Day 6 - Saturday
I don’t get it.
Jesus is dead. He died Friday.
The resurrection happens tomorrow (Sunday), so why are we still “walking with Jesus” on Saturday - on the day he is dead?
Because of these interesting verses:
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the spirit. 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…” (1 Peter 3:18-20).
“For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does” (1 Peter 4:6).
In 1978, the band Judas Priest, released “Saints in Hell.”
Wake the dead, the saints are in Hell
Wake the dead, they’ve come for the bell.
We are saints in hell
We’re going down into the fire
Judas Priest talks about saints going to hell - going down into the fire.
Is Peter talking about Jesus going to hell? Jesus going down into the fire?
Did Jesus spend Saturday in hell?
As you can imagine, there are people on all sides of the question.
St. Augustine asked in the fifth century, “Who, therefore but an infidel will deny that Christ was in hell?”
In 1991, Dr. Wayne Grudem, reflecting the views of many Christians today, wrote an article with this title: “He Did Not Descend into Hell.”
Who is right? Augustine or Grudem?
Any honest student of the Bible will hold his/her views lightly and will agree with the assessment of Martin Luther: “This is a strange text and certainly a more obscure passage than any other passage in the New Testament. I still don’t know for sure what the apostle meant.”
Have you been in a church that recited the Apostle’s Creed? Then you’ve heard this before. The Creed says that following his crucifixion, but before his resurrection, Jesus “descended into hell.” The Athanasian Creed, written about 100 years later than the Apostle’s Creed (around 340AD), repeats the phrase.
What do you think?
Did Jesus go to Hell and preach the Gospel to those who were there?
What does the passage say?
Was it just to the dead fromNoah’s time that Jesus preached?
Or, was Peter using the dead of Noah’s time as a metaphor? “If there is hope for them, there is hope for anyone!”
Peter uses the word “gospel” - from euaggelizo. We get our word “evangelize” from it. You know, people trying to “win” other people to Christ. Euaggelizo means “the Lord’s glad tidings;” “the good message;” “the good news.”
Why? Why did Jesus preach good news to those who had died?
Was Jesus taunting them in a sing song tone? - “Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah. You’re burning in hell!”
That doesn’t sound like good news.
Was Jesus giving those who had died a second chance? Read the words of William Barclay in his commentary on this passage:
“……they are under the judgment of death. But in spite of that Peter has this amazing idea that Christ descended to the world of the dead and preached the gospel there, and that very fact means that, even though they had been judged by death, the dead had still another chance to grasp the gospel and to live in the Spirit of God. In some ways this is one of the most wonderful verses in the Bible, for, if our explanation of it is anywhere near the truth, it gives us a breath-taking glimpse of nothing less than a gospel of a second chance.”
So, today, do we walk with Jesus to hell?
What do these passages tell you about Jesus?
How do you respond to such a Jesus?