At Calvary, it is a little after 3:00 PM with the Jewish day being over at 6:00 PM. In Paradise, the believing thief recalled what Jesus had said to him while on the cross - "Today" (i.e., before 6:00 PM Luke 23:43) He would join him in Paradise. How can this be since Jesus is in the Abyss...? But then again he thought, while his eyes darted back to the Abyss, Jesus never lies...
Those in Paradise stared intently at the entrance to the Abyss. The entrance was covered by a barrier that allowed entry but no exit from this place of maximum security confinement. It was this barrier that gave the Abyss' opening the wave-like appearance of a sea. Jesus had taken upon Himself all of our sin and passed through this one-way sea looking barrier (Micah 7:19).
The first Adam had rebelled against a Holy God in the Garden of Eden, and now the full judgment for that sin has been paid by Jesus (the Last Adam) at Calvary (1 Corinthians 15:45,47). Furthermore, Jesus has carried this OUR sin to a place where it will be remembered no more - the Abyss (Psalms 103:12).
Jesus while in the Abyss, the lowest place of all, calls out to God His Father for deliverance (Psalms 71:20-21. Psalms 18:2-6). God the Father and God the Holy Spirit had been waiting for this moment - it was all part of the plan (Psalms 16:10.Acts 2:27) With a startling swiftness God the Holy Spirit descends into the Abyss and delivers Jesus and all the hosts of Hell are powerless to stop Him (Psalms 18:7-18. Psalms 40:1-10. Colossians 2:15).
Realize, Jesus who is God was separated from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit when He became our sin (Isaiah 54:7,8. Isaiah 53:1-12). Jesus is now joined back again with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit thus making Him alive (to God) in the lowest of all places (Romans 8:11. 1 Peter 3:18. 1 Peter 1:21). The two Angels guarding His body, one at His head and one at His feet so that it would not experience corruption or decay after the crucifixion, transport His body down to Him and Jesus as a spirit enters and is joined or knit together to His flesh and bone body that has not decayed. (Acts 2:31. Luke 24:39. John 20:10-12) That is, the God-Man Jesus is born again as spirit and flesh in the lowest of all places. (Psalms 139:14,15. Hebrews 1:5;5:5)
Since Jesus was born again in the lowest of all places, then that means it is possible for all that believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord while on Earth can be born again (Romans 10:9,10). Hallelujah!
The Holy Spirit again comes upon Jesus to empower the God-Man Jesus because He is still not using His power as God but rather as a Man empowered by God the Holy Spirit.
The power released to bring Jesus back from death to life in the Abyss causes an earthquake on the Earth's surface. This earthquake results in the veil of the temple being torn, and it opened the graves of those held in Paradise (Matthew 27:50-52. Ephesians 1:18-20).
Jesus then enters Paradise shortly after 3:00 PM Thursday where He will spend the next few Earth days preaching the Gospel to its captives which are all those people since the fall of Adam that died in covenant with God (1 Peter 4:6). Oh, what a revival that must have been! He also preaches a message of judgment to the fallen angels in another compartment of Hades (1 Peter 3:18-20. 2 Peter 2:4. Jude 1:6,7. Hebrews 2:16.).
Friday the following day is the "annual" Passover Sabbath (Numbers 28:16-18.John 19:31), and Saturday is the regular "weekly" Sabbath. Thus Jesus stays in the "heart of the Earth" for three days (Thursday 3:00 to 6:00 PM, Friday 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday 6:00 AM to 6 PM) and three nights (Thursday 6:00 PM to Friday 6:00 AM, Friday 6:00 PM to Saturday 6 AM, Saturday 6:00 PM to Sunday some time before 6:00 AM) (Matthew 12:40). From another perspective, Thursday, when Jesus was crucified, is day zero, Friday is the first day, Saturday is the second day, and Sunday is the third day when Jesus was resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Matthew 16:21. Acts 10:34-41). We in the West are more accustomed to starting our counting with one; however, similar to scientific communities today - in the days when this was written they started the count with zero. The result is the third day of scripture would be what we would typically call the fourth day by starting the count with one instead of zero. Just a matter of perspective NOT an error in scripture.
Jesus returns in His human bodily form early Sunday morning and first appears to Mary Magdalene. He asks her not to detain Him for He has not yet ascended to God His Father in Heaven - I must pause as these are some of my favorite words in scripture and thanks to Jesus' efforts can now be true once more for all that believe - and God OUR Father! (John 20:15-18).
