How Did Jesus Leave the Earth? (The Ascension)
The ascension of Christ into heaven was one of the most momentous occasions in the life of Jesus Christ. According to the Bible, Jesus ascended into heaven both visually and physically forty days after His resurrection, according to the Bible. Luke Luke was the only New Testament author to recount the event of the ascension. He was separated from them and lifted up into the heavens as he was extending his blessings to them. In return, they returned to Jerusalem with great excitement, and they spent the rest of their time in the temple praying to God and praising and blessing him.
Luke describes Jesus’ separation from them in a way that suggests they are already familiar with the tale of Jesus’ ascension to the Father.
After giving commands to the apostles whom he had selected via the Holy Spirit, I gave you a previous account of everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day in which he was taken up, which I gave you in the previous account, O Theophilus (Acts 1:1, 2).
The Bible confirms that Jesus ascended into heaven in plain view of His followers, as recorded in the Gospels.
Meanwhile, while they continued to stare upward as he rose, two men in white clothing appeared beside them and inquired of them, saying, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the heavens?’ This same Jesus, who was carried away from you into heaven, will return in the same manner in which you witnessed him ascend into heaven’ (Acts 1:9-11).
- Stephen was the first Christian to be executed because of his faith in Jesus Christ.
- However, because he was filled with the Holy Spirit, he looked up into the skies and saw the glory of God, as well as Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and exclaimed, ‘Look!
- This proved that Jesus had risen to heaven and had remained there.
- You will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Father’s throne and ascending on the clouds of heaven in the days to come (Matthew 26:64) Mark Although the lengthy conclusion to Mark’s gospel may not be entirely original, it does represent an ancient belief.
- When the Lord Jesus finished speaking to them, he was taken up into heaven and seated at the right hand of God, where he continues to sit today (Mark 16:19).
‘Stop clinging to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; instead, go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I climb to my Father and your Father, and my God and your God,’ Jesus replied to her.” (See also John 20:17.) In addition, Christ predicts His ascension in the Gospel of John, asking, “What if you should view the Son of Man rising where he was previously?” ” (John 6:62).
1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness,” says the ancient Christian confession of First Timothy 3:16, which includes the phrase “He who was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).
The verb “taken up” is the same as the verb “taken up” that appears in Acts 1:2.
It is also true that he who descended is also the one who soared far beyond all the heavens, in order to fill all things with himself (Ephesians 4:10).
In Christ, which he accomplished by raising him from the grave and putting him at his right hand in the celestial realms (Ephesians 1:20) Without some type of ascension, this exaltation would not have been possible, and the one recounted by Luke appears to be the one that was comprehended by the disciples.
- The ascension, according to Luke, was completed theologically, as Paul describes in his letter.
- He is speaking about Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having ascended into heaven after having subdued angels, authorities, and powers to his will and authority (1 Peter 3:22).
- Hebrews The writer to the Hebrews has a clear understanding of what Christ’s ascension has achieved for the world.
- Furthermore, in Hebrews 7:26, our high priest is praised for having been elevated above the sky, a reference to his position of authority.
- Beginning with the factual tale of Jesus’ ascension into heaven from the Mount of Olives, there is a spiritual dimension to the story.
- As a bonus, the other two gospel writers make allusions to Jesus’ ascension as well.
As a result, the ascension of Jesus is mentioned in a number of distinct places in the New Testament, including the Gospels. The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1982), is a translation of the Bible.
Jesus ascended after 40 days, but didn’t leave us alone
- Jesus appeared to many individuals during the 40 days following his resurrection, according to Acts 1:3. The Gospels and the book of Acts detail several of these appearances, and the apostle Paul also testifies to Jesus’ multiple resurrection appearances in 1 Corinthians. Then, 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus ascended into the heavens to complete His mission. It was the 40th day following Easter, and many churches celebrated His ascension on May 27
- However, others will wait until this Sunday to do so. In the end, Jesus, who declared Himself to be God and then demonstrated that claim by rising from the dead, completed His purpose on earth. All who believe in Him will have everlasting life since He died for the sins of the world and rose again to give them life in the hereafter. After completing His task, He ascended into the celestial realm. Jesus didn’t abandon us without a word. He promised to send a helper, who would be known as the Holy Spirit. “He will take what is mine and disclose it to you,” Jesus warned the apostles twice in John 16, according to the Bible. (This is the English Standard Version.) Because of the Word of God, the Holy Spirit directs people to Jesus so that they may hear and believe that Jesus is the Saviour of the entire world. As a result, the apostle Peter would later remark of the Word of God, “Men spake from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit,” referring to the men who spoke from God. Jesus told His followers that He would never desert them. Indeed, towards the conclusion of Matthew’s Gospel, in verse 20, He adds, “I will be with you always, until the end of the age.” By His Word, Jesus continues to be with His people. In John 8:31-32, Jesus stated, “If you abide in my word, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” If you dwell in Jesus’ word, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. A little later (in 14:6), Jesus would proclaim, “I am the way and the truth, and the life.” He who comes in the name of the truth will be found in His Word. These two are inextricably linked because His Word reveals to all people who He is and what He has done for all of humanity. Jesus also stated that He will return on the day of judgment. A pair of angels appeared to the disciples as Jesus was rising into heaven and said, “Why are you standing here staring into heaven?” This Jesus, who was carried up from you into heaven, will return in the same manner in which you witnessed him go into heaven.” (See Acts 1:11). In the same way that Jesus climbed into heaven in all of His glory, He will descend into hell in all of His glory on the final day of the week. It will be a wonderful day for everyone who believes in it. “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God,” writes the apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.” And the first to rise will be those who have died in Christ. Then there are those of us who are still alive.and so we shall always be with the Lord.” A wonderful day of delight has arrived, and the Bible concludes with the most appropriate words in Revelation 22:20, which read: “Amen. “Come, Lord Jesus, come!” Travis E. Lauterbach serves as the pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, which is located in Falcon Mesa Business Park, 350 Falcon Ridge Parkway, Building 600, in Phoenix, Arizona. Every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., there will be a worship service.
