Jesus rose on the third day, where was he for those 3 days? I was taught that when he died on the cross he was in hell–seperated from God, which is our punishment, that he took our place. Someone told me that is not true, he never went to hell. Did Jesus go to hell?
It is a common doctrine being taught today that Jesus went to hell for three days and got beat up on by Satan and the demons before becoming the first “born again” being.
It is taught primarily by those who follow Ken Hagin, Ken Copeland and similar proponents of the “Word Faith” movement.
There are many problems with this teaching which put it plainly in the camp of false teaching:
- The Bible does not teach anything even remotely close to this doctrine; it takes incredible amounts of implication, prooftexting and distortion of Scriptures
- Satan is not in hell, nor does he rule over hell; God is in control of hell
- The Bible never says in any way that Jesus was beat up on by demons for three days who were throwing a party in hell because they had defeated Jesus
- The idea the Jesus was “born again” is pure heresy clearly implying that 1) Jesus had a sin nature that needed to be regenerated, and 2) that Jesus is equal to MAN, not GOD.
What does the Bible teach?
Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last. (NKJV)
Jesus Himself plainly says “into Thy hands I commend my Spirit”; not into Satan’s hands and hopefully God would come rescue Him. He clearly stated that He was going to the Father. Consider as well what Jesus told the thief:
Luke 23:43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (NKJV)
The thief would be where? When? With who? In Paradise, that day, with Jesus. Does it make any sense, or can it be support Scripturally or even logically that Jesus went to spend a little time in Paradise before moving on to get His beating by Satan?
This verse alone DESTROYS the notion that Jesus went to hell for three days to be punished by Satan. It would be ludicrious to think He stopped by Paradise for a while before going.
Now, the difficult verse related to this matter is:
- 1 Peter 3:18-20 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. (NKJV)
These verses are sometimes used to support the idea the Jesus went to hell. Granted, we can’t know a definitive interpretation of these verses, but we can know that it does NOT mean that Jesus went to hell and got beat up on by Satan for three days because the Bible does NOT support that idea for reasons listed above.
There are many opinions on this verse including:
- Jesus went to declare victory over death to the Old Testament era persons
- Jesus went to proclaim victory over the demons that were imprisoned in Noah’s time
- Jesus went to proclaim His Kingship to the lost and have every knee bow to Him who had died rejecting God and thus eternally condemned
There are pros and cons against each of those points. But the clear fact remains, it has NOTHING to do with Jesus going to hell for three days and being “born again” which is rank heresy.
In summary, Jesus did NOT go to hell and get beat up on by Satan. He was not “born again”. He was not punished for three days as our replacement (His shed blood and death paid for our sins, and was complete when Jesus said, ‘it is finished’. Jesus didn’t say ‘I’m getting started, only three more days’. He said, IT IS FINISHED!).
Jesus DID go to the Father; He was in Paradise with the thief; He did “preach to the spirits in prison”; and He did raise again in a glorified body on the third day.