Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

Jesus Experienced All the Dimensions of Hell on the Cross

November 20, 2019

[Jesus] went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah. 1 Peter 3:19-20 (NIV)

Those who believe that Jesus preached in hell between His death and resurrection often quote the statement from the Apostles’ Creed, a great statement of the Christian faith that says about Jesus:

He suffered under Pontius Pilate.
Was crucified, dead and buried.
He descended into hell.

The best way to understand the Apostles’ Creed is to remember— Jesus experienced all the dimensions of hell on the cross. During the three hours of darkness, He bore our sins. The wrath of God was poured out on Him. He was forsaken by the Father. He carried the weight of our accumulated guilt and shame. And He was in a conscious agony of body and soul. That is hell.

We gladly confess the Apostles’ Creed. Christ descended into hell, experienced all its horrors. He tasted every dimension of its pain. And He did that on the cross. He bore your sins, He took your punishment, He experienced your hell, so that you should never know what it is like.

Jesus’ descent into hell was not a disembodied visit for preaching between His death and resurrection. It was the heart of His suffering on the cross when He died, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.

Try to put into the words of a prayer what this truth means to you: “Jesus experienced all the dimensions of hell on the cross.”


The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.



Explore this topic further

A Second Chance After Death?

[Jesus] was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah. 1 Peter 3:18-20 (NIV) Some people think this passage is telling...

Read Post

Jesus Wants You in Heaven

“I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:3 Where there is love, people want to be together. Going away is always hard and coming back is always joyful. Coming is always better than going for people who are...

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

Christmas Stories

A book by Pastor Colin Smith

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.

Year End banner

We need your support!
Learn more.