Did Jesus go to hell between His death and resurrection?
QuestionAnswer Currently, there is a considerable degree of uncertainty around this subject. According to the Apostles’ Creed, which declares, “He descended into hell,” the belief that Jesus went to hell after His death on the cross is essentially derived from this verse. The Bible contains several passages in which Jesus is described as going to “hell,” depending on how the passages are interpreted. Prior to delving into this topic, it is critical to grasp what the Bible has to say regarding the realm of the dead.
- Sheol/hades, according to other passages in the New Testament, is a transitory realm where souls are held while they await the final resurrection and judgment.
- The lake of fire serves as a permanent and ultimate repository for the souls of the dead.
- Many people refer to both hades and the lake of fire as “hell,” which can lead to a lot of misunderstanding.
- As described in Matthew 11:23–18, Luke 10:15–16:23, and Acts 2:27–31, sheol/hades was a realm divided into two divisions—a region of blessing and a place of condemnation.
- The abodes of the rescued and the abodes of the lost are divided by a “huge gap” (or abyss in Hebrew) (Luke 16:26).
- The aspect of sheol/hades that deals with judgment has remained constant.
- Is it true that Jesus died and went to sheol/hell?
Some of the misunderstanding has originated from texts such as Psalm 16:10–11, which is translated as follows in the King James Version: “For thou wilt not abandon my soul to the depths of hell; nor wilt thou allow thine Holy One to be corrupted.
The term “the grave” or “sheol” would be a more accurate translation.
As a result, in various editions of the Bible, translators are not consistent or accurate in their rendering of the Hebrew and Greek terminology for the afterlife, hell, and the afterlife after death.
This is a profoundly unbiblical notion to have.
It was His spilt blood that was the means by which we were cleansed from sin (1 John 1:7–9).
His sacrifice for us was sin: “God caused him who had no sin to be sin for us, in order that through him we could become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
As Jesus was on the verge of death, He said, “It is completed” (John 19:30).
His soul/spirit was sent to Hades (the place of the dead).
Jesus’ agony came to an end at the time of His death.
He then anticipated the resurrection of His body and His ascension into glory, both of which would occur at the same time.
Is it true that Jesus went to hell? No. Is it true that Jesus died and went to sheol/hell? Yes. Questions regarding Jesus Christ (return to top of page) Is it possible that Jesus spent time in hell between His death and resurrection?
Subscribe to the
Get our Question of the Week emailed to your inbox every weekday morning! Got Questions Ministries is a trademark of Got Questions Ministries, Inc., registered in the state of California in the year 2002. All intellectual property rights are retained. Policy Regarding Personal Information The information on this page was last updated on January 4, 2022.
Possible Date for Christ’s Ascension
Christ’s ascension into heaven took place forty days after his resurrection from the dead. The following is how Luke characterized the situation: As a result, when they came together, they questioned Him, “Lord, would You return the kingdom to Israel at this time?” They were referring to the restoration of the kingdom to Israel in the Old Testament. And He told them, “It is not your responsibility to discern the times or seasons that the Father has established in His own power.” “However, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will gain power, and you will be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and throughout Judea, and throughout Samaria, and to the ends of the world.” “After he had spoken these words, while they were looking on, He was carried up into a cloud and removed from their sight.” In the New King James Version, Acts 1:4-9 states that Given that Easter is celebrated on a different day each year, the Ascension is also celebrated on a different day each year.
It always occurs on the forty-first day after Easter, and because Easter is always celebrated on a Sunday, Ascension Day always occurs on a Thursday, which is why it is also referred to as “Holy Thursday.” Every year on this day, May 14, when Easter falls on April 5th, Ascension Day falls on the following day, May 14.
- The celebration of Christ’s ascension is known as Ascension Day.
- He is the ruler and Lord of everything in heaven at this time.
- Jesus will return in the same manner in which he was taken up into the clouds.
