1/13/19 - Did Jesus Go to Hell?
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoice. My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave My soul in Sheol (Hell/Hades), nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalms 16:9-11)
The apostle Peter quotes this passage in his sermon on the day of Pentecost following Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven (Acts 2:25-28). Peter quoted this as a prophecy of Jesus’ resurrection, that God raised His Son from the dead and seated Him on His throne.
An interesting question is posed about where Jesus went at His death. “For You will not leave My soul in Sheol…” Sheol is the Hebrew word that is sometimes translated, “Hell, Hades, or the grave.” It is used in different ways but is a general term indicating “the realm of the deceased spirits.” In the LXX (Septuagint), the Greed word is HEDEN (Hades). The King James Version used the word “Hell” which has created confusion. Other translations have used “the grave” creating further confusion. The best translation is probably “Hades” or “the realm of the dead.”
Jesus’ body, not His soul, went into the tomb of Joseph for three days. As with all people who die, their soul goes to Hades at the death of the body. Hades is not the same as Hell, the eternal place of torment. Neither is Hades only for the wicked. Hades is made up of two parts: a paradise or Abraham’s bosom for the righteous dead, and torment or Tartarus for the wicked dead.
The dead spirits of all who die will remain in Hades until Jesus comes back and all the dead, both the righteous and the lost are raised (John 5:28,29). All will stand before God’s great white throne. The righteous, now with resurrected and glorified bodies, will receive their eternal reward in Heaven. The wicked, with resurrection bodies, will receive their just punishment, separated from God and cast into eternal Hell fire.
The Heavenly Father did not leave His Son’s soul in Hades. On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead, just as it was prophesied a thousand years before. He is our victorious Lord and Savior, and the only One who is capable and qualified to redeem us from all iniquity and to preserve us unto our eternal reward if we will obey His gospel and live faithfully for Him to the end.