Did Jesus go into Hell after He died on the Cross?
By Dennis Huebshman
According to the Apostle’s Creed which was first mentioned in a letter about 390AD from Ambrose in Milan to Pope Siricius, it was written, “…suffered under Pontius Pilate, He was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into Hell. On the 3rd day he rose and ascended into Heaven.”
Nicene Creed was adopted in the city if Nicaea in Turkey by the First council of Necaea in 325AD says, “…crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered death and was buried and rose again the 3rd day in accordance with scripture.”’
Under the 12 articles of Catholic Catechism, #5 states, “He descended to the dead and on the 3rd day rose again.
I have heard pastors state that Jesus went into Hell, and some have even said He suffered there for our sins until He rose on the 3rd. day. There’s a Greek word for this – – HOGWASH! There is no scriptural basis to support this.
Once the “fully God Spirit” left the “fully Man body”, there would be no way He would be tormented by ANY evil spirit. That would mean the spirits would be able to torment the Lord God Jehovah God Himself. That could never happen.
Point in fact is Luke 23: 42-43. One of the thieves that was crucified with Him said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus said to him, I tell you the truth, TODAY you will be with me in paradise. He didn’t say, “but first I have to go to hell to suffer a bit more for everyone’s sin.” Jesus did experience a “taste” of what hell would be like when He cried out “Why have You forsaken Me?” It was at that moment when He and the Father had to be separated for the first time as He took on all of the sins of the world, and the Father had to turn away because He cannot tolerate any sin. It’s the only part of the crucifixion process that caused our Savior such grief. Soon as the sacrifice was satisfied, the Trinity became whole again. This also is why Jesus was so willing to save us. He didn’t want anyone to experience what He did for that brief moment, knowing anyone who died without Him would go through that forever.
When Jesus said, “It is Finished!” (John 19:30) He was saying “I have done all that is required to be the perfect sacrifice, and ALL who accept this gift I have given will be saved.” (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13). When He said, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit” (Luke 23:46), He became separated from His earthly human body which actually died The Spirit Jesus was as alive as He had always been, and always be.
About the only time satan had any real shot at getting to Jesus was in Matthew 4, which took place after His baptism by John, and He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for the main purpose of being tested by the devil. He fasted 40 days and 40 nights, and the Man-Jesus was famished. Satan did his very best to conquer Him, but Jesus would not yield, and satan left after the temptations.
One passage which causes some to think He went into hell is in 1 Peter 3:18-20. He says Jesus “suffered once” for sins, the just for the unjust so we could be brought to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit. Verses 19-20 “In It (Spirit), He went and preached to the Spirits in Prison after they were disobedient long ago when God patiently waited in the days of Noah….” (This goes back to Genesis) (all emphasis mine)
His Spirit being Fully God, while His human body was in the grave was able to present Himself to ALL the souls that had departed since the formation of the earth. He “preached” to show He had conquered sin and death once and for all, to the Glory of the Faithful, and the Gloom of condemned non-believers. Some say that the phrase “suffered once” covered the entire 3-day period rather than the 3-hour crucifixion. I repeat John 19:30 – It Is Finished!
My belief is that besides all the angels that were standing by for Him, one of the first faces that saw Him was the repentant thief. I also believe when He went to the souls being held for Judgment – some to Glory but many to destruction – the other thief found out how wrong he had been, but too late.
Final note, Revelation 19:20 tells about the anti-christ and false prophet being thrown alive into the Lake of Fire, and they are the First Occupants of the Actual Hell. All people who died out of God’s will before the cross, and who didn’t accept Jesus after the cross are right now in a holding place where their torment has already started, but they are not in the final hell yet. (Rich Man and Lazarus Luke 16: 19-31.)
Satan is thrown into an abyss for 1000 years while Jesus rules on earth from His throne in Jerusalem. (Revelation 20: 1-2) He is released for a short time at the end of this time to cause chaos and confusion one more time. Jesus puts down the rebellion, and satan joins the anti-christ and false prophet in the Lake of Fire. Then comes the white throne judgment which is the one that really populates the Lake of Fire forever. This judgment is for all who rejected God before Jesus, and rejected Jesus after the cross.
There is no pardon or parole from that judgment. It’s final and forever! Anyone who believes it’s only temporary, and God wouldn’t leave them there forever is reading the wrong book. God’s true letter – Bible – says “Forever” in numerous places, and He wouldn’t be a Just God if He did not give the discipline promised.
The point to all this is Jesus’ sacrifice was total and complete, and there’s nothing we can do to earn or buy our way in. It is a FREE GIFT. The only thing anyone can do is accept the Gift – accept Jesus as Savior – and ask His forgiveness of our sins. We will not be perfect, but we will have started a relationship with Him that will last forever.
To not accept the Gift is to Reject God’s Son, and be separated from Him forever. No 3rd Way! No Many Roads to the Father – and all Religions are not the same. Only those that worship Jesus the Son of the Lord God Jehovah will be saved. Not Allah, Buddha, or any other. I realize it’s a strange concept to actually get something for free as today’s world would say anything that is free has a bunch of strings attached.
There’s only one string attached to God’s Gift which I have said time and time again. We must Truly Believe in His Son, ask forgiveness and know there’s no price we can pay or work we can do to earn this. To believe otherwise is an insult to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Don’t get all caught up in some sort of formal prayer or think you must use “exact words” to be saved. Just talk to Jesus and invite Him into your heart and ask His forgiveness for your sins. Even if you just do this in your mind, He can hear you. After all, He already paid for our sins. If you reject Him, you take the liability for them back on yourself, and will answer at the Great White Throne Judgment. When you sincerely do this, the Holy Spirit will come to dwell inside you and your destiny will have changed from the Lake of Fire to an eternity of Joy, Love, Happiness and total Satisfaction.
In closing, the Doxology:
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise Him above ye Heavenly Hosts,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen
(Tomas Ken 1674 – Psalm 47; 86 and Hebrews 13)