Another severe Earthquake occurs as The Lord's Angel (1) descends from Heaven and rolls the stone away from the entrance to the tomb terrifying the guards and then sits on that stone. (Matthew 28:2-4) Those held captive in Paradise are temporarily returned to their bodies on Earth in preparation for moving Paradise (aka., The Garden of Eden (1) which contains the Tree of Life) back to Heaven (Matthew 27:52,53. Revelation 2:7;22:2,14) where it becomes an island in the waters of the river of Life (Revelation 22:1,2). There is now no need for a temporary holding place on Earth for those that die in Covenant with God; therefore, none is provided. Jesus has made a way to Heaven for all who die believing in Him as Savior and Lord (John 14:6). Either we die believers and go to Heaven or die unbelievers and go to Hell (John 3:16-18. John 16:7-11).
Jesus then leads the rescued hostages back to Paradise in Heaven (think of Paradise as the point of entry for planet Heaven) (Ephesians 4:8,9). What a homecoming that must have been! Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, leading back the rescued "children" held in Paradise for thousands of Earth years back to God the Father!!!
Jesus then pours out His blood on the Mercy Seat in the Temple of Heaven as our Great High Priest (Hebrews 9:11-15. Revelation 12:5). God the Father restores Jesus' right to use His power as God - which He was, is, and ever shall be - the eternal God that became Man (John 8:58. Hebrews 1:1-12). Glory! Actually, glory is the operative word for that is what Jesus was asking His Heavenly Father for right before His arrest on the Mount of Olives. That is, He was praying for the restoration of the abilities that were rightfully His as God (John 17:1-5).
Satan realized he was the victim of the greatest sting operation of all time! He was defeated by the very crucifixion of Jesus he had instigated (1 Corinthians 2:6-8) The Archangel Michael then drives Satan and his unholy fallen angels back out of Heaven and to the Earth for the second time (Revelation 12:7-9). No longer can Satan appear before God in Heaven to accuse us (Revelation 12:10). Furthermore, all that had been accused by Satan since the fall of mankind have now overcome him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony for which they were willing to die (Revelation 12:11. Colossians 2:13-15. Hebrews 11:13. Hebrews 11:32-40). Satan then realizes his time is short and filled with anger intensifies his war (Revelation 12:12) on Israel (Revelation 12:13). The some of the survivors of the Satan-inspired Roman destruction of Jerusalem on September 8, 70 AD (2) went to Masada (means Citadel) where they were protected from the Romans for three and a half years until it was destroyed by the Romans in March 31, 74 AD (2) (Revelation 12:14). Satan attempted to annihilate all of the Israelites; however, some hiding under the earth in tunnels (4) around Jerusalem escaped to be dispersed throughout the world while the Romans were focused on annihilating those living in Masada (Revelation 12:15,16). Satan then turned to make war on the Church (Revelation 12:17. Revelation 13:1-18. 1 Peter 5:8).
To be continued(1)...
Links to the entire series:
(1) Left click on the underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.
(3) Jacopo Tintoretto, Jesus in Hell
(4) Warren’s findings, together with the discovery of Reich and Shukron described in the recent news reports, fully support Josephus’s statements relating to the tunnels beneath Jerusalem and the use to which they were put during the Roman siege of 70 A.D. These underground passages enabled many inhabitants of Jerusalem to exit the city and flee both south to Masada and, via Nahal Qidron and other wadis heading from Jerusalem eastward toward the Dead Sea, to the Machaerus fort lying just east of that sea, which was actually closer to Jerusalem than was Masada. (Josephus describes the large number of refugees who gathered at Machaerus.). The circumstances as now known leave little doubt that, quite likely beginning even before the siege had begun, groups engaged in hiding the Temple treasures, the books and other items listed in the Copper Scroll — as well as those ancient writings of the Palestinian Jews known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found centuries later in caves near the wadis leading out of Jerusalem. Norman Golb is the Ludwig Rosenberger Professor of Jewish History and Civilization at the University of Chicago and the author of “Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?” (Simon & Schuster, 1995). Read more: https://forward.com/opinion/11873/newly-discovered-tunnel-may-once-have-carried-dead-00675/