midst of His people, and he did so in a manner that was distinct from the manner in which He dwelt outside the camp.
However, He was only covenantally and evangelically present within the camp, not outside of it.
Please allow me to clarify what I mean.
Those who were outside the camp did not worship the covenantal God of Israel, and they did not belong to His people.
As a result, “outside the camp” referred to a location that was outside of God’s covenantal favor.
God was not evangelically present outside the camp, which means that God was exclusively working for the people’s benefit inside the camp, which is what I mean by “not evangelically present.” While God was certainly at work outside of the camp, He was not doing it for the benefit of those who were present, because they were not His people and He was not the God of those who were present.
- However, it is only applicable to Christians, or, as Paul puts it, to “those who love God” and “those who are called according to his plan,” respectively.
- In addition, the same fundamental concept may be applied to people who were living both within and outside of the camp.
- When God was outside the tent, he was only present in the form of judgment and anger.
- It is the only place whose residents may really and permanently assert that God is not their God, and that they are not His people, and that God is not their God.
- It should come as no surprise that Jesus alludes to hell as a region of “outer darkness” where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth” on several occasions (e.g., Matt.
- It is the location outside of God’s covenantal and evangelistic presence.
- That the Jews were compelled to transport their dead animals (whose guilt had been imputed to them) outside the camp and burn them in fire appears to reinforce this view, as the New Testament alludes to hell on several occasions as a place of burning.
- 25:41), “the unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43), and “the lake of fire.” It is also referred to as “the lake of fire” in Mark 9:43 and “the lake of fire” in Matthew 13:42 and 50.
- 3:15) or as having been plucked “out of the flames” (1 Cor.
- (Jude 23).
Hebrews 13:12 is especially crucial in this context since it states: “SoJesus likewise suffered outside the gate in order to purify the people by his own blood.” To be clear, there is a direct relationship between Jesus’ death on the cross, which took place outside the city walls of Jerusalem, and the practice of burning animal offerings outside the camp in which he was raised in the Old Testament.
- For just as animals were charged with the sins of their owners and then slaughtered before being transported to hell and completely devoured by fire, Christ was credited with the sins of His followers (2 Cor.
- And the concept is that it all happened on the cross, which is where Jesus died.
- This is when He spoke the well-known cry of dereliction, which goes as follows: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (See Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).
- As the sin-bearing sacrifice, Jesus was completely destroyed by fire, and we are told that this took place “outside the gate” of the temple.
- It was on the crucifixion that He accomplished this, as He endured an eternity in torment for the sins of all His people who would ever live.
- That indicates that there is no more hell for those who have placed their faith in Christ.
- He stood in our place and accepted the judgment and wrath of God that was poured out on us as a result of our sin.
As a confirmation that His sacrifice had been accepted by God, He rose from the grave on the third day, confirming that He had been accepted by God. God, from whom all benefits come, be praised!
He Descended Into Hell
- August13,2019 There have been several inquiries from Catholics concerning our confession of the Apostles’ Creed, which states that “He fell into hell.” Many people are outraged by the very faith that we pretend to have. The Apostles’ Creed has caused much consternation among the devout. Jesus’ ascension into hell has been met with astonishment by some of his followers. Hell is often thought to be the eternal home of sinners and evildoers, where they will spend eternity. Throughout his tale of Lazarus and the wealthy man, Jesus makes it clear that once a person enters Hell, he or she would be unable to return from Hell to Heaven (Lk 16: 26). Many Christians are troubled by this particular article of the Apostles’ Creed. In both the Bible and theology, the phrase “Christ descended into Hell” is supported by biblical evidence and theological reasoning (faith seeking understanding). Jesus Christ was laid to rest in the tomb, and he was thereafter resurrected and plunged into Hell. A number of occasions in the New Testament, it is said that Jesus was “raised from the grave” (Mt 28: 1-20
- Mk 16: 1-20
- Lk 24:1-49
- Jn 20: 1- 21:25
- 1 Peter 3:19). Prior to his resurrection on the Third Day, the crucified Lord is said to have passed into the realm of the dead, according to this theory. Jesus descended to Hell in order to free souls that had been imprisoned for a long time. The mission of Jesus’ ascension into Hell was to bring about the release of the holy people of the Old Testament. As explained by some theologians, Jesus Christ went into Hell in order to endure the whole intensity of suffering, which is the full consequence of human sin, in order to provide a total atonement for humanity’s guilt. Prior to his Resurrection, Jesus descended into Hell as the Savior, bringing the Good News of redemption to the souls who were imprisoned there at the time of his death. All souls were looking forward to the arrival of the Redeemer. The pure spirits that were waiting in Abraham’s bosom were rescued by Jesus Christ (Ps 89:49
- 1 Sam 28:19
- Ezek 32:17-32
- Lk 16:22- 26). Jesus Christ was the first person ever to be resurrected from the grave, according to the Bible (Rom 8:23
- 1 Cor 5: 7-8
- 16: 8). The ascension of Jesus into Hell delivered the Gospel message of redemption to its ultimate and conclusive conclusion. The final element of Jesus’ messianic mission was his ascension into Hell for the aim of bringing about redemption. That is the redemptive work of Christ for all people in all places and at all times. The risen Christ has “the keys of Death and Hades (Hell),” causing “every knee to bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” in response to the name of Jesus (Rev1:18
- Phil2:10). I hope that this thought will aid us in our spiritual growth and maturation. Fr. Sev Kuupuo is the Parochial Vicar of the parish.