- It will be exactly the same Jesus who was carried up from you into heaven who will return in the identical manner in which you witnessed Him ascend into heaven.” This is the wonderful hope that all Christians hold out for.
- According to Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica, those who have died will rise first, followed by those who are alive and will be snatched up to be with him in the air.
This is referred to as therapture. Christians occasionally close their meetings with the words, “Come, Lord Jesus,” in order to express their faith in the coming of the Messiah. Bibliography:
- “Easter Sunday Dates.”
- Gibson, George M., “The Story of the Christian Year,” in The Story of the Christian Year. “Feast of the Ascension,” by John J. Wynne, published by Abingdon Press in Nashville in 1945. The Catholic Encyclopedia is a great resource. Robert Appleton & Company, New York, 1907.
Did Jesus Go to Hell Between His Death and Resurrection?
We know from Jesus’ response to the thief that when someone dies, they are instantly brought into the presence of the Father. Luke 23:42 states: “Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise,” referring to the moment of death. This remark also informs us that Jesus died and was resurrected by His Father. Beyond that, we know virtually nothing about Jesus’ whereabouts over those three days. It’s important not to read too much into a parable or narrative, as this might lead to confusion.
Did Jesus Go to Hell? Bible Verses for this Theory
1 Peter 3:18-20 is the scripture of Scripture most frequently cited by people who believe in the existence of hell. “Because Christ also died for sins once and for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God waited in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, namely, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.” “In which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison,” they say, referring to the verses in question.
- According to legend, Jesus descended into Hell and preached to the souls of the damned.
- There is no indication in the Bible that a lost soul who has died receives a second opportunity at redemption.
- However, there is another reading of this verse that is more logical.
- You may have daily words of encouragement emailed to your inbox.
Interpreting the Scripture
Jesus was crucified in the body, yet he was raised to life by the Holy Spirit after his death. The term “brought alive” is a passive verb, which means that someone other than Jesus was responsible for bringing Jesus back to life. Either Jesus was brought back to life by the Spirit, or He was brought back to life by His spirit. In either case, the Spirit had to have played a role. The chapter then goes on to tell us who these souls in prison are: they are those who did not listen to Noah (who was preaching repentance to the world in the power of the Holy Spirit under the direction of God at the time of his imprisonment).
However, just eight persons heeded the warning and were saved—”brought safely through the floodwaters” The term “jail” is used in a metaphorical sense.
Furthermore, a wide gap has been established between us and you, in order that anyone who seek to pass over from here into you will not be able to do so, and that none who wish to cross over from there will be able to do so.” Jesus did not go to hell for those three days, according to the Bible, which is not mentioned anywhere else.
Most people believe Jesus’ physical body stayed in the tomb, just as ours will remain in the grave once we die.
The distinction is that God did not allow Jesus’ body to degrade like other people’s bodies did.
Other Bible Verses and Sources Used to Support the Hell Theory
Other Bible scriptures, such as Romans 10:6-7, Ephesians 4:8-9, and Acts 2:27, that have been cited to support the belief that Jesus went to hell between his crucifixion and resurrection have also caused confusion. However, as discussed in this ZondervanAcademic.com article, these verses are frequently taken out of context and given meaning that is not intended by the author. The Apostle’s Creed was later amended to include the phrase “and he fell into hell.” Did Jesus Descend into Hell Before He Was Resurrected?, a film by Garrett Kell, explored this question.
Theology Thursday: Where Did Jesus Go When He Died?
Dr. Valerie J. De La Torre contributed to this article. When it comes to Jesus Christ, who is the second member in the Trinity, the second article of the Apostles’ Creed is a broader grouping of assertions that are centered on him. This section reveals Christ’s birth, suffering, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, as well as his predicted return to judge all of mankind (Matthew 25:31-46). In order to understand the short word that proclaims that Jesus “descended into hell,” we must first understand what it means.
We discover early references to Christ experiencing human mortality, whether viewed literally or symbolically, which makes it a fascinating factor to consider (Acts.
So, what exactly happened to Jesus when he passed away?
Did Jesus Go to Hell?
The area referred to as “hell” in this creedal declaration was formerly referred to in the Bible asGehenna, which means “the land of the dead” in Greek. It is seen as a region of perpetual torment for individuals who are rejected at the final judgment. The Hebrew name Sheol is used to describe the location in the Old Testament, and it alludes to the grave — a place far removed from God’s presence where the virtuous and the wicked both stay — in the Old Testament. As a result, the issue must be raised as to whether this is the location where Jesus was taken after his death.
According to a subsequent interpretation, this site of descent represents Christ’s victory over the Kingdom of Satan, which was accomplished in death.
That is, the promise of the approaching judgment at Christ’s return, in which the final victory over death and evil will be revealed, is supported by this second viewpoint.
Although a later medieval opinion argued once more that only Christians of the pre-Christian time were in fact recipients and beneficiaries of Christ’s preaching in Hades, as intimated in Matthew 27:52 and again in Hebrews 12:23, this position was rebutted by a later medieval view.
