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Jesus Raises a great Multitude from Hell (Hades) on Easter Sunday

 

The word "Hades" "Sheol" refers to the realm of the dead, a temporary place where they await the resurrection. In the New Testament, the word "spirits" is used to describe angels or demons, not human beings.  Souls describes human souls...

Matthew 27:52-53

"and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." 

From Psalm 16:10 (written 1000+ B.C.):

"For thou will not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer  thine Holy One to see corruption."

 

When Christians recite the Apostles' Creed they affirm their belief that Jesus descended into hell (Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek ).  Early church fathers, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, among others, regarded the descent literally....

 

From the Apostles Creed:

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.

 

Reports of Saints who rose from the dead with Jesus on Easter


The Ante-Nicene Library is a collection of manuscripts written by important Christians from the time of Jesus Christ to the Council of Nicea (325 AD).  These manuscripts were not included in the Christian Bible, so they are non-canonical.

Within this library are numerous writings about how Jesus descended into Hades while His body lay in the tomb, and that numerous saints (one report 12,000) rose from the dead with Jesus on Easter Sunday. These reportedly remained on earth for the 40 days Jesus remained after having risen and ascended into Heaven with Jesus. There are many reports of these risen saints having been seen in Jerusalem after Easter Sunday.

The Gospel of Nicodemus, Vol 8, Chapter I:

Then Rabbi Addas and Rabbi Finees, and Rabbi Egias, the three men who had come from Galilee, testifying that they had seen Jesus taken up into heaven, rose up in the midst of the multitude of the chiefs of the Jews, and said before the priests and the Levites, who had been called together to the council of the Lord: "When we were coming from Galilee we met at the Jordan a very great multitude of men, fathers who had been some time dead"...And they went, and walked around all the region of the Jordan and of the mountains, and they were coming back without finding them. And, behold, suddenly there appeared coming down from Mount Amalech a very great number, as it were, twelve thousand men, who had risen with the Lord. And though they recognized very many there, they were not able to say anything to them for fear and the angelic vision; and they stood at a distance gazing and hearing them, how they walked along singing praises, and saying; "The Lord has risen again from the dead, as He has said; let us all exult and be glad, since He reins for ever. Then those who had been sent were astonished and fell to the ground for fear, and received the answer from them, that they should see Karinus and Leucius in their own houses. And they rose up and went to their houses, and found them spending their time in prayer.

Concerning the King of Edessa, Vol 8, Page 653:

"He humbled and emptied and abased Himself, and was crucified, and descended to Hades and broke through the enclosure which had never been broken through before, and raised up the dead, and descended alone, and ascended with a great multitude to His Father".

Pilate quotes Ben Isham, a sentry at Christ's Tomb


Below from Acta Pilati (Pilates report to Caesar)..from Archko Volume.  The Archko Volume is a controversial document written by Rev. W. D. Mahan, a Boonville, Missouri minister. 

Christians should keep in mind that only Holy Scripture is deemed to be inspired by God.  See the controversy surrounding the Archko Volume here

See more on the Archko Volume here: http://www.bibleprobe.com/archko.htm

BELOW IS A PORTION ONLY taken from "Acta Pilati", said by Rev Mahan to have been found by him in the Vatican Archives.  Rev. Mahan said it is from a letter by Pontius Pilot to his emperor Tiberius Caesar...

BEGINS WITH:

"To Tiberius Caesar, Emperor of Rome. Noble Sovereign, Greeting: The events of the last few days in my province have been of such a character that I will give the details in full as they occurred,

"He said that about the beginning of the fourth watch they saw a soft and beautiful light over the sepulcher. He at first thought that the women had come to embalm the body of Jesus, as was their custom, but he could not see how they could have gotten through the guards. While these thoughts were passing through his mind, behold, the whole place was lighted up, and there seemed to be crowds of the dead in their grave clothes. All seemed to be shouting and filled with ecstasy, while all around and above was the most beautiful music he had ever heard; and the whole air seemed to be voices praising God."


O
ur Lord suffered for our sins and then yielded His spirit to the Father when He died on the cross. While His body lied in the grave in Jerusalem, Jesus visited the realm of the dead where He probably declared a victory over Satan and his hosts (1 Peter 3:22; Colossians 2:15). Ephesians 4:8-10 also seems to indicate that Christ went to “paradise” (Luke 16:20; 23:43) and took to heaven all those who had believed in Him prior to His death. The passage doesn’t give a great amount of detail about what occurred, but most Bible scholars agree that this is what is meant by “led captivity captive.”  We know from Jude 1:6-7 that the fallen angels and those unrepented hedonistic/homosexuals from Sodom & Gomorrah were not among those Jesus set free.

Jude 1:6-7
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

If Jesus died on Friday, what about this 3 days?

Jesus said in Matthew 12:40, "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Those who argue for a Friday crucifixion say that there is still a valid way in which He could have been considered in the grave for three days. In the Jewish mind of the First Century, a part of day was considered as a full day. Since Jesus was in the grave for part of Friday, all of Saturday, and part of Sunday—He could be considered to have been in the grave for three days. One of the principal arguments for Friday is found in Mark 15:42 that notes that Jesus was crucified "the day before the Sabbath." If that was the weekly Sabbath, i.e. Saturday, then that fact leads to a Friday crucifixion. Another argument for Friday says that verses such as Matthew 16:21 and Luke 9:22 teach that Jesus would rise on the third day; therefore, He wouldn't need to be in the grave a full three days and nights. But while some translations use "on the third day" for these verses, not all do and not everyone agrees that that is the best way to translate these verses. Furthermore, Mark 8:31 says that Jesus will be raised "after" three days.

See more on this question at: gotquestions.org