3 Reasons Why Christ’s Descent into Hell Is Good News
The ascension of Christ into hell is one of the most bizarre things that Christians have ever confessed. Both the Apostles’ Creed and the Athanasian Creed, two of the three ecumenical creeds professed by Anglicans, contain the phrase. Beginning with Augustine and continuing through Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin, the great majority of theologians have come to the conclusion that the fall into hell is implicitly taught in Scripture. Those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord contend that acknowledging him as Lord also involves confessing that he has fallen into hell for our benefit.
Nevertheless, the journey into hell is part of our tale because it shows us something extremely vital about Jesus.
The drama of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is about to unfold in front of our eyes.
As we go with Jesus into his incarnation existence before the Father, I’d want us to contemplate three reasons why Christ’s descend into hell should be treasured as very excellent news for us during this season of Advent and Christmas.
1. It tells us that God has not forgotten us.
Holy Saturday is traditionally supposed to be the day on which the devil descends into hell. Between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, there is a day known as Holy Saturday. On Friday, Jesus is put to death. On Sunday, Jesus is resurrected. On Saturday, his body will be laid to rest in the tomb, while his spirit will be sent into hell. What is he up to in hell these days? It is said that on Holy Saturday, Jesus entered the underworld to preach his triumph over death and Hades as well as to free the righteous dead from the Old Testament, according to early church authors (such as Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus).
- This is referred to as “the agonizing torment of hell.” He goes on a rampage across hell, reclaiming those whom the devil attempted to take away from him.
- Coffee is spitting out of my cup, my children are squabbling, and I’m running late for work.
- However, I do not believe that the tale of Holy Saturday is completely out of date for us in modern times.
- When Jesus was teaching and describing Limbo (the holding area in hell for God’s saints), the parable was not initially about a fantastical voyage to the underworld.
Ancient minds expressed God’s desire to save his people from death by telling a dramatic story of Jesus going down in power to the realm of bondage, raising a victory cry of triumph (the “preaching to the spirits in prison,” 1 Peter 3:19), and then leading the oppressed in a proud march out of hell in front of their tyrants (Matt.
- In order to bring you to God, Christ also suffered for sins once and for all, sacrificing the righteous for the unjust.
- In some Limbo tales, Jesus is shown as bringing down the gates of hell with a processional cross in his hands (like the ones in Anglican church services).
- If his shout from the cross, “It is finished!” resounded down into the depths of hell, it would have put devils to flight, freed God’s children from slavery, and brought their messianic hopes to fruition.
- It wasn’t about making a second offer of redemption to the condemned; that was never the point.
- Jesus did not only die for God’s people on earth after his arrival; he did it for all of God’s people throughout history.
- The atonement provided by the cross is sufficient for everyone involved in God’s story.
Christ’s tragic experience in Limbo demonstrates to us that God has not forgotten about the dead. He recalls his own who have perished and is determined to bring them back to safety.
2. It underscores the reality of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
When referring to Jesus’ death, many Anglicans (and Christians) prefer the phrase “he descended to the dead” rather than “he fell into hell.” It makes me a little uncomfortable to equate Jesus with hell. Assuming he is the Son of God, it appears to be insulting or offensive to imply that Christ went to hell. When it comes to Christ’s descend, some who favor the term “dead” over “hell” would claim that the original word borrowed from the Bible (hades, among others) and used in the Creeds (inferos) does not correspond to the lake of fire that we imagine today.
- They are just referring to the fact that Jesus was buried in a tomb.
- First and foremost, death is constantly depicted in the Bible as something more than a simple biological truth.
- According to the Bible, to die means to be abandoned by God and to be separated from God’s presence.
- This is why “descending into hell” implies something more than simply dying and being buried in the grave.
- Is it really necessary for a faith that is highly sparing with its language to repeat something that was been stated clearly the first time?
- That would be both redundant and unclear at the same time.
