What was Jesus doing between his death & his resurrection?
No one knows for certain. But there is a most curious passage in Peter’s first letter. Here it is:
1 Peter 3:18-22 (NLT) – Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. So he went and preached to the spirits in prison (cf. 2 Peter 2:4) — …[freedom in Christ] is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority.
What does “So he went and preached to the spirits in prison” mean? There are varying schools of thought on this passage. Here’s one opinion….
John MacArthur comments on this passage: “Between Christ’s death and resurrection, his living spirit went to the demon spirits bound in the abyss and proclaimed that, in spite of his death, he had triumphed over them.”
If MacArthur’s right, all I can think is: Can you imagine hearing that sermon from Jesus?? It must’ve gone something like this: “You tortured me. You killed me. But, behold – I AM quite ALIVE! I AM the firstborn of all creation! I AM the Lamb who is the Shepherd! I AM the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. I AM the resurrection and the life! And you? You are going to regret you ever met Me. You are going to regret you ever hurt my children.” (I’m guessing there was no “invitation” at the end of the service.)
In my mind’s eye, I can see the demons cowering in unspeakable terror as the Lion from the tribe of Judah ROARS!
Listen this day for the roar of the Lion. Can you hear it? He’s roaring, “Remember…you were separate from [Me],…without hope and without God in the world. But now in [Me] you who once were far away have been brought near by [My blood!]” (Eph. 2:12-13)
Soli Deo Gloria (and for Narnia!), nw