Then there’s John Calvin, who regarded this term as a portrayal of Christ’s inward suffering as someone who had endured complete and total separation from God. In other words, the anguish of the crucifixion alone was a vicarious suffering of what it could be like to be separated from God in hell.
Resolution in the Context
When recited as part of one’s baptismal vows in ancient times, this creed was intended to draw attention to the Trinitarian aspect of the ceremony, and we must consider this fact. This was interpreted as a highly symbolic and representative experience of dying and rising, and it was. The old life was now dead, and the new life was now being physically enacted in the same way that Jesus’ death and dying, as well as his resurrection from this literal grave experience, had been modeled. It felt like life had triumphed over death all over again.
- In other words, Jesus’ experience of the grave was real, just like it will be true for us, but more so, will be our rise for all eternity.
- Want more?
- Learn more about theCollege of Theologyand GCU’sdegree programsby checking outour websiteor requesting more information with the button on this page.
- Any sources listed were accurate as of the publish date.
When did Jesus ascend to heaven?
Gramps, This last year, I’ve been studying the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m attempting to figure out when Jesus was exalted to the highest point in the sky. Christina
Greetings, Christina I’m presuming your inquiry is about the time period following Christ’s resurrection when he ascended to his Father. If this is the case, please accept my apologies for any confusion. Even while we don’t have a certain date, we do have the following details: In the first place, we know that there was a period of time on the morning of Christ’s resurrection when he had not yet risen to heaven (see John 20:17): 17 To Mary, Jesus says, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father.” Instead, go to my brethren and tell them, “I climb unto my Father, as well as your Father; as well as my God, as well as your God.” Christ may have risen to heaven for a period of time before returning to earth to continue teaching his followers, according to this passage of scripture.
- Following that, we read in Luke 24:51 that Christ ascended to heaven after meeting with the apostles: 51 In the midst of his blessing them, he was separated from them and lifted into the presence of the Father in the air.
- In conclusion, we read the following from the institution handbook for Luke 24: Jesus Christ’s real ascension into heaven to be with His Father, according to Elder Bruce R.
- It is literally true that Christ has ascended into heaven in the broadest and most complete sense of the word.
- … Jesus, who had been raised from the dead, ascensioned from the earth and proceeded to the realm where his Father resides.
20:24) The Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:872, states that That Christ had not been to heaven prior to this and after the resurrection is not necessarily true; we know that Christ has returned to the earth since; however, this event is commonly referred to as “The Ascension,” and it can be considered the point at which Christ’s primary location was with his Father rather than on the earth in the presence of men.
This response may also be of interest to you: What are the events that transpired following Christ’s crucifixion? I hope this has provided an answer to your inquiry, and I urge you to continue your research into the life and teachings of our Lord!
Here’s everything you need to know: Following His resurrection from the grave, Jesus returned to heaven to live with God. Furthermore, He returned in order to create a space for anybody who would trust in Him! Because Jesus is God, there is no beginning or end to His existence. He has always resided in heaven, with the exception of the 33 years He spent on Earth as the perfect God-man, during which He was on Earth. He died on the cross for our sins at the conclusion of His stay on earth. However, He did not remain dead!
- He appeared to His disciples, and then to nearly 500 other individuals!
- When Jesus returned to heaven, He promised that He would begin preparing a home for all of those who had placed their faith in Him.
- “Would you have believed me if I had told you that I would arrange a place for you in that location?” (See also John 14:2).
- Jesus will come from heaven at some point in the future for everyone who believes in Him.
- why are you standing here staring up at the sky?” Jesus has been taken away from you and is now in the presence of the Father in heaven.
- Known as the rapture, this is the time when Jesus will take everyone who believes in Him to heaven, whether they are dead or living at the time of His return.
- Truth According to the Bible “Jesus took his disciples out to a rural location near Bethany, where they camped for the night.
- While he was blessing them, he suddenly disappeared.
- “And you will be aware of God’s immense might.
- His power is at work for those of us who believe.
- He demonstrated this by raising Jesus Christ from the grave.
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 old heresy of Apollinarianism is not real.
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 punishment 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 figurative names are used in Scripture to allude to the righteous section of the land 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 spatial and metaphorical language.
The nature of paradise has changed 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 region of the dead, to paradise, to the righteous compartment, since he was righteous,” would have been the universally agreed 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.
What Jesus Really Said About Heaven and Hell
Everyone dislikes thinking about death, yet there are moments when we have no option but to confront it. As the infection spreads, hospitals become overcrowded, and systems become overburdened. Survival is the most pressing of our concerns, both personally and nationally. Many individuals – including the apparently healthy – have, however, found themselves confronted with the shadow of death itself, which has become our daily companion, despite our best efforts to ignore it the majority of the time.
- While NBC’s huge hit comedy seriesThe Good Place was the most recent and most memorable effort, the humor even there was founded exactly in horror, as Eleanor Shellstrop and her pals desperately tried to avoid the eternity they earned in the Bad Place and its unending torments.