- Secondly, according to early creeds, “he resurrected from the dead.” Scholars today tell us that the term “the dead” is a slang term for “the site where the dead are buried.” That location was referred to be the underworld in ancient times.
These witnesses testified to his resurrection from the grave.
Traditionally, dying meant that one’s spirit was exiled to the underworld, according to ancient beliefs.
The argument is that there is no way out of the underworld once you’ve entered there.
As an example, consider the words of the apostolic witness: “On the third day, Christ rose from the grave.” Jesus has ascended from the depths of the black abyss of no return!
This is a first of its kind.
‘He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh become corrupted,’ says the author.
In order to distinguish between resurrection and resuscitation, it is necessary to use the word “hell” as a qualifier.
This is something that people do all of the time.
However, this is not what we are expressing when we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We are not claiming that Jesus’ body was raised from the dead at the graves.
We are claiming that Jesus was raised from the dead on both the physical and spiritual levels. We are stating that Jesus went to hell, the place where there is no return, and came out of hell with a whole new life to share with us.
3. It reminds us that no darkness has escaped being touched by Christ’s healing light.
At their root, the first creedal affirmations of Christ’s fall into hell proclaimed adherence to a fundamental truth: that when Jesus Christ died for us and our salvation, he was genuinely dead. Early Christians used the phrase “Christ went into hell” to emphasize the seriousness of Christ’s death, which they believed was a good method to do so. He not only seemed dead: he experienced the same destiny of all people who die east of Eden. He perished and was sent into the depths of hell. We may easily presume that “hell” refers to anything else than “grave.” Hell (inferos) was conceived of in two distinct ways in ancient Greece and Rome.
- In the New Testament, this is referred to as Hades, Tartarus, or the Abyss, among other names.
- This is not a fiery lake of fire, nor is it a place of retribution.
- The second way in which ancient people viewed hell was as a place of future retribution.
- It was a blazing rubbish heap outside of Jerusalem, and it served as a visual representation of the judgment that will befall the wicked in the future.
- Which of these was the location where Christ descended?
- Towards the end of the second century, these two perspectives on the hereafter were fused into a single image of the afterlife.
- This is about how the majority of people nowadays imagine hell to be like.
It is amazing that Christians did not hesitate to acknowledge Christ’s ascension into hell in the years after his ascension.
The belief in the journey into hell grew in popularity through time and eventually became institutionalized in official creeds.
They were well aware that their society would interpret “hell” as a frightening abode of torment into which one would be sent upon death.
What does this mean for the rest of us?
That is, when Jesus died, he was genuinely dead, as we are stating.
He chose the road of death and inferno that all humanity must take.
The Bible says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses; rather, we have one who has been tried in the same way that we are, but has not sinned” (Hebrews 4:15).
Any dread we have experienced, he has experienced as well. Even when faced with dread, he placed his faith in God. His faith is powerful enough to carry us through when we fall short.
The descent into hell is good news.
At their root, the first creedal affirmations of Christ’s fall into hell proclaimed adherence to a fundamental truth: that Jesus Christ, when he died for us and our salvation, was genuinely dead and gone. It was a technique for early Christians to emphasize the reality of Christ’s death by saying he had gone into hell. Not only did he look to be dead, but he also suffered the same fate as all people who die east of the Garden of Eden. He perished and was sent into hell as a result of his actions, Assume for a moment that “hell” refers to something other than a grave.
For starters, it was an underworld where spirits were said to be transported after death.
This place is referred to as sheol in the Old Testament.
A more accurate description would be “dark and shadowy holding cell.”.
The second way in which ancient people conceived of hell was as a place of retribution in the distant future.
In the distance, there was a blazing rubbish heap outside of Jerusalem, which served as a symbol of the judgment that will come upon the unjust in the future.
How did Christ make his way to one of these places?
By the end of the second century, these two viewpoints had fused into a single image of the afterlife that was widely accepted.
The majority of people nowadays have a similar conception of hell.
When it comes to admitting Christ’s fall into hell, it is amazing that Christians did not hesitate to do so in subsequent ages.
According to historical evidence, the belief in the fall into hell grew through time and was institutionalized in official creeds.
When they died, they were well aware that their society would interpret “hell” as a horrible region of torment into which one would be thrown.
Which raises the question of what this means for the rest of us.
That is, when Jesus died, he was actually dead, as we are implying here.
Every person has followed the same deathly, diabolical road.
The Bible says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses; rather, we have one who has been tested in the same way that we are, yet has remained sinless” (Hebrews 4:15).
He has felt every ounce of fear we have experienced. Even when faced with dread, he placed his confidence in God. Even when we fail, his faith is strong enough to hold us up.