11. He descended into the Lower parts of the Earth

This page added 12.08.2010
In Ephesians chapter 4 it says these words.
4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
When the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross His soul went into the lower parts of the earth. To the abode of the dead known as Sheol in the scriptures. Sheol had two compartments, one for the righteous dead and one for the un-righteous. This is indicated in the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Lukes Gospel 16:19-31.
For the benefit of those that do not have a copy of the Gospel of Luke, here is the passage.
16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple  and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence. 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
The righteous dead could not go into the presence of God because their sins had not been atoned for by the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God, so the souls of all the Old Testament saints (the righteous dead) went to the compartment allocated for them in Sheol. Once the Lamb of God had been slain and His blood shed they could now be released from Sheol and go into the presence of God. The soul of the Lord Jesus descended into Sheol and told them that HE was the promised Lamb of God and that He was there to release them from their captivity.
The compartment in Sheol for the righteous dead was known as Abraham's bosom, as Paradise and as the Garden of Eden.
In Luke 23:43 the Lord Jesus said to the thief on the cross "To day shalt thou be with me in paradise". The Greek word used here should have been translated as The Garden of Eden, as you will find in a Hebrew translation of the New Testament.
When the Lord Jesus rose from the dead it says in Ephesians 4:8 He led captivity captive. So the Old Testament saints that were held captive in Sheol rose with the Lord Jesus and ascended into Heaven with Him on resurrection morning.
Matthew's Gospel 27:52,53

27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

The reason that I am taking the time to tell you about this is that ALL of the above can be found in the Hebrew Scriptures using ELS and PLS.

Shortly after the Lord Jesus began His earthly ministry In the Gospel of Luke chapter 4:14-20 it says that He returned to Nazareth.

4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.


If we now examine the passage that the Lord Jesus read from in Isaiah chapter 61 we find these words in ELS and PLS.


We see that the passage has to do with Yeshua setting at liberty the captives in Sheol (the bound ones) in the Garden of Eden. In direct agreement with the passage we read in Ephesians 4:8.

The LORD sets His captives free, not like Satan, who does not set his prisoners free according to Isaiah 14:17 when speaking of Lucifer.

14:17 [That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners?

We also have this ELS found in Psalm 16:10. The LORD would not suffer His Holy One Shiloh to see corruption and His soul would not be left in Sheol.

To be continued at a later date when I prepare some ELS images.