5 Things to Know About Jesus’ Experience in Hell

After Jesus’ death on the cross what did He experience in hell? Here are five things you need to know about the Savior’s time in this dark and dreary place.

  • Jesus placed His Spirit in His Father’s hands.

Best-selling author of “23 Minutes in Hell” Bill Wiese reminds us that the Scriptures tell us Jesus committed His Spirit into the hands of His heavenly Father.

“When He’s just about to die He said, ‘into Thy hands I commend My spirit,'” Wiese says. “So number one, His Spirit was in the hands of God.”

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  • Jesus promised the thief on the cross the experience of paradise, not torment.

There’s a difference between paradise and hell. When Jesus was dying on the cross, He told the thief next to Him that he would be with Him in paradise, not in hell.

“He just let us know that he was going to paradise, not the torment side of hell,” Wiese says. “Hell was separated…as Luke 16 explains that there was this torment side that the rich man was in, thirsting, wanted a drop of water, he was in the flames and he wanted to cross over to the other side.”

Wiese says this means hell had two sides, and the side of paradise known as Abraham’s bosom is the side Jesus went to when He died. Jesus also told the disciples He was going to the Father, but would be back. So, Jesus left His Spirit in the hands of His heavenly Father and descended to Abraham’s bosom.

  • Jesus led captivity captive.

While there is some debate about what Ephesians 4:8 means when it says, “He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men,” Wiese says there’s a couple of suitable suggestions by commentaries that point to what Jesus did by “leading captivity captive.”

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“Some take that to mean that he led the captives that are in Abraham’s bosom out and took them to heaven,” Wiese says. “But most commentaries don’t agree with that.”

“Most of the commentaries say that the captivity captive was He was leading a procession…a proclaimed victory over the devil with his completed work,” Wiese continues.

Regardless of which commentary is most accurate, other Scriptures do point to the fact the graves of many bodies were opened, the righteous being taken up to heaven.

  • Jesus preached to the spirits in prison.

This insight comes from 1 Peter 3:19, and as Wiese suggests, there are plenty of potential spirits that Jesus could have ministered to that are up for debate and discussion.

“They were either the rebellious fallen angels who left their own habitation or angelic nature and became men and had relations with women before the flood,” Wiese says.

Wiese also suggests the possibility that Jesus could have ministered to the people who would not repent when they heard Noah’s preaching, along with those who were repentant and waiting for Christ’s defeat of death on the cross. Wiese believes it is most likely that Jesus preached to the wicked people who would not repent during Noah’s day.

  • Jesus took the keys of death and hell.

Wiese notes that Jesus took away this power from Satan, redeeming us for all eternity.

“He took them out of the hands of Satan,” Wiese says. “Satan had power of death and so forth, and so Jesus redeemed us from death, giving His life for ours so that we could have eternal life now and live in heaven.”

This Resurrection Sunday, give praise and glory to Christ that He forever changed history and our eternal destiny through His sacrifice on the cross.

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Abby Trivett is a marketing copywriter and coordinator for Charisma Media.

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