Heaven Net » Did Jesus go to hell after he died

Did Jesus go to hell after he died

Before  I delve into this subject, I would like establish a few thing such as the location and meaning of “Hades”,  “Geenna”, and “Sheol”

Below are the definitions for these 3 words.

HADES {hah’-dace} (as negative particle) hell, grave

  • name Hades or Pluto, the god of the lower regions
  • Orcus, the nether world, the realm of the dead
  • later use of this word: the grave, death, hell
  • In Biblical Greek it is associated with Orcus, the infernal regions, a dark and dismal place in the very depths of the earth, the common receptacle of disembodied spirits.
  • Usually Hades is just the abode of the wicked, Lu. 16:23, Rev. 20:13,14;
  • a very uncomfortable place.

GEENNA {gheh’-en-nah}

  • hell, hell fire
  • Hell is the place of the future punishment call “Gehenna” or “Gehenna of fire”. This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.

SHEOL {sheh-ole’}

  • sheol, underworld, grave, hell, pit
  • Sheol – the OT designation for the abode of the dead
  • place of no return
  • without praise of God
  • wicked sent there for punishment
  • righteous not abandoned to it

Now I want to show you the location of Hell.

See the scriptures below. In Ezekiel 26:20 (English-NIV) it says:
then I will bring you down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of long ago. I will make you dwell in the earth below, as in ancient ruins, with those who go down to the pit, and you will not return or take your place in the land of the living.

Notice that this scripture indicates that some people are dwelling in the Earth below (the pit).

Ezekiel 31:16 (English-KJV)
I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.

Again Hell (sheol, underworld, grave, hell, pit) is referred to as being in the earth.

Luke 16:19-28 (English-NIV)
19 There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.
20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores
21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
24 So he called to him, `Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.
25 But Abraham replied, Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.
27 He answered, `Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house,
28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.

Remember that these are the recorded words of Jesus himself.
Taken literally it suggests that the world of the dead is/was divided into 2 regions. One for the wicked and the other for the righteous.
The wicked are in torment in hell and the righteous are/were in peace with Abraham.
There was/is a chasm between the 2 places that stopped either side from crossing to the other, yet they could/can still communicate with each other.

Now I want to show you that Jesus went to Hades/Hell after He was crucified on the Cross according to the scripture.

Matthew 12:40 (English-NIV)
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

This scripture is quite blatant about the fact that Jesus went to the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights.

If this is the case then how do the words of Jesus spoken to the thief on the cross make sense.

Luke 23:42-43 (English-NIV)
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The point I am making here is that Jesus was in the heart of the earth for approximately 3 days, after that he walked the earth for a short time and then he was lifted up into heaven.
So if the reference to Paradise was heaven, then when Jesus said to the thief on the cross “that he would be in paradise with him today” would have to be a contradiction because Jesus was in the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights.

The only way that both scriptures can be explained without contradiction is to say that Paradise was also in the heart of the earth like Hell.
Do you find this hard to believe?
Doesn’t Luke 16:19-28 say the same thing. We just read earlier in those verses that when Lazarus died he went to Abraham’s side and the rich man went to hell. In hell the rich man looked up and could see Lazarus being comforted at Abraham’s side. But neither could cross over to the other side because of a huge chasm.

Ephesians 4:9 (English-NIV)
8 This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.”
9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ?
10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.

The focal point for the word ascended and descended is the earth itself.
In verse 9 it says that he descended to the lower earthly regions

Hebrews 2:14 (English-NIV)
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil.

Revelation 1:18 (English-NIV)
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

These scriptures indicate that Jesus was dead and is now alive, he also has the Keys of death and hell. We can see clearly that Jesus mission to destroy the power that the devil had over death was a success.

1 Peter 3 (English-NIV)
18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,
19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison
20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,

This scripture says that Jesus preached to disobedient spirits in prison who died before the flood of Noah.
Although I myself do not quite understand the full ramifications of this verse, It does make sense that when Jesus defeated death, he could have proclaimed his victory to the wicked spirits in Hell, in other words he heralded their soon coming judgement, and then of course he set the righteous spirits free to abide in Heaven. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Jesus gave the wicked a second chance to repent as the New Testament scriptures are quite blatant about the fact that you can only repent while you are alive.

