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He Descended Into Hell

The statement, “He descended into Hell,” is likely the most controversial statement of the Apostles’ Creed.  Some Christians are opposed to this statement because they believe it describes something that the Bible doesn’t teach.  Other Christians approve of this statement, but feel the need to define it in a way that may not be obvious from the plain meaning of the words.
As I preach on this topic this coming Lord’s Day, I will be putting forth the latter of these two positions; I will be affirming the importance of this statement about Jesus descending into hell, but interpreting this statement in light of what we read in Isaiah 53.


Please spend some time reading through Isaiah’s prophecy of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  While Isaiah never mentions the word “hell,” see if you can find reference in Isaiah 53 to the way Jesus would have experienced hell as a result of Him making atonement for the sins of God’s elect.


When did Jesus experience hell?  Was it while He was alive on the cross?  Was it while He hung dead on the cross?  Was it while He was in the grave for three days?  What Bible passages can you cite to support your answer?


Since the Apostles’ Creed functions as a personal profession of faith, what exactly are you professing to believe when you say that Jesus descended into Hell?  What essential truths of the Gospel would be omitted if this phrase was removed from the creed?