What Did Jesus Do When He Descended Into Hell
The word Sheol is another Hebrew word that is usually translated as “hell,” or “the grave.” This term is sometimes seen in the New Testament as Hadees.
The “Harrowing of Hell” is a subject that raises some of the most important theological questions about Jesus Christ.
The harrowing of hell is a subject that raises some of the most important theological questions about Jesus Christ. The doctrine is not very well known, and many people have never even heard of it. However, this concept is an essential part of Christian belief and should be considered in any study on heaven and hell.
The word “hell” here refers to the place of the dead—not a fiery inferno or a lake of fire as described in Revelation 20:14-15 (which speaks about the second death). When we say that Christ went to hell, what we mean is that he descended into Hades after he died on the cross, where all humanity would eventually join him until his resurrection three days later.
So, what did Jesus do when He descended into hell?
So, what did Jesus do when He descended into hell?
First, He preached to the dead. The Bible tells us that when Jesus died on the cross, there were many people in hell who were waiting for His coming (1 Peter 3:19-20). When He was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven, these same people heard a loud voice saying, “Come up here!” They then went up into heaven with Him (Revelation 4:1-11). Then they preached throughout creation in Christ’s name (Revelation 5:9-10).
Secondly, Jesus rescued Old Testament saints from hell by preaching and rescuing them from their captivity in darkness (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6). The Psalmist wrote about this event saying: “You have delivered my soul from death” (Psalm 116:9 NIV 1984 Edition) This verse tells us that those who have believed in Christ have been delivered from death through His blood sacrifice at Calvary’s cross!
1 Peter 3:18-19 tells us that Jesus’ proclamation to the dead was a proclamation of judgment to those who were unbelievers.
1 Peter 3:18-19 tells us that Jesus’ proclamation to the dead was a proclamation of judgment to those who were unbelievers. “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” In this passage we learn that when Jesus died on the cross he paid for our sins so that we could be forgiven and have eternal life with God. When Jesus went into hell he did not go there as our substitute but as another sinner like us who also needed forgiveness from his sin. As such, when he descended into hell and preached to those who were in torment there about their need for salvation and eternal life with God (Luke 16:19-31) it was because these individuals had rejected what God had offered them through Christ’s death on their behalf (John 3:19-21).
The dead in Christ rose at that time, were justified by His proclamation, and ascended with Him into heaven.
The dead in Christ rose at that time, were justified by His proclamation, and ascended with Him into heaven. This included Old Testament saints who had died before Christ came to earth (see 1 Peter 3:18-20). They were resurrected from their graves, justified by His blood shed on the cross (Romans 4:25), and given new life by His Spirit.
Jesus also saved those who had been lost throughout history—the Antediluvians, Sodomites, Egyptians who perished in the Red Sea during Moses’ exodus, etc.—by declaring them righteous through faith alone in Christ alone.
This included Old Testament saints.
Jesus descended into hell to free everybody. Not just believers, but also unbelievers, righteous, wicked and dead people. This included Old Testament saints who were in heaven but also those who were not in the grave.
In this way Jesus’s descent into hell was an act of mercy for all mankind because it includes everyone for whom he died on the cross at Calvary.
In Matthew 27:50-53, when Jesus died, “the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”
As Jesus died, the tombs of all those who had died were opened, and their bodies raised. They went into Jerusalem and appeared to many people. The resurrection of Christ was a proof that all those who believed in him would also rise from the dead.
They weren’t given a resurrection body but rather made an appearance in resurrected flesh.
When Jesus was dead, he descended into hell in order to free the captives. The Bible says that when Christ died,
“the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.” (Matthew 27:52-53) They were not given a resurrection body but rather made an appearance in resurrected flesh. This means that those who had been resurrected from the dead did not appear as glorious beings with angelic wings, but instead appeared just like walking, talking humans. They could be seen by many people in Jerusalem on that first Easter morning because they didn’t have a resurrection body at all! Their first appearance after being raised was during Jesus’ ascension back into heaven (Acts 1:3). The apostle Paul confirms this when he writes about his experience seeing some men who had been raised from death: “For I am sure that neither death nor life . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
For example, Matthew 17; Luke 16 tells us that Elijah or Moses appeared on earth in resurrected bodies for a time.
In the Bible, it is stated that when Jesus died on the cross, He descended into hell and released all of souls that were there. But what does this mean? What did Jesus do when He descended into Hell? For example, Matthew 17; Luke 16 tells us that Elijah or Moses appeared on earth in resurrected bodies for a time. They appeared to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration where they spoke with Christ about His coming death (Matthew 17:1-13). The account includes details about how these two great prophets looked like when they were seen by those men – their clothes, how tall they were and their hair color (Luke 9:29). It was also noted that these men had flesh bodies like ours but with no sin because they had been resurrected!
In this way, Christ is showing His victory over death and the grave.
In this way, Christ is showing His victory over death and the grave. He has conquered sin and Satan, who are both guilty of bringing death into our world.
This shows us that Jesus has a purpose for being in hell: to save those who are there by defeating Satan’s power and bringing them back into God’s kingdom.
Descending into hell was part of Christ’s victory over death.
Jesus’ descent into hell was part of Christ’s victory over death. Jesus descended into hell and proclaimed to the dead that He was victorious (1 Peter 3:18). He preached the gospel to those who were in hell, and He proclaimed to them that they would be judged (1 Peter 4:6). Jesus also stated that no one has gone down into the grave except for Him who came from heaven—a clear indication that all men are destined for eternal torment unless they believe on Christ and accept His sacrifice for their sins.
To wrap up, we’ve seen how Jesus preached to the spirits in prison, and judged them. This is a teaching that many of us are unfamiliar with, but if we read through the scriptures—particularly 1 Peter 3:18–20—we can come to better understand how it all fits together. After His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus descended into hell where He was victorious over Satan himself. As Christians today, we are called to take this victory on faith because we cannot see Him or what He did for us.