1 Peter 4:5-6 (English-NIV)
5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

This scripture could relate to the above scripture as they are only one chapter apart ie Jesus preached to the dead.
This scripture also seems to say that the Gospel was preached to the dead and they were given a chance at life, but it can also be interpreted to say that the disobedient who are dead actually heard the gospel when they were alive, and the reference to the dead is to say that they were dead at the time of the scripture, ie now dead, but were actually alive when they heard the gospel.
I have added these 2 verses as they relate to Jesus death and journey to the world of the dead, but I do repeat the statement I made earlier, and that is that I do not understand the full ramifications of these 2 verses.

Matthew 27:50 – 52 (English-KJV):
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

After Jesus died many of the dead saints arose and walked the earth and appeared to many.
This seems to suggest that Jesus freed the dead saints from a sleep, so he probably went to the place of the dead and set them free. These saints would have been in Paradise, see Luke 16:19-28 (quoted earlier).
Remember that Jesus also rose from the dead and walked the earth before being taken up into Heaven. These saints of old that walked the earth probably were raised to heaven as well. There is no suggestion in the Bible that these saints continued to live amongst mankind.

The fact that the dead rose at the same time as Jesus resurrection is a fulfillment of what Jesus said would happen in John 5:28-29 (English-NIV)

28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice
29 and come out–those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (English-NIV)
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.

Notice that the dead rise first, and at some stage all those believers who are still living will join the dead to meet the Lord.
Jesus victory over death has enabled the saints who have died to by pass Hades and go to Heaven as he did, this was a result of the victory over the devil; who had the power of death. Jesus took the keys of death and hell from him, as we read earlier Revelation 1:18.
Today when the righteous die, they go straight to heaven, but the wicked remain in the grave/hell until the great day of judgement. See Revelation 20:11-14 (English-NIV)

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.
14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

There is no record of the righteous in heaven before Jesus death except for the Mount of Transfiguration where Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus in heavenly glory. See Luke 9:29-31. But these 2 persons were exceptions. Elijah never saw death, he was taken up into Heaven while he was alive therefore by passing the holding place where Abraham dwelt, see 2 Kings 2:11
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.

Moses was also an exception. Jude 1:9 says
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Here we see that Michael the Archangel and the devil fought over Moses body.
Each probably laying claim to why they could have it. The devil probably argued that it couldn’t be taken because he had the Power over death at that stage. Needless to say it doesn’t say who won, but that fact that Moses appeared in glory next to Jesus side in the Mount of Transfiguration shows us the outcome of this dispute.

Going on now we find the following scripture.

Revelation 1:5 (English-NIV)
and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,

This scripture points out that Jesus is the first born from the dead. This suggest that there must be other people born from the dead to follow. Matthew 27:50 – 52  compliments this. Only the power of God can raise the dead and this is what it means to be Born Again. The power that raised Jesus from the dead will also raise all those who belong to God when they die.

Corinthians 15 22-28 English-NIV)
22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.
28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

This scripture reveals a great mystery, that mystery being “all in Christ live”. First Jesus, then the firstfruits, then those that belong to Jesus at his coming. Then the end will come when Jesus destroys all dominion and authority. The last enemy is death. This will result in God the Father being able to dwell in all.

This fits in well with the teaching that Jesus went to Hell, so as to be victorious over Hell, and therefore destroying the One who had Power over death, namely the Devil.

It makes sense that when Jesus died that he went to Hell and defeated death and took the Keys of death and Hell from Satan who had the power of death. This victory means that Jesus defeated death in a bid to make all things subject to him. Death was the last enemy that needed to be conquered and now Jesus has been exalted to the highest position in heaven by God. This victory has enabled all those who belong to God to be raised from the dead with the same power. Jesus is waiting for all his enemies to be made a footstool at his feet.Then  he will give his Kingdom to his Father that the Father may dwell in all.

