Brad L. Burge
God desires that ALL people would accept God's love and salvation through Jesus Christ. God has compelled me to share information with the world relating to the biblical seven year tribulation in order to share Truth in a deceived world.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:1-5)
Jesus answered, "I AM the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Jesus Christ, three days, hell, sheol, paradise, hades, cross, ascension, heaven???
Jesus told the Pharisees that he would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth just as Jonah was in the fish for the same time period.
The Pharisees were certainly left wondering, then what? What will happen after the three days?
The Jewish leaders surely did not understand what Jesus continued to say in verses 41-42. Jesus gave them a glimpse into the mystery of what would become of the blessed dead after His ascension. (More on that after the following background information)
Before Christ, Judaism was the correct religion. Although, it's leaders had already modified it greatly beyond what God had given them. When Judaism rejected Jesus as the Messiah, Judaism no longer was correct. Judaism had missed the main point of their "Old Testament" scriptures. The scriptures pointed to the Messiah, but they had come to expect something other than what Jesus Christ the Lord had brought them.
Judaism teaches two separate parts in the place of the dead; one for the wicked (sheol or hades, described in Luke 16:19-31) and one for the blessed dead. The place of the blessed dead is known as paradise or Abraham's bosom. Jesus confirmed this teaching in Luke 16:22-23, which is not just a parable but is an actual account of reality at that time before Christ's ascension. Lazarus and the wicked rich man are shown in two completely different environments in the place of the dead. The two environments were separated by a great divide. Sheol for the wicked on one side of the divide and paradise for the blessed dead on the other side of the divide. Those in paradise were separated from Satan's realm of hades, yet they had not yet experienced the blessing of the presence of Christ.
The blessed dead are those that died with the Old Testament faith. Their faith and following made them blessed because of the sure promise of Jesus Christ the Messiah. The blood of Jesus atoned for them and for us. Jesus Christ made Himself the last sacrifice needed for all mankind. Jesus reached back for them and forward for us. May He be praised forever! Amen.
Jesus gave His life on the cross for us; nobody took His life, He gave Himself freely for us (John 10:18). When He did that great act, He descended into paradise, the place of the blessed dead.
Until that event, the sin and death that Satan introduced into the world seemed to have won (Hebrews 2:14). It seemed as though the grave had victory. But, after the cross, the victory and sting of death and the grave were no more (1 Corinthians 15:55 and Revelation 1:18). (End of background information)
The Bible does not give us many details of exactly what happened during those three days and nights between the cross and ascension of Jesus. When Jesus entered the realm of death, what did the wicked dead think and feel and what did the blessed dead think and feel? The blessed dead began to experience the blessing of the presence of Christ. Acts 2:25-31 shows us that David, the king and prophet, foresaw Christ's victory over Satan and death. Then, when Christ ascended, He brought the blessed dead with Him to a new state of paradise; paradise forever in the very presence of Jesus Christ our Lord in heaven. The repentant thief on the cross experienced this firsthand (Luke 23:43).
Jesus, with the keys of death and hell, has made it so that all believers after the cross will pass directly into His presence forever (Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 5:8, Philippians 1:23, Revelation 1:17-18).
Jesus also gave us an account of how He displayed this victory to many people alive at that time. He demonstrated, to a limited extent, how believers will receive new glorified bodies (Matthew 27:52-53). Forever, their glorified bodies are in heaven with the Lord. This was a fulfillment of the feast of the first fruits of Leviticus 32:10. All other believers will likewise one day also be transformed.
Genesis 2:18 shows us that it is not good for man to be alone. Likewise, the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, chooses not to be alone. From the wounded then healed side of Adam, God made woman to accompany man. From the wounded side of Christ, God has purchased the bride of Christ, the church, to accompany Jesus forever (Ephesians 1:23).