- After learning he will spend forever groveling in dust and being devoured by worms, Gilgamesh writhes with misery in the epic poem The Epic of Gilgamesh.
- The prospect of endless sorrow, on the other hand, makes many people shiver.
- In the globe, there are more than two billion Christians, with the great majority of them believing in the existence of a heaven and a hell.
- In spite of an increasing number of “nones,” Americans continue to expect a version of the options shown in The Good Place: independent of religious affiliation, 72 percent believe in a genuine paradise and 58 percent believe in a literal hell, according to the Pew Research Center.
More from TIME
The great majority of these individuals understandably believe that this is what Jesus personally told them. However, this is not the case. Neither Jesus nor the Hebrew Bible, which he translated, supported the notion that departed souls went to either paradise or everlasting punishment. Ancient Jews, in contrast to the majority of Greeks, historically did not think that the soul could exist independently of the body. The opposite was true for them; they saw the soul as more like “breath.” Adam, the first human being God created, began as a lump of clay, then God “breathed” life into him after that (Genesis 2: 7).
- Afterwards, everything was reduced to dust and ashes.
- It is not true that when we cease breathing, our breath does not leave our body.
- In the same way, the “soul” does not continue to exist outside of the body, where it may experience postmortem joy or anguish.
- It is assumed by the Hebrew Bible itself that the deceased are simply dead—that their corpse rests in the grave and that they will never regain awareness again.
- However, in the majority of cases, the term “Sheol” is just a synonym for “tomb” or “grave.” It’s not a location where people really go to hang out.
- The fact that there was no life at all, and so no family, friends, talks, food, drink – and even communion with God – made death so depressing: nothing could make an afterlife existence more pleasant since there was no life at all, and hence no wonderful afterlife existence.
- To be honest, the most one could aspire for was an enjoyable and exceptionally long life in the here and now.
The belief that there was something beyond death—a form of justice to come—began to spread among Jewish philosophers some two hundred years before the birth of the Messiah.
However, the flaws in that line of reasoning were immediately apparent: God’s own people Israel suffered repeatedly, brutally, and frustratingly as a result of natural disasters, political crises, and, most significantly, military defeat.
Some philosophers came up with a solution that described how God would bring about justice, but one that did not require eternal happiness in a paradise above or eternal pain in a hell below, as had previously been proposed.
In spite of the fact that God is the ultimate master of the universe, he has temporarily ceded authority of this planet for an unexplained cause.
Heaven and earth are about to be thrown into chaos when God intervenes to destroy everything and everyone who stands in his way, and to usher in a new kingdom for his loyal followers, the Kingdom of God, a paradise on earth.
Indeed, God will breathe life back into the dead, bringing them back to earthly existence, and God will bring all the dead back to life, not just the virtuous, to be with him forever.
The crowd who had stood in the path of God will also be raised.
During the time of Jesus, this notion of the impending resurrection dominated the outlook of Jewish thought in general.
The end of time is approaching quickly.
God will soon annihilate everything and everyone who stands in his way, and a new order will be established on the planet.
All of the others will be wiped out.
Unlike other Jewish leaders, Jesus preached that no one will inherit the glorious future kingdom by strictly adhering to all of the Jewish laws in their most minute details; or by meticulously following the rules of worship involving sacrifice, prayer, and the observance of holy days; or by pursuing one’s own purity by fleeing from the vile world and the tainting influence of sinful others.
- For the most part, this is placing God first in one’s life, despite personal difficulties, and dedicating one’s time and energy to the benefit of others, even when doing so is extremely difficult.
- (Leviticus 19:18).
- In the same way that the Good Samaritan helped anybody in need, genuine love includes assisting everyone in need, not just those in your chosen social circles, as depicted in the parable of the Good Samaritan.
- Only a small number of individuals are.
- It’s no surprise that it’s easier to get a camel through a needle than it is for the wealthy to get entry into the kingdom.
Although Jesus does not explicitly mention “Hell” in the Sermon on the Mount, standard English translations suggest that he does so sometimes — for example, in his cautions that anybody who labels another a fool, or who permits their right eye or hand to transgress, will be put into “hell” (Matthew 5:22, 29-30).
- However, the name does not allude to a perpetual tormenting region, but rather to an infamous valley just outside the walls of Jerusalem, which was widely considered by many Jews at the time to be the most unholy, god-forsaken area on earth.
- For anyone who died in the ancient world (whether they were Greek, Roman, or Jewish), being refused a proper burial was the harshest punishment they could get after death.
- Souls would not be tortured in that place, according to Jesus.
- The emphasis that Jesus places on the complete destruction of sinners may be found throughout his teachings.
- There are two paths to “life.” One is narrow and demands an arduous road, yet it leads to “life.” That is a route used by few.
- However, it results in “destruction.” It is an extremely essential term.
- In the same way, Jesus compares the coming kingdom to a fisherman who brings in a vast net of fish (Matthew 13:47-50).
