The term “Easter” means different things to different people. It is “Holy Week” as some follow all the events of the last week in the earthly life of Jesus, ending in that glorious Easter Sunday when He came back to life, after which He spent forty days before returning to His home with the Father in Heaven. To some it is a period from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. To others just Easter Day, worshiping on the day on which He arose from the dead. To people who do not acknowledge God it is time off from work to enjoy a break.
What was it like for Jesus who had to live through those three days ?
On Good Friday ( so called because it was the day when Jesus paid for our sins on the cross, and died in our place) Jesus suffered being despised and rejected by people, was whipped, and knocked about, bleeding also from the crown of thorns , nails hammered through His flesh, bleeding to death on the cross, and experiencing death itself.
We know well that He came back to life on that Sunday morning. BUT what did He experience on SATURDAY ?
Today branches of the church that repeat what they believe in a ‘creed’ say “He descended into Hell “. So let me explain this. Our word “hell” has two meanings in the Bible, One SHEOL meaning the place where all the dead go. Another word HADES (or Gehenna) meaning a place of punishment.
On the Easter Saturday Jesus went to Sheol to preach to all those who had died, so that they might have the opportunity of believing in Him. More than this we do not know. But to me it was a loving act which shows something of the love that God has for all of us, He is not willing that any should be without the opportunity of being saved from the result of disbelief and loss of eternal life for ever more.
I can only write of my own experience, but in our land there is part of Christ’s Church within reach of all people, there are Christian people mixing everywhere living out their life for all to see, the Word of God (The Bible) is cheap and available for all to read, and the story and history of the lives of Christian men and women is there to be learned by anyone.
As young people in every generation have discovered Love cannot be forced, If someone doesn’t love you, you cannot make them. God had done everything to show His love, Those who turn away from Him loose His loving care, and His offer of life forever more in Heaven. Let us do all we can (including our prayers) to help others to know and love Him while we are here on earth.
I wish you A Happy Easter, from Gerald Gossage.