Skip to comments.Where is Jesus after he Dies?
Posted on 04/07/2012 3:40:18 PM PDT by NYer
Where is Christ after he dies on Friday afternoon and before he rises on Easter Sunday? Both Scripture and Tradition answer this question. Consider the following from a Second Century Sermon and also a mediation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
An Ancient Sermon:
Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him – He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . “I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.” [From an Ancient Holy Saturday Homily ca 2nd Century]
Nothing could be more beautiful than that line addressed to Adam and Eve: I am your God, who, for your sake, became your Son.”
Scripture also testifies to Christ’s descent to the dead and what he did: For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison….For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. (1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:6).
Consider also this from the Catechism on Christ’s descent to the dead, which I summarize and excerpt from CCC # 631-635
[The] first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell [is] that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead.
But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there [1 Peter 3:18-19; 1 Peter 4:6; Heb. 13:20]. Scripture calls [this] abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” – Sheol in Hebrew, or Hades in Greek – because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God [1 Peter 3:18-19].
Such [was] the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they awaited the Redeemer: It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior …whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.”[cf Psalms 89:49; 1 Sam. 28:19; Ezek 32:17ff; Luke 16:22-26]
Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.
[So] the gospel was preached even to the dead. The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfillment. This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.
Christ went down into the depths of death so that “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”[1 Peter 4:6] Jesus, “the Author of life”, by dying, destroyed “him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage” [John 5:25; Mt 12:40; Rom 10:7; Eph 4:9].
Henceforth the risen Christ holds “the keys of Death and Hades”, so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”[Heb 2:14-15; Acts 3:15]
This is a doctrine that the fundamental, independent, Bible-believing immersionist (Baptist-type) also believes. I don't know why, but this part was not in the Apostle's Creed of the Methodist denomination I was brought up in, nor were we taught it.
awesome. Talk about follow-through.
I’m given to pondering what the disciples were thinking during these Three Days.
Where was Jesus? In the grave, dead. according to Matt.16:21 he wasn’t resurrected until the third day so until he actually was resurrected he was dead and did nothing and went nowhere
Peter was thinking "Dang! What am i gonna do now?! I'm not a very good fisherman. Never caught a thing unless Jesus told me where to put the net!"
Your literalism is ridiculous in its internal contradictions.
****Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him. ****
True. He descended there to free those in that part of hades we call paradise (Abraham’s Bosom).
when HE ascended on high he took this train of captives with him.
He also said: "The dead, they know nothing." And several times refers to dead people as "sleeping". BTW, I could have sworn we used to say in Mass: "He descended into Hell." I always thought it was so Satan could torture him for 3 days.
I've seen another version of that painting, where Jesus greets the righteous in Hell, now freed by the Crucifixion.
I just can't grasp it at all.
What do the Mormons say about it? That he perhaps took the time to visit his brother?
So when did He preach to the 'spirits in prison' as outlined in 1 Peter, unless He did so during the three days?
It’s Matthew (and other inspired writers) that contradict the dogmas and creeds. There is no other way to take Matthew’s word other than literally.
“This is a doctrine that the fundamental, independent, Bible-believing immersionist (Baptist-type) also believes.”
Give us a Book, chapter and verse, will you?
I grew up in a very conservative, “immersionist” (Anabaptist derived) no music/no nonsense, evangelical, fundamentalist church.
I must have been napping when the sermon shouter preached about Jesus going down to Hell to save those who had the bad luck to die before He did.
Without punctuation in the Greek this promise must be understood in the context of Jesus being dead for three days before being resurrected.
“He also said: “The dead, they know nothing.” And several times refers to dead people as “sleeping”. Indeed as the Congregator made clear in Eccl.
What is confusing is the attempts to force Scripture to fit the teaching and dogmas of men.
Even regular folks don't lay dead in a grave. Either we don't have souls and the dead rotting body lays in th e dirt and any "we" ended when it dead, so there's no one to experience being in the grave (in which case why are we discussing this?) - or, we have souls, and when the body drops and is buried and rots, "we" are nowhere near it (unless we have the ability to choose to haunt it, but we're still not in the rotting body.
Way I figure it, Jesus has a few more options than we do.
But believe what you want.
Catholics believe (and so do I) that Christ’s body was in the grave, but his soul was alive and he went to free the good people who were waiting for him to be the first one into heaven.
One of the Gospels talks about the people rising from their tombs and roaming around Jerusalem, but not everyone could see them.
chuckle. I think he was hearing “Simon, Satan has demanded to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed that your faith would not fail...”