He does not subject them to torture.
Alternatively, the kingdom might be compared to a person who collects the plants that have grown in his or her field (Matthew 13:36-43).
These do not burn indefinitely.
Other verses, on the other hand, may appear to imply that Jesus believed in the afterlife.
Some are referred to as sheep, while others are referred to as goats.
These are welcomed into the “kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” as the Bible states.
Upon first glance, that surely sounds like a hellish creation of the public imagination.
They are not “eternal joy” and “eternal misery,” as some people believe.
As a result, annihilation is the penalty.
This is due to the fact that the fire never goes out.
And what is the significance of the term “eternal” punishment?
These individuals will be exterminated for all time.
In this way, Jesus followed in the footsteps of a long line of respectable philosophers who have refused to accept the notion that a benevolent God would torture his beings for all eternity.
Yet neither Jesus nor his early Jewish disciples taught about the torments of hell; rather, they originated among later gentile converts who did not believe in the Jewish concept of a future resurrection of the dead, as did the apostle Paul.
A large number of Greek intellectuals, dating back at least to Socrates’ time, have advocated for the notion of the immortality of the soul.
Following the example of gentile Christians, later Christians who emerged from these groups embraced this viewpoint for themselves, reasoning that since souls are made to survive forever, their final destinies will do the same.
As a result of this innovation, an unsatisfactory combination of Jesus’ Jewish beliefs with those found in elements of the Greek intellectual tradition has resulted.
Nonetheless, in a fascinating and comforting sense, Jesus’ own beliefs on either eternal recompense or full destruction are similar to Greek notions that were taught more than four centuries before Jesus.
His “Apology” (that is, “Legal Defense”), which was recorded by his most renowned pupil, Plato, is still available for reading today.
He is, on the contrary, energised by the prospect of passing from this life to the next.
On the one hand, it may result in the deepest, most uninterrupted slumber that anyone could ever conceive.
It may, on the other hand, imply the presence of a conscious being.
It would mean continuing on with life and all of its joys while avoiding all of its suffering.
As a result, there are no poor options in the afterlife, just good ones.
Two thousand and four hundred years later, with all of our improvements in our knowledge of our world and human existence within it, certainly we can conclude that both Jesus and Socrates were correct about a great many things.
We should pay attention to what he has to say.
Of course, none of us can predict what will happen to us after we leave this world of transience behind.
On the one hand, we may lose our consciousness since we will no longer be concerned about anything in this world.
Both scenarios result in the cessation of all suffering.
To that end, the greatest teacher of the Greeks and the father of Christianity agreed on the following: when we finally go from this earthly sphere, we may have something to look forward to, but we have absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife, Ehrman’s latest book from which this article is taken, is available now. TIME Magazine has more must-read stories.
- Most of these individuals understandably believe that this is what Jesus himself taught. It is not the case, however. It is not supported by either Jesus or the Hebrew Bible that he translated that departed souls go to paradise or suffer for all eternity. Traditional Jewish beliefs, in contrast to those held by the majority of Greeks, held that the soul could exist independently of the body. The opposite was true for them
- They regarded the soul as more like “breathing.” Initially, Adam, the first human being God created, was nothing more than a lump of clay, into which God then “breathed” life (Genesis 2: 7). When Adam’s breathing stopped, he was still alive. Afterwards, everything was reduced to nothing more than dust and ash. According to ancient Jews, this was true for all of humanity. It is not true that when we stop breathing, our breath does not leave our bodies. It simply comes to a halt. In the same way, the “soul” does not continue to exist outside of the body, where it could experience postmortem pleasure or discomfort. It is no longer in existence. It is assumed by the Hebrew Bible itself that the deceased are simply dead—that their body lies in the grave and that there is no consciousness whatsoever after death. It is true that some poetic authors, such as those who wrote the Psalms, use the mysterious term “Sheol” to describe a person’s new location in their poetry. Although Sheol is often used as a synonym for “tomb” or “grave,” it is not always the case. Not many people actually go to this location. Traditional Israelites did not believe in life after death, only in death after death, as a result of this belief. The fact that there was no life at all, and thus no family, friends, conversations, food, drink – and even communion with God – made death so mournful: nothing could make an afterlife existence sweet because there was no life at all. In God’s eyes, the individual would be forgotten, and the individual would be unable to even worship. To be honest, the best one could hope for was an enjoyable and especially long life right now. Jewish thought, on the other hand, gradually evolved over time, albeit without the inclusion of the concept of an afterlife. The belief that there was something beyond death—a kind of justice to come—began to spread among Jewish thinkers about two hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Jews had long held the belief that God was the supreme ruler over the entire world and all people, both living and dead, for thousands of years. There were, however, obvious flaws in that line of thinking, as God’s own people Israel suffered from natural disasters, political crises, and, most significantly, military defeat on an almost constant basis. Why does God’s people suffer so much tragedy if he loves them and is sovereign over the entire world, you might wonder. Some thinkers