Did Jesus Suffer in Hell?

Some teach that he did.  They refer to the quotation of the Psalm that the apostle Peter quotes (Acts 2:27):

You will not leave My soul in Hades.

“There you have it” they say. “His soul went to hell (Hades) at death—why else would this be true?”

Well, let’s think about it for a moment.

When after three hours of darkness suffering on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished,” what did he mean? Certainly, that was not a cry of relief! He was saying “I have completed the suffering for sinners that the Father sent me to accomplish.” That is to say, redemption is finished. Well, that statement seems to contradict the idea that Jesus has to suffer additionally in hell, doesn’t it?

In addition, consider this: The word Hades doesn’t mean what we (today) mean when we speak of “hell.” It comes from the Greek root id which means “seen.” In Greek, if you want to negate something, you add an alpha (a) privative to the word. Do that with this term and you get “Unseen.”[1]

Hades is the “unseen world.” In it is both paradise and the place of suffering. Remember, Jesus said to the thief: “Today, you will be with Me in paradise.” That’s where His soul was: in the third heaven (see 2 Cor. 12:2-4), which is part of the unseen world.

Be careful not to fall for the heresy that teaches the work on the cross was incomplete and needed to be supplemented by further suffering.


[1] There is also the fact that it has a rough breathing ( h-sound ) at the beginning.

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