Regarding Elijah, Enoch, and the rest of “the just”:
A few considerations . . . .
ROMAN CATECHISM** Part I, Article V. Why He Descended into Hell
To Liberate The Just
Having explained these things, the pastor should next proceed to teach that Christ the Lord descended into hell , in order that having despoiled the demons, He might liberate from prison those holy Fathers and the other just souls, and might bring them into heaven with Himself. . . . This deliverance of the just was long before predicted by Osee in these words: O death, I will be thy death; O hell, I will be thy bite; ’ and also by the Prophet Zachary5: Thou also by the blood of thy testament hast sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water; and lastly, the same is expressed by the Apostle in these words: Despoiling the principalities and powers, he hath exposed them confidently in open show, triumphing over them in himself. . . .
. . . Wherefore before His death and Resurrection heaven was closed against every child of Adam. The souls of the just, on their departure from this life, were either borne to the bosom of Abraham; or, as is still the case with those who have something to be washed away or satisfied for, were purified in the fire of purgatory.
A couple of other suggestions . . .
EPHESIANS 4:8 8 Therefore it is said, When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.
Now Ephesians 4:8 taken by itself doesn’t necessitate Jesus opened the gates of Heaven, but taken with other evidence, I think it is appropriate to interpret it that way.
CCC 637 In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him.
1st CORINTHIANS 15:20 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Jesus Is The Fulfillment Of Pentecost
Jesus is “the first fruits” (see 1st Cor. 15:20 above) not the second fruits. Jesus is the
fulfillment of the “Feast of Weeks” or
the “Feast of First Fruits” or the “Feast of Pentecost”
(all differing ways of alluding to the same feast).