Where Was Christ 3 Days & 3 Nights Prior To His Resurrection?
In discussing this subject with many people, I have been amazed at the various ideas they have put forth concerning Christ's whereabouts during these three days and nights. Some thought He just plain went to Hell and was burning in Hell for us. Others said they believed His Spirit would remain in Hell for all eternity as payment for our sin. Some thought He was unconscious in the tomb during that time, while others believe exactly what the Bible teaches.
We want to recapitulate briefly over Matthew 12:40 concerning the length of time Christ was in Paradise:
"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Hades)."
Now in Acts 2:27 we have seen that Christ went to Hades:
"Because thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell (Hades), neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."
Even though it is clearly stated that He went to Hades, we still are not told whether He went to Paradise or Torment. The answer is given, though, when we examine what Christ told the thief on the cross. This man believed that Christ was the Messiah and Saviour. Here are the words in Luke 23:42, "And he (the thief) said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom."
Here is the Lord's reply, which separates all skepticism from truth.
"And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in PARADISE"
"By which also he (Christ) went and preached unto the spirits in prison."
It is unbelievable to what extremes some will go, mutilating the Word of God, extracting one Verse and trying to make it fit their own ideologies. If this were true, then it would contradict Luke 23:43, for the lost are in Torment, not Paradise. Now let us look at 1st Peter 3:19 and 20 together to understand the context.
"By which also he (Christ) went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."
In also referring to Genesis 6:3, we find that God waited 120 years before sending the flood. The purpose of the flood judgment was that "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart, was only evil continually." In other words, Christ, through the Holy Spirit in Noah, preached to those imprisoned in their sin and warned them of the judgment (flood) which was to come in 120 years.
The Scriptures in 1st peter 3 are referring to the flood and have no reference to where Christ went when He died. There are no second chances after death. A person's destiny is determined while he is living and he cannot reverse it after he dies. In Matthew 25:46 we are told "and these (the lost) shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal." If one could ever be saved after they die, then everlasting would cease to be everlasting. One might also consider the rich man in Torment in Luke 16. This man believed after he was there, as he wanted someone to go back and warn his five brothers. Even though he believed, he still could not get out of Torment.
We are now ready for Diagram 3.
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