Hebrews 1:13
13 To which of the angels did God ever say,
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet”?
14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Hebrews 10:12-14
12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

Much  of the work that is left is for the Church to complete, including preaching the gospel of the Kingdom  to all the world. Then the end shall come.

Further: Did you know that Hell is not forever because it is thrown into the Lake of Fire. God is going to destroy the Heavens and Earth with fire after the Millennium, and with this same fire, he destroys the wicked. Further, it he destroys the Earth and Hell is inside the Earth then Hell as a dwelling place would surely also be destroyed. See these next 3 scriptures for confirmation. Or read this related writing:

2 Peter 3:7 (English-NIV)
By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Revelation 21:1 (English-NIV)
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

Revelation 20:14 (English-KJV)
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

21 Responses to "Did Jesus go to hell after he died"

  1. Saini Mateke says:

    1)Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead
    know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward;
    for the memory of them is forgotten.
    9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now
    perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in
    any thing that is done under the sun.
    2) Psalms 146:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
    146:2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing
    praises unto my God while I have any being.
    146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man,
    in whom there is no help.
    146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in
    that very day his thoughts perish.
    3) Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the
    patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his
    sepulchre is with us unto this day.
    2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he
    saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my
    right hand….
    4) 1Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even
    so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
    4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that
    we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord
    shall not prevent them which are asleep.
    4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with
    a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump
    of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first…

    1. Profile photo of Admin Admin says:

      Agreed. Have you also read that when Jesus rose again, so did many of the saints of old. Further, when Jesus defeated death, he took the keys of death and hell from the Devil. Meaning that whatever power the Devil had in this realm was taken back. He was defeated and death was defeated. We read in Revelation for example that the souls of the Martyrs are under the altar and cry out to God to avenge their blood. They are told to rest a little more till their number is complete.

      When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”…

  2. CJFerg says:

    Ed: No disrespect, but your use of the scripture “One day every knee will bow and confess that Jesus Chris is Lord” to communicate your apparent believe that all created things will enter heaven seems to be a bit off. Like, a 100% bit off. This scripture is referring to the fact that one day we’ll all stand at judgment before God and give account for what we’ve done. Isn’t it safe to assume that while standing before the throne of God every soul will then believe, by sight and no longer by faith, that God is real and Jesus Christ is Lord”? This doesn’t mean all will enter into heaven. It simply means all will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord! Even if i was a non-believer I surely would confess that i was wrong and Jesus was real upon seeing him in the flesh! Unless a few scriptures are taken from the Word and used out of context, the overall text of the Holy scriptures absolutely points to a very real heaven and a very real hell (and then ultimately lake of fire). I wish your doctrine of “salvation and restoration of all things” were true…it’d sure make life a lot more care free and the anguish I have over lost souls a lot less painful.

    1. Profile photo of Admin Admin says:

      You can’t have read or understood the above writing correctly. It doesn’t preach the doctrine of “salvation and restoration of all things”. It preaches that yes at some point there will be a new Heavens and Earth and no more suffering and pain. It also teaches that the wicked will be eternally destroyed. Both points can clearly be seen in scripture. If Hell (the wicked) are thrown into the Second Death to be destroyed, then that is hardly restoration of these souls.

  3. Kevin says:

    I like your article, i must say that i dont totally agree with most of it thou since its kinda base moreso on assumption.
    The bible says that when a soul/person died they sleep, they knows nothing, they see no heaven or hell until the day of judgement they will know there faith. also yes, there are persons under the earth, the spirits of satan are the only movable force under the earth, this is since everyone one that is dead is sleeping.

