Apostles' Creed Session Nine -He Descended to the Dead
Session 9: He descended to the dead
The Apostles’ Creed I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, Gods only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father,and he will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. AMEN.
He descended to the dead (into hell)• Joseph took [Jesus’] body, wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. Matthew 27:59• Jesus, a real person, who suffered a real death.• To conquer death Jesus had to experience death.
He descended to the dead (into hell)• Not a literal descent, like walking downhill, but a move to a “lower” place – The eternal Son of God descends to earth through birth and at his death he descends even further from his heavenly kingdom.
He descended to the dead (into hell)What does this mean? Why did he do this?• For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison . 1 Peter 3:18• Thats what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God. 19-22He went and proclaimed Gods salvation to earlier generations who ended up in the prison of judgment because they wouldnt listen. -The MSG
He descended to the dead (into hell)• Two commonly held views: – To preach to those who lived before him. – To claim victory over the powers of evil. • Jesus descends to the very headquarters of evil, Hell, and there he defeats it.
• “In the incarnation God entered a world and a humanity where evil held sway, at the cross the devil seemed to have conquered, took home a neatly wrapped package that seemed his greatest prize, and smugly locked it in his safe. But the package was a time bomb. And on the third day......” J. Gonzalez
What does this mean for us...• Jesus has literally been to “hell and back” – Whatever “hell” you are going through, Jesus understands, is with you in it, and has victory over.• Death no longer has victory over those who are in Christ. – More on this to come next week.• Jesus calls us to follow him into the “hellish” places on earth, where suffering and torment are real and present, where darkness abounds.
Review• Jesus “descended” to hell. Explain.• Why did Jesus descend to the dead?• What does Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and evil mean to us?
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