Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jesus in Hell?: Part 2

This does not say he went to Hell this only says that people will go through trails but we are suffereing for the sake of Christ. Why do people die?? Because they sin right?? Well to die for sin Christ had to die. People go to hell for not accepting Gods right?? Well Christ is God so why would he go to hell?? saying he went to hell is a contradiction to the scripture saying only one sin is punishable by death which is blasphemy of the holy spirit! write back let's talk about it.
Exodus, did you read my earlier post? When the Apostles' Creed states that Jesus "descended into hell", it is not referring to the firey pit of the damned. That place is Gehenna. Instead, it is referring to Hades, the abode of the dead, the place where all souls--both the righteous and the unrighteous--went when they died. Jesus went there to save all of the righteous souls who came before him and to lead them up to heaven. After the righteous departed Hades, it became simply a place of torment for sinners, what we commonly think of when we hear the word "hell."

That Jesus descended into Hades is one of the most ancient Christian beliefs, as evidenced by its presence in one of the most important Creeds of all Christianity. Make sure you read my earlier post again for all the biblical evidence.
When Christ is on the cross he says two things that make me think.
1. "It is finished" - If Christ was going into hell why would he call it finished on the cross before he was dead?? If more had to be done why then say it's finished?
The "it" that was finished was the objective redemption. This is distinct from the subjective redemption. The objective redemption was achieved when Jesus died for all man's sin and made it possible for man to have union with God. The subjective redemption is achieved when the grace from His work on the Cross is actually applied to us and the actual union becomes a reality in our lives.

So, to use a popular protestant example to illustrate my point, the objective redemption took place when Jesus died for all man's sin. The subjective redemption takes place whenever a person repents of his sin and confesses that Jesus Christ is his personal Lord and Savior. The subjective redemption is the application of the objective redemption.

Knowing this, we can now understand Jesus' words on the Cross in light of his descent into Hades. When he said "It is finished" he is saying that the objective redemption has been achieved. When he descends into Hades and preaches the Gospel to the righteous who came before him, then the subjective redemption is achieved in the lives of each one of these souls. Now that they have been redeemed by Christ, the only fitting place for them is in heaven with the Father. "Therefore it is said, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives" (Eph 4:8).
2. "Father into your hands I commend my spirit" - Was God the Father in the Hades that u refer to?? This would imply he was not in heaven but in the hades where all the dead went. Which makes me ask u why then did the heavenly bodies raise. Did they leave the Father in Hades and want to heaven??
I've actually never studied this verse in depth and I don't have my books with me, so I can only make an educated guess. Jesus has a human spirit along with the Word that is hypostatically united to Him. So, it could be that it was his human spirit that he was commending to the Father and that it was the Word who freed the righteous souls in Hades.

Once I can get home and do some research, I'll let you know if there's a better answer to this question. I hope that helps.

UPDATE: According to the Catechism (no. 637) my "educated guess" above is wrong. I'll have to get back to you on this.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

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