came up with a solution that explained how God would bring about justice, but one that did not involve eternal bliss in a heaven above or eternal torment in a hell below, as had previously been suggested. That there are evil forces in the world aligned against God and determined to afflict the people of God was the premise of this new theory of evil. For some unexplained reason, God has temporarily relinquished control of this world, despite the fact that he is the ultimate ruler of all. There is only a limited amount of time left for the forces of evil to act. Heaven and earth are about to be thrown into chaos as God intervenes to destroy everything and everyone who stands in his way, and to usher in a new realm for his true followers: the Kingdom of God, a paradise on earth. This new earthly kingdom will be available not only to those who are alive at the time of its establishment, but also to those who have died. This is particularly significant. Certainly the dead will be brought back to life by God, allowing them to resume their earthly existence, and God will do so for all of the dead, not just those who have done good. The multitudes who had stood in opposition to God will also be raised, but for a different reason: to be shown the error of their ways and to be judged by God himself. Their existence will be erased from the face of the earth once they have been shocked and filled with regret – but it will be too late. During the time of Jesus, this view of the impending resurrection dominated Jewish thought and practice. Furthermore, it was the point of view that he himself advocated. A short while from now, the universe will be terminated. The coming of God’s earthly Kingdom is “near” (Mark 1:15). God will soon destroy everything and everyone who stands in his way, and he will establish a new order on the planet as a result of this destruction. For the rest of their lives, those who enter this kingdom will live in a utopian state of mind. Those who oppose us will be wiped out entirely. Jesus, on the other hand, put his own spin on it. To the contrary of what other Jewish leaders taught, Jesus preached that no one will inherit the glorious future kingdom by strictly adhering to all of the Jewish laws in their most minute details
- Or by meticulously following the rules of worship involving sacrifice, prayer, and the observance of holy days
- Or by pursuing one’s own purity by fleeing from the vile world and the tainting influence of sinful others. Instead, according to Jesus, individuals who are completely devoted to the most prevalent and dominating teachings of God’s law will be granted entry into the earthly utopian state. Simply put, this is placing God first in one’s life despite personal difficulties and dedicating one’s time and energy to the benefit of others, even when doing so is extremely challenging. People who have not been living lives of total selfless love need to repent and return to the two “biggest commandments” of Jewish Scripture: a profound love for God (Deuteronomy 6:4-6) and a dedicated love for one’s neighbor (Deuteronomy 6:13-15). (Leviticus 19:18). Despite the fact that it appears to be straightforward, it is not. In the same way that the Good Samaritan helped everyone in need, genuine love includes assisting everyone in need, not just those in your chosen social circles, as seen in the story of the Good Samaritan. When it came to the poor, outcasts, immigrants, those on the margins, and even the most despised opponents, Jesus was the most concerned person. There aren’t many of them. Those who have a comfortable life and a lot of money, in particular. That explains why it is easier to get a camel through a needle than it is to get the wealthy into the kingdom. A surprising number of people today would be startled to find that Jesus believed in a corporeal everlasting existence here on earth, rather than in endless joy for souls, and that he did not believe in a location of perpetual pain known as hell. Although Jesus does not explicitly mention “Hell” in the Sermon on the Mount, standard English translations suggest that he does so sometimes — for example, in his cautions that anybody who labels another a fool, or who permits their right eye or hand to transgress, will be put into “Hell” (Matthew 5:22, 29-30). It should be noted that none of these verses directly allude to the concept of “hell.” “Gehenna” is the term that Jesus employs. However, the name does not allude to an endless tormenting region, but rather to an infamous valley just outside the walls of Jerusalem, which was widely regarded by many Jews at the time as the most impure and god-forsaken spot on earth. Ancient Israelites conducted child sacrifices to foreign gods there, according to the Old Testament, and the Lord God of Israel had condemned and abandoned the site as a result. For those who died in the ancient world (whether they were Greek, Roman, or Jewish), being refused a proper burial was the harshest punishment they could get after their deaths. A disgusting scenario was constructed by Jesus based on this viewpoint: the bodies of those who were excluded from the kingdom would be rudely thrown into the most desecrated landfill on the earth. Souls would not be tormented there, according to Jesus’ words. They’d just cease to exist as a result of the change. It is clear from Jesus’ teachings that he is focused on the complete destruction of sinners. He claims that there are two gates through which people must pass (Matthew 7:13-14). There are two paths to “life.” One is narrow and demands an arduous road, but it leads to the other. That is a route taken by just a small number. As a result, it is often used since it is broad and simple. The result is “destruction,” on the other hand. It is an extremely essential term. Terrorism does not result from choosing the incorrect route to begin with. Jesus compares the coming kingdom to a fisherman who hauls in a vast net, then he goes on to explain (Matthew 13:47-50). Then, after separating the excellent from the bad, he retains the good and tosses out the bad fish. His treatment of them is not torturous. Nothing happens to them
