Do you believe this? Really?

Jesus told his disciples that, just as Jonah was in the belly of a fish for three days and three nights, Jesus would be in the “heart of the earth” for three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40).

Ever thought about what he was doing during this time? Well, you don’t have to. The Catechism is pretty clear. It says he went to a temporary realm of the dead called Hades (or Sheol) to free those who had been kept there in captivity (many evangelicals believe this too).

This solves a well known Christian problem: If Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the father except through Him, what happened to good people, such as Joshua or Abraham, who died before Jesus came to save the world? Jesus himself gives us a clue in Luke:

“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side." (16:22-23)

It appears, from Jesus story, that there are two parts of Hades, a place of torment where bad people went, and a place of non-suffering where the souls of good people went. So the tradition is that Jesus went to bring up the spirits of good people from Hades between his death and resurrection.

Here are some key quotes:

Paragraph 633 of the catechism tells us:

“Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead.”

In a letter to his friend Evodius, Augstine said:

“It is established beyond question that the Lord, after He had been put to death in the flesh, descended into hell.”

“It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."(paragraph 632).

So the question is, do you really believe this?

Why shouldn’t we? :confused:

Why should this teaching be any more unbelievable than the Incarnation or the Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead or the confecting of the Eucharist or any other teaching in which we rely on faith and the evidence of reason to believe?

[quote=Della] Why shouldn’t we?

Why should this teaching be any more unbelievable than the Incarnation or the Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead or the confecting of the Eucharist or any other teaching in which we rely on faith and the evidence of reason to believe?
[/quote]

Based on the evidence of reason? Ok, well let’s see. Who do you think would be in the good part of Hades? Noah? Adam and Eve? How about good people who lived in China or what we now call America? Would they be there too?

What do you think they all were doing for thousands of years?

What makes you think they experienced “time” in terms of linear years after the conclusion of their earthly lives?

ETA: Or “space” in a 3-dimensional existence, for that matter?

Trolling on internet forums maybe?

:rotfl:

Yes, of course. Perhaps the very ‘first’ thing they experienced after death might have been Jesus.

Absolutely. Is there some reason not to believe it?

[quote=ahs] What makes you think they experienced “time” in terms of linear years after the conclusion of their earthly lives?

ETA: Or “space” in a 3-dimensional existence, for that matter?
[/quote]

I’m not saying they marked days and nights on a calendar but, if they were conscious and experienced feelings of suffering or relative bliss, as the Rich man and Lazarus suggests, then surely some form of time would be involved since they had these experiences for extended periods covering their death to the time of Jesus’ death. They were conscious of their surroundings. Not sure how you could actually argue otherwise.

Try the above question. Who would have been there? And, would these have been the same “saints” who came out of their graves, back to life, at Jesus’ death and went into the city to meet people?

Then why wouldn’t Jesus rescue them right there and then? Did Jesus say “Hi, sorry you’ll have to wait here a few thousand years till some people kill me before you can leave.” Seems problematic.

Ad-hominems are always easier than actually dealing with difficulties.

  1. The Patriarchs, the righteous in the time before Christ, and others known only to God.

  2. Some certainly. We don’t know which particular saints appeared. We don’t know if they were known saints from the stories in the Scriptures, or if they were saints that were personally known to those living in Jerusalem at the time of Christ.

No, what I am saying is that they may not have experienced time in the same way they did in the temporal realm. Jesus, at the point he ‘descended into hades,’ could have intersected their ‘timeline’ at any point. So that Abraham, or Adam or Moses, might have met Jesus at the moment of their own death, for all I know. It wasn’t that they waited for HIS death. It’s that those two moments could have been simultaneous in the afterlife.

But after all, there is very little said about this in the bible or in any aspect of divine revelation. We simply do not know the ‘mechanics’ of the afterlife. And keep in mind that the parable of Lazarus was a parable and not a description.

You haven’t shown how it is problematic. First, you assume that time is the same for those in Hades or Purgatory. This is an unfounded assumption.

Second, in the Gospel story where Jesus is talking about Lazarus, he mentions that Lazarus is being comforted while waiting there. What is problematic about that?

*Luke 16:25 “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. *

No, ‘Jesus said’… nothing. To the people who lived before Jesus’ incarnation, they lived a life in which they attempted to live a live that best reflected their understanding of God. If they were Jewish, they looked forward to the coming of the messiah. Upon their death, they experienced what God had revealed to humanity at that time: they were in the abode of the dead.

Then, when Jesus was incarnate, and following his crucifixion, he came to them (in ‘hades’ or ‘sheol’ or ‘the abode of the dead’ or ‘the bosom of Abraham’ or ‘the limbo of the patriarchs’ – whatever you want to call it) and released them into heaven.

It makes sense, of course: was the fall of humanity something that happened in eternity or something in the temporal context of creation? Was the Incarnation something that happened temporally? Then why shouldn’t the effects of the Incarnation be something that began to be experienced within a temporal framework?

Let’s go the route of speculative theology: we know that, when we die, there will be the ‘particular judgment’, when we learn our eternal fate. Later, at the end of time, we will receive a glorified body, and begin our eternal reward (or punishment). Let’s suppose that the righteous patriarchs had a particular judgment. What would they have been told? “You lived a just life, and will have an eternal reward. Just as you awaited the messiah in life, you will continue to await the messiah until he comes. At that point, with the gates of heaven open, you will spend eternity in heaven.”

What’s illogical about that? What’s cruel about that?

That accounts last time of activity was in 2009 according to the thread list. I think it’s a safe bet it has been compromised.

I think this is well stated. The point is, it is not “problematic” as stated by the OP. Rather, it is simply mysterious. Outside of our knowledge. Outside of our reasoning. Outside of our time. In other words, it is for God to know intimately and for us to wonder infinitely.

Then why wouldn’t Jesus rescue them right there and then? Did Jesus say “Hi, sorry you’ll have to wait here a few thousand years till some people kill me before you can leave.” Seems problematic.

You missed the point. Without time there is no past, present or future. The point was immediatly after there death they saw Jesus because he had all ready died as well.

Regarding the bold text above, the Theory of Relativity shows us that as objects travel faster, time slows down for them. We know that if a object is traveling close to the speed of light, a short amount of time would pass for the person/object traveling close to light speed, while hundreds or thousands of years would pass for us on Earth.

Perhaps the afterlife is similar. Perhaps they felt like they were only there for 5 months or 20 years… not thousands.

Back to Physics… I find it interesting that nothing can accelerate to or past the speed of light (without potentially using a Warp drive)… perhaps that’s where Heaven is…? In a place where time stands still or where it’s the past, present and future at the same time…?

I know… it’s deep. But my point is, if I’m to spend eternity in Heaven, I hope I don’t experience time the same way as I do here on Earth :smiley:

God Bless!

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