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Author Topic: Question about Jesus Defeating Death
Domestica
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Post Question about Jesus Defeating Death
on: January 26, 2013, 07:48
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Hi Steve,

I don't think you have a forum set up for theology questions so I'll just put it in here.

I'm interested in knowing your take on something. My kids asked me what happened to Jesus while he was dead and I realized I didn't really know for sure!

When Jesus died, and was dead for three days, I am curious about what transpired in those three days. Did he "defeat death" by literally going to hell and bearing the weight of hell for those three days? Since we don't believe in purgatory, I can't imagine that he was somehow immune to the depravity of hell after dying on the cross...

Thanks!

admin
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Posts: 55
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Post Re: Question about Jesus Defeating Death
on: January 29, 2013, 23:02
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Hi Domestica --

The most clear Scripture is where Jesus tells the thief on the Cross "today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43) So I think as soon as Jesus died he immediately went to Paradise. Then early Sunday morning he returned to earth to receive his resurrection body, and spent 40 more days with the apostles before ascending to heaven.

The passage in 1 Peter 3:19 that talks about Jesus going to the spirits in prison is *probably* talking about how Jesus preached through Noah to those alive at Noah's time. Here's the ESV Study Bible synnart of this view --

[This view] understands “spirits” (Gk. pneumasin, plural) as referring to the unsaved (human spirits) of Noah’s day. Christ, “in the spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18), proclaimed the gospel “in the days of Noah” (v. 20) through Noah. The unbelievers who heard Christ’s preaching “did not obey … in the days of Noah” (v. 20) and are now suffering judgment (they are “spirits in prison,” v. 19). Several reasons support this view: (a) Peter calls Noah a “herald of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5), where “herald” represents Greek kēryx, “preacher,” which corresponds to the noun kēryssō, “proclaim,” in 1 Pet. 3:19. (b) Peter says the “Spirit of Christ” was speaking through the OT prophets (1:11); thus Christ could have been speaking through Noah as an OT prophet. (c) The context indicates that Christ was preaching through Noah, who was in a persecuted minority, and God saved Noah, which is similar to the situation in Peter’s time: Christ is now preaching the gospel through Peter and his readers (v. 15) to a persecuted minority, and God will save them.

Domestica
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Post Re: Question about Jesus Defeating Death
on: January 30, 2013, 16:10
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Thanks for the thorough answer. I didn't think about how Jesus said that to the criminal beside him.

Learning-
Every Day
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Post Re: Question about Jesus Defeating Death
on: February 9, 2013, 07:59
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Interesting question.

I always assumed that if Jesus died with the burden of sin then how could he enter Heaven? That perhaps he also went to Hell as well? and reminded a few fallen angels of their origin.

And if God exists outside of time then maybe when he said 'today' it's 'today' in God's eyes whereas it could have been a while in earthly time?

I think it's one of those things that's going to be a matter of opinion, there's no right or wrong answer, it's just something you decide on because it makes the most sense to you. Maybe the best answer to this is simply, what do you think?

admin
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Post Re: Question about Jesus Defeating Death
on: February 9, 2013, 13:45
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Learning Every Day.

That's a good question about how Jesus could enter heaven after having born our sin. I'm thinking the answer is found in his statement "it is finished" (John 19:30) which shows that he had stopped being punished for our sin because the debt was all paid. That would then be why he could go directly to Paradise.

And I've never thought about the "today" in "Today you will be with me in Paradise" as referring to time from God's perspective. So now that I'm thinking about it -- wouldn't the thief hearing Jesus' words have assumed it was time from our human perspective? Wouldn't he assume it meant that as soon as he died he would be in Paradise with Jesus?

Does that make any sense? It's always helpful to hear new questions and think about God's Word -- so thanks!

Learning-
Every Day
Over 10 Posts
Posts: 15
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Post Re: Question about Jesus Defeating Death
on: February 9, 2013, 14:17
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Yes, it would, i know I would think so =)

I guess, 'it's finished' is up to interpretation. It could be it was finished in that the entirety of the deed was done but i always seen as the the end of the covenant era, that a dark world had been forgiven and would continue to be forgiven and God was satisfied with that trade because Jesus was now the lamb. You could also look at as that his life was also finished, his goal maybe, He wanted to bring people closer to God or back to God. I don't expect a man on the verge of a painful death to be checking of his mental list of things to do but maybe yeah, maybe it was a way, I fulfilled my purpose here in all the ways I was suppose to?

I had to look for it in my bible because i couldnt remember which verse it was but its john 19 vs 31-33

That the bodies shouldn't be on the cross on the Sabbath so the Jews asked Pilate to break the prisoner's legs and the bodies be taken away.
The soldiers 'broke the legs of the first and the other that was crucified with him'.(I always assumed that meant the thieves?) but when they got to Jesus they discovered he was already dead so there was no need.

And I do remember breaking of the legs for the crucified as being a way for them to hurry up and die basically, something about tension in the chest or something about relieving the muscles (and all the other gory details, ick) and it caused suffocation? (kind of reminds how when people would ask for a sword instead of an axe for beheading)

So what if, by the time it took the other man to die, Jesus had already been to Hell and back? ......in theory LOL

*should probably add that I have a slight romantic notion that the further from God you get, the faster time gets, or vice versa, the closer you are to God, the slower time is, so a day for us is 5 minutes to God and 50 years in hell- all just innocent thoughts, no offence intended*

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