Q. My question is this, yesterday night a minister on TV said that Jesus had to go to hell and suffer as a sinner would. I know that the cross is much deeper than what we have made it out to be, but I am not sure about this doctrine or teaching mentioned by this TV minister. I know that our Lord had to suffer (more than we will ever comprehend) but where in scripture is it mentioned that our Lord had to suffer in hell? I know what Matthew 12:40 says but it does not say that He had to suffer there.
1 Peter 3: 18-19 says that Jesus went and preached to the spirits in prison. Scriptures like Ephesians 4:8-9 and Colossians 2:15 speak of a victorious Lord, I don’t get the suffering Jesus teaching, is it scriptural? Lastly Jesus said on the cross IT IS FINISHED!
A. This is a popular view in some circles but there’s no Biblical support for it. In the first place it’s based on an incorrect notion of where Jesus was. Hell comes from the Greek word meaning “abode of the dead” and there were both saved and unsaved there, separated by a wide Chasm. (Luke 16:25-26) When He told the man being executed next to Him, “Today you’ll be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43) He was referring to the side for the saved. As you cited in 1 Peter 3: 18-19, When He went to the side for the unsaved, it was to preach to them, not suffer with them.
You’re correct. When He said “It is finished” (literally paid in full) it was finished. (John 19:30)