I have a question concerning Christ’ descend into hell. I am trying to reconcile Christ’ descend to hell to what He said to the criminal next to Him on the cross. “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42-43. So, did Jesus go to paradise that day, or did He descended into hell first.
My understanding is that Hell in this instance would be more correctly translated as “Sheol” or the abode of the dead, and that He preached to the souls imprisoned there, showing them what He had done.
1 Peter 3:19 NIV “After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits to those who were disobedient 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, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.”
He is the God-Man, why couldn’t it be both? There is no such thing as a “day” to God, or any other timeless being, such as those who die and enter into eternity. He could have descended, preached, and gone up and on that day been in paradise with the thief without having lied. He had an eternity to do it after all.
It was a good point to speak about how scripture references a day to God, but we do have a context of days as it was reconciled in the time of Jesus by Jews. I say this because after death he was to rise again on the third day as we profess to this day in the Apostles and Nicene creed. After Jesus rose from the dead he states that He has not yet ascended to the Father.
The problem here is that the poster has been taught the word paradise means Heaven. I agree it can mean heaven, but as we know Adam and Eve were in paradise, but they were not in Heaven. There would be no reason for Jesus to have gone to Hell (Gehenna) as the purpose of going to Hell (Sheol) was quoted earlier 1 Peter 3:19. The purpose was to preach salvation to the righteous. Those are not the eternally damned. The place has been called “Abraham’s bosom” “purgatory” or “paradise” “limbo”. I know we find it hard to imagine how could paradise be something other than Heaven, but given you are not eternally damned in Hell fire, and are in the process of cleansing to enter Heaven that is paradise. Just like Adam and Eve were in paradise while they waited for the end of the earthly mission before going to Heaven.
The problems lie with protestant scholars who deny the clear scriptural references that reveal that God has setup temporary places that are not the permanent places (Heaven and Hell). For instance Elijah and Enoch were not in “Abraham’s bosom”, but they also were not in Heaven. They would have been and maybe still are in some other state.
PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
JESUS SUFFERED TO SAVE THE WORLD
FROM THE MEDITATIONS OF
ANNE CATHERINE EMMERICH CHAPTER LIX
A Detached Account of the Descent into Hell
WHEN Jesus, after uttering a loud cry, expired, I saw his heavenly soul under the form of a bright meteor pierce the earth at the foot of the Cross, accompanied by the angel Gabriel and many other angels. His Divine nature continued united to his soul as well as to his body, which still remained hanging upon the Cross, but I cannot explain how this was, although I saw it plainly in my own mind. The place into which the soul of Jesus entered was divided into three parts, which appeared to me like three worlds; and I felt that they were round, and that each division was separated from the other by a hemisphere.
I beheld a bright and beautiful space opposite to Limbo; it was enamelled with flowers, delicious breezes wafted through it; and many souls were placed there before being admitted into Heaven after their deliverance from Purgatory. Limbo, the place where the souls were waiting for the Redemption, was divided into different compartments, and encompassed by a thick foggy atmosphere. Our Lord appeared radiant with light and surrounded by angels, who conducted him triumphantly between two of these compartments; the one on the left containing the patriarchs who lived before the time of Abraham, and that on the right those who lived between the days of Abraham and St. John Baptist. These souls did not at first recognise Jesus, but were filled nevertheless with sensations of joy and hope. There was not a spot in those narrow confines which did not, as it were, dilate with feelings of happiness. The passage of Jesus might be compared to the wafting of a breath of air, to a sudden flash of light, or to a shower of vivifying dew, but it was swift as a whirlwind. After passing through the two compartments, he reached a dark spot in which Adam and Eve were standing; he spoke to them, they prostrated and adored him in a perfect ecstasy of joy, and they immediately joined the band of angels, and accompanied our Lord to the compartment on the left, which contained the patriarchs who lived before Abraham. This compartment was a species of Purgatory, and a few evil spirits were wandering about among the souls and endeavouring to fill them with anxiety and alarm. The entrance through a species of door was closed, but the angels rapped, and I thought I heard them say, ‘Open these doors.’ When Jesus entered in triumph the demons dispersed, crying out at the same time, ‘What is there between thee and us? What art thou come to do here? Wilt thou crucify us likewise?’ The angels hunted them away, having first chained them. The poor souls confined in this place had only a slight presentiment and vague idea of the presence of Jesus; but the moment he told them that it was he himself, they burst out into acclamations of joy, and welcomed him with hymns of rapture and delight. The soul of our Lord then wended its way to the right, towards that part which really constituted Limbo; and there he met the soul of the good thief which angels were carrying to Abraham’s bosom, as also that of the bad thief being dragged by demons into Hell. Our Lord addressed a few words to both, and then entered Abraham’s bosom, accompanied by numerous angels and holy souls, and also by those demons who had been chained and expelled from the compartment. ( continue ) Pages 305-310