Did Jesus go down to Hell the three days and three nights He was in the tomb?
No and Yes. He did not go into Hell as we usually define the word. Hell, Hades or Sheol all mean the same thing. The place of the dead during the first 4,000 years of human history.
Animals blood could not take away or atone for sin, so, even believers such as Abel, David, Isaiah and all, except Enoch and Elijah (remember, God is Sovereign and He can make exceptions) went down into Sheol.
But, Sheol was divided by a great gulf fixed (Luke 16:26) into torments and Paradise. That Jesus did not go into torments is attested to by the remark to the thief on the Cross, “Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise, not torments.
That He went down is obvious from His own words in Matthew 12:40 and Paul’s in Ephesians 4:8-10. Peter also refers to His going down to the Paradise side of Hell or Hades and proclaimed to those Old Testament Saints that now the atoning Blood has been shed; now, they are ready for entrance into God’s Heaven. And so, at His resurrection, Paradise was removed from the Center of the Earth up to Heaven. Now, Paul teaches that believers go immediately, at death, in soul and spirit up to Paradise (or the Lord’s presence), II Corinthians 5:8; waiting for the Great Resurrection Day, I Thessalonians 4.
For your own personal study, refer to these Scriptures, Matthew 12:38-40, Luke 16:19-26, Ephesians 4:8-10, I Peter 3:18 & 19, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, and I Corinthians 15:51-52. As for the unbelievers, they continue to go down to torments waiting for their resurrection to the Great White Throne Judgement. Since Paradise was removed, it has all now become Hell as we use the term (Isaiah 5:14).
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