- They simply perish. Alternatively, the kingdom might be thought of as a person who collects the plants that have grown in his or her garden (Matthew 13:36-43). He saves the excellent grain, but he burns the weeds in a hot fire to make room for more good grain. There is a time limit on how long they will burn. It seems as though they have been engulfed by fire and are no longer alive. Other verses, on the other hand, may appear to imply that Jesus believed in the existence of hell. Particularly noteworthy is the statement of Jesus that all countries would gather for the final judgment (Matthew 25:31-46). It is said that some of them are sheep, while others are thought to be goats. These are the (good) sheep — those who have assisted others who are in need – those who are hungry, sick, destitute, or alien. The “kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” welcomes these people into its fold. As a result of their refusal to assist people in need, the (wicked) goats are sentenced to “eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels,” which means they will burn forever. Initially, that sounds like the devil of popular imagination, and it surely is. However, as Jesus finishes his argument, he clarifies that the opposing destinies are “eternal life” and “eternal damnation.” “Everlasting joy” and “eternal suffering” are not the same thing. Death, not agony, is the polar opposite of living. Therefore, destruction serves as punishment. But what is the significance of “everlasting fire” in this context? This is due to the fact that the fire will never go out! Flames, not torments, are the only thing that lasts forever. What is the significance of the term “eternal” punishment? For the simple reason that it will never come to an end. These individuals shall be eliminated off the face of the earth for all time! Even if it isn’t nice to think about, it will have no negative impact after it is complete. As a result, Jesus joined a very long line of serious thinkers who have refused to accept the notion that a benevolent God would torture his beings for all of eternity in the hereafter. Fire and brimstone preaching, which subsequent followers often attributed to Jesus himself, was a latecomer to the Christian scene, having emerged decades after Jesus’ death and been fine-tuned to a fine pitch in the teachings of fire and brimstone. Yet neither Jesus nor his initial Jewish disciples taught about the torments of hell
- Rather, they originated among later gentile converts who did not believe in the Jewish concept of a future resurrection of the dead, as was the case with the early Christians. Greek culture and the notion that souls are immortal and would endure death influenced the development of these later Christians. A large number of Greek intellectuals, dating back at least to Socrates’ time, have advocated for the concept that the soul is eternal. Despite the fact that the human body will die, the human spirit will not and will not be able to die. Following the example of gentile Christians, later Christians who emerged from those circles embraced this viewpoint for themselves, reasoning that since souls are made to survive forever, their final destinies will do the same. Either eternal happiness or endless agony will await the chosen ones on the other side. Jesus’ Jewish beliefs and those found in elements of the Greek intellectual heritage have been combined in an unsatisfactory way in this invention. A bizarre mix, one that was shared neither by the early Christians, nor by the ancient Greek elite who came before them. Nonetheless, in a fascinating and comforting sense, Jesus’ own beliefs on either eternal reward or full destruction are similar to Greek notions that were preached more than four centuries before. During his trial before an Athenian jury on capital charges, Socrates presented the concept in the most memorable way. Because it was written down by his most renowned pupil, Plato, the text of his “Apology” (also known as “Legal Defense”) may still be seen on the internet. As a matter of fact, Socrates proclaims outright that he has no need to be concerned about the impending execution. The prospect of leaving from this life, on the other hand, gives him a burst of energy. Death will come in one of two forms for Socrates. However, on the one hand, it may result in the deepest, most restful slumber that anyone could ever hope to experience. A decent sleep, on the other hand, who doesn’t like? The presence of a conscious being on the other hand, is possible. That would also be beneficial, perhaps much more so. It would mean continuing on with life and all of its delights but avoiding all of its pains and difficulties. Having unending debates about serious themes with well-known philosophers from his history would be a dream come true for Socrates, the most famous seeker of truth in the classical world. There are no negative decisions to make in the afterlife
- Just excellent ones. In the face of death, there was no sense of horror or even dread in his eyes. Two thousand and four hundred years later, with all of our improvements in our knowledge of our world and human existence within it, we may safely conclude that both Jesus and Socrates were correct about a great many things. We should commit ourselves to the benefit of others, especially the poor and needy, the ill and afflicted, the outcasts and aliens, during our brief existence, according to Jesus’ teaching. This is someone who should be taken into consideration. Nevertheless, Socrates was probably definitely correct in his assessment of the situation. Of fact, none of us has any idea what will happen to us once we leave this realm of transience and become immortal. However, his two most feasible alternatives remain the same. As a result of no longer having to care about anything in this world, we may lose our consciousness, to some extent. Socrates perceived it as a peaceful deep slumber, but Jesus regarded it as eternal annihilation. There will be no more suffering in any circumstance. But it’s possible that something better is still to come, a better place, a happier place. To that end, the greatest teacher of the Greeks and the father of Christianity agreed on the following: when we finally leave this earthly sphere, we may perhaps have something to look forward to, but we have absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife, which is the title of Ehrman’s latest book and the source material for this article. TIME Magazine has more must-read articles.
Please contact us at [email protected]