    Jesus didnt went to hell to get the key of death from satan.
    Remember that when Satan was cast out of heaven with his followers he lost all his position and status in heaven but he did have some access with heaven.
    (God could have killed him, but he wanted the rest of Angels to see the kind of God he is that gives everyone the choice to love him and not fear him (fear like been afraid of a gunman)
    (Job 1 vs 6)
    6.One day the angels[a] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them.
    7. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
    Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
    8. Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

    when Jesus died, the devil has lost total access to heaven, the temple was rent as a signal to show that prophecy has fullfilled, everything from the old testament that was leading to the birth and death of Jesus. Including sacrifices of lamb and letting the priest help in the forgiving of your sin, (like what is happening in catholic church now) everything thing that of old in the temple is over. everyone now has individual access through Jesus.
    The devil thought he had won, since he uses Jesus own people to kill him. When satan had realize he couldnt alter prophecy he know he is on a loosing streak, he lost the key…
    (please note also that Jesus had resurrected multiple people from the dead including Lazarus, so he had the key to begin with)

    Remember that the very first resurrection is when Jesus was resurrected he had resurrected all the saved souls and take them to heaven with him, if when we died we go to heaven or hell immediately then there would have been no point to be raised again when God returns.

    I could go on and on but i choose not for now, scriptures are not to be interpret literally, its a spiritual thing. the NIV is not a good source, it tries to make the word of God literal so you will miss most of the revealing point from the holy Spirit

    Thank you

    1. Profile photo of Admin Admin says:

      The dead went to Hades both good and bad, but they were separated by a huge gulf. When Jesus died, he went to Hades and freed the righteous dead from death. And many of the graves were opened and many of the dead even appeared to the living.

      Matthew 27:51-53
      51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.…

    2. Alanda says:

      You said that the devil was cast out of heaven. No,, in Genesis that was a figure of speech. Heaven is a high place. If you notice Adam and Eve was on earth when Eve was deceived by the serpent. This simply mean that the devil was cast down from a high position. God put the devil flat on his stomach. Now at the end times, the devil will try to make it to heaven and fight but, he will be defeated. Also, there is a passage in the old testament that shows that the devil was never in heaven,, I believe it’s in Isiah. I hope this will help you to understand.

    3. Profile photo of Admin Admin says:

      Revelation 12:7-13
      7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole [d]world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
      “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even [e]when faced with death. 12 For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who [f]dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

      13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.

  4. jan swaney says:

    in the first place Jesus is all presented God said if you have seen my son you have seen me that’s how he is in both places at same time,the bible does not counter act it’s self where ever you make your bed he will be there.

  5. Ed says:

    Nice article! Of course hell is no eternal. Gods mercy endures FOREVER. And there are plenty of passages that confirm the salvation and restoration of all things. There is indeed a hell which is men condition of being apart of God; worshiping his own self, doing his own will. Living unsatisfied, searching fir happiness his whole life, but never achieving it… The lake of fire is like a purifier of gold, mentioned so many times in the bible. It takes impurities out, burning then, so all that is left is gold. The same happens with a christian which is baptised with fire, gods fire who burns all of our self will, selfishness, pride, hate, until all that is left is Christ… one day every knee will bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

    God Bless

    1. Jmosh says:

      Ed: You clearly take a very allegorical approach to the bible and from what i can gather the author of this article has a literal one (with the obvious consideration for literature genre). The Bible is not there as a mental driver to get the wheels turning so one can ponder what they think it means. It is there to communicate a message to all nations and all generations with intent not what they think it means. Jesus spoke of hell more than anyone and he was clearly communicating that it was not a place one wanted to go. God has mercy yes that’s why he sent Jesus. He is also a Just God and he who denies Jesus here will be denied in heaven. “It is appointed unto man once to die and then the Judgement.” There are no second chances. Chose now in this life. You will find much more freedom in taking God Word at face value and not allegorizing it where it is not meant to be an allegory. The lake of fire is the second death. Rev 21:8

    2. Profile photo of Admin Admin says:

      I don’t think Ed is necessarily denying that it is literal, (not from what I read in his post at least), but that the fire is what redeems all things. However, as that may be possible, (we do not know all of God’s plans) the Second Death is eternal destruction. Hence the simplest understanding of that is death is eternal just as the life that the righteous are given is also eternal.

      We are told eternal life or perish. Eternal life or destruction. Eternal life or death. But I don’t see eternal life in Hell.

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