Jesus’ death on the Cross is the greatest revelation of the nature of God there is and will ever be. His finished work done once and for all transcends space and eternity. But when He died 2000 years ago at Calvary, since He was carrying the sins of the world, did He actually go to hell?
Jesus’ atonement meant He not only became the embodiment of sin, but the recipient of the wages of sin as well. He wasn’t just a sin-carrier going to dump all the sins in the world somewhere else. No! He was the epitome of sin, thus putting sin to death by His Death and putting death to “death” by His Resurrection. …after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.2 CORINTHIANS 5:21
Jesus endured physical death and while serving His “sentence” in hell, He preached the Gospel. I had always wondered what the fate of those born before the era of Jesus would be. On what basis where they going to be judged by God? But God in His infinite wisdom did not abandon them to their fate. Romans 3:25 tells us that,
For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,ROMANS 3:25
Jesus preached emphatically the demonstration of God’s Love throughout all ages to these earlier generations.
He went and proclaimed God’s salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgment because they wouldn’t listen.1 PETER 3:19 MSG
On the third day, when Christ had completed His mission in Shoel, the Spirit of the Living God quickened His mortal body and He rose from the grave, thus conquering death, hell and the grave.
But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.ACTS 2:24
The only verse in the Bible that seems to contradict the fact that Jesus actually went to Shoel when He died is Luke 23:43. But that’s only due to a minute mistranslation. Koine Greek was usually written without punctuation, whereas in English, where the punctuation is placed grossly changes the meaning of the sentence.
Instead of Luke 23:43 reading as, Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise“, it is actually supposed to read as, Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise.”
(Note the difference)
Thus, Jesus wasn’t promising to see the guy in paradise that day but He was promising the guy that day that he will see him in paradise.
It’s not a matter of technicalities. It’s the finished work of Christ on earth and in hades once and for all, making the gift of salvation available to all people in previous generations and in the generations to come.
I love you