PRISON TURF WARS - "Where Did Jesus Go For Three Days After He Died?"

An inmate's hand shot up out of the blue with a question in the middle of the church message. "Hey Shug, where in the Bible does it say Jesus went to Hell? You know, when they say 'he descended into hell?'" I detected a little attitude in her voice, almost a dare for me to find the verses. So I decided to act upon it.

(I love this about prison church services... there is never a dull moment.)

So I asked, in the middle of the service; "Would you like me to do a message next time on this topic?" I saw heads nodding and a resounding"YES" from the majority of the inmates. Some realizing they didn't know this is said in part of the Apostles Creed.

"...suffered under Pontius Pilate; 
was crucified, died and was buried; 
he descended into hell, 
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is sitting at the right hand of God the Father Almighty..." 

At this point everyone in prison was wondering..."Where did Jesus go after he died for three days?"

Alone in my office as I finalize the research on the Apostles Creed, Scripture and commentaries.  I came to realize through prayer, this controversial topic is really about "TURF WARS."

There are all sorts of "Turf Wars" going on in our lives. Just wake up and get out of bed and you'll witness good and evil battling it out for the "Turf" in our lives. Gangs fighting for their neighborhood turf. Addictions beating up their victims until they surrender from the battle. The invisible "Turf" in our souls that ache to be filled by the love of Christ and then we fill it with everything but...

Biblical Scholars are even battling for "Turf", dissecting these verses and forming a variety of logical differing conclusions. The question on the table for generations has been; "Did Jesus descend into hell?" Basing their queries from some of the content in 1 Peter 3:18-20, 1 Peter 4:4-6 and Psalm 16:1-11.

Pot stirring trouble... comes to the forefront when we mix one of my favorite verses in Luke. When Jesus and the criminal were hanging on the cross, side by side, death knocking on their door...

Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." 
Luke 23:42-43

Join me in being still for a moment, resting in the thought that no matter what the scholars say, no matter what religion says, our God does not contradict Himself. (Paradise today vs. descended into hell.)  We may never know until we see Christ face to face what the true meaning of these passages are... but rest assured the "TURF WAR" battle for our souls has already been won!

Strengthen up my friends... we need to claim back the "Turf" that is rightfully God's. "Turf" that is already won by Christ on the cross. As you get out of bed today, remember, that you are already starting your day from the territory of VICTORY!

So... what are you waiting for?  Let's go out and boldly live that way!


Posted on January 11, 2013 .