The Bible is virtually silent about what specifically happened to Jesus when He went into the uttermost parts of the earth, but the Bible is clear about the fact that He did go there. Our imaginations could not even begin to fathom what happened to Jesus those three days and three nights following His death. The Bible only describes the resulting victory that resulted from what Jesus accomplished when He was in the heart of the earth. It tells about the fact that He was risen from the dead, conquered and spoiled principalities and powers and made a show of them openly. Jesus triumphed over them, and then He arose from the dead. Thank God He did! We had the sentence of death upon us. Without the death and resurrection of Jesus, we were destined for hell. Without the death and resurrection of Jesus, we could not possibly go to heaven. It is impossible for unrighteousness to have fellowship with God. Those who do not know Jesus as their Savior are of their father, the devil. Without the death and resurrection of Jesus, they could never have the opportunity of having fellowship with the Father of lights; it would be impossible. They would eventually go into an uninhabited place. For God to redeem us, not only would He have to take our sin and our sickness, He would also have to take the penalty of that sin and sickness; and that is exactly what Jesus did on the cross!
Jonah prophesied of the time when Jesus would be in the heart of the earth. David also prophesied of this time. In Psalm 16:8-11 we read: “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
David was not speaking of himself when he said, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.” At that time he was not in hell. On many occasions David wrote Messianic psalms, which looked forward to the work of Jesus, either on the cross or in redemption.
In Psalm 22, David wrote a graphic illustration and prophecy of Jesus on the cross. He even recorded the words Jesus would speak on the cross: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” David stood in the office of a prophet; he stood in the office of a seer. Since God had promised David that out of his loins would come One who would sit on the throne of David and who would rule and reign on the throne of Israel forever, the Lord gave him many visions of what would happen to Jesus.
After Jesus arose from the dead, He was seen by many for forty days. During this time, Jesus walked on the face of the earth. In one instance He was seen by 500 people at one time. He was seen of his disciples and of the multitudes. He preached, performed miracles, and then He ascended up into heaven. He left His disciples and told them to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit. Just a few days later, the Holy Spirit was poured out; this was called the day of Pentecost. On this day, Peter preached a sermon to the Jews who were gathered there. It is recorded in Acts, chapter 2.
Peter says in verses 22-24, "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains (birth pains) of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”
When Jesus was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, He was literally delivered into the womb of the earth. Jesus was taken down into the very region of Satan, and the Word says He was loosed from the birth pains of death. Is it the object of a woman to deliver her baby into death? No! The object is to deliver the baby into life; she is bringing forth life! My friend, Jesus was taken into the place of Satan, which is actually the birth place of death. Satan was trying to take the Son of Life and birth Him into death; but after three days and three nights, hell could not hold Him. Satan and hell had a miscarriage, and Jesus arose from the dead; He was birthed into life! Glory to God!
Acts, chapter 2 explains that it was not possible for Jesus to be held by death! Why? Because He had no sin of His own! After three days and three nights, the sin payment had been paid for the whole human race; Jesus had no sin of His own! After three days and three nights, He looked up to the holy mountain of God and He was raised out of that place. Hell spit Him out just like the whale spit out Jonah! When Jesus came out of the grave, He came out preaching!
Verses 25-28 continue: “For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.”
David was prophesying about a future event that would take place, and now Peter explains what David was talking about. David was not talking about himself, he was talking about Jesus.
Notice what verses 29-32 say: “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, where of we all are witnesses.”
Long before David physically died, he saw the future event of Jesus being delivered from the birth pains of death! Psalm 88 is another Psalm in which David looked forward in time and prophesied about Jesus being in the heart of the earth. This Psalm is written from Jesus' view point of being separated from God, going into the lower parts of the earth, and being separated into the kingdom of darkness. But there is a beautiful verse in Psalm 88 (verse 11) that says: “Shall thy loving-kindness be declared in the grave?”
After three days and three nights, the very power of God came on Jesus in the regions of death and Jesus was raised from the dead! Romans, chapter 8 and verse 11 says the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in us! No wonder we can be transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of life we have the very same Spirit! We have the very same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead and that was given to the Church on the day of Pentecost. On that day, the Holy Spirit descended and baptized 120 in the upper room and sent them out into the streets speaking with other tongues and preaching of the resurrection of Jesus.
In closing, turn to 1 Timothy 3:16: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. That verse says, again, “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit...” Notice “Spirit” is capitalized, but it should not be because Jesus was not justified in the Holy Spirit; He was justified in His human spirit. There was a time when Jesus died spiritually; and after three days and three nights, He was justified in spirit.
This verse continues to say of Jesus, He was “seen of angels.” This is the resurrection! When Jesus arose from the dead, angels accompanied Him!
Finally, verse 16 says of Jesus that He “[was] preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” The same Jesus who was received up into glory is going to come back in glory one of these days and is going to receive us unto Himself! You say, “How is He going to receive us unto Himself?” If you have accepted His work, if you have put your faith and your trust in Him by believing in Him, you can have eternal life! By simply believing in Him, you can live with Him forever in heaven! Hallelujah!
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Copyright 2009 by Bob Yandian Ministries.
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