Q. Did Jesus descend into hell after he was crucified? Where in the Bible does it refer to Jesus taking the keys to hell from Satan?
A. The Greek word translated “hell” means abode of the dead. Before the cross, every person who died went there. It had two “compartments” divided by a wide chasm. One was for those who had died in faith of a coming redeemer and was called Paradise by the Jews. When Jesus told the thief on the cross beside Him, “I tell you the truth, today you’ll be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43) that’s where they were going. When Jesus came out of the grave He brought with Him everyone who had been in Paradise waiting for Him. Since the cross no believer goes to Paradise any more but goes straight to be with the Lord in Heaven (2 Cor. 5:6-8).
The other compartment was for those who refused the notion of a coming redeemer. They will remain there in great discomfort until the final judgment of the unsaved at the end of the Millennium. It’s from this that we get our concept of Hell. The unsaved dead still go there.
I can’t find any Biblical support for the idea of Jesus going into Hell to continue His punishment and fight with Satan over its keys. In John 19:30, Jesus said, “It is finished.” He meant the work of saving us from the penalty for our sins had been completed. When Jesus descended into Hell He did so as the victorious Son of God.
Satan is given the key to the Abyss in Rev. 9:1, but in Rev.20:1 an angel has retrieved it. We’re not told how, but both these events take place in the future. Jesus claims to have the key of David in Isaiah 22:22 and Rev. 3:7, but nowhere can I find any reference to Jesus, Satan and the keys to hell.