Jesus told the thief on the cross, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Three days later, He told Mary Magdalene, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father” (John 20:17). This prompts the question, “If Jesus went to paradise on the day He was crucified, but He had not yet ascended to the Father three days later, where did He go when He went to paradise” or “Where was He during those three days?”
Part of the answer can be found in the writings of Paul. He said, “When he [Jesus] ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?) (Eph. 4:8-10). Jesus descended into the lower parts of the earth before He ascended into heaven three days later.
More of the answer can be found in the writings of Matthew. When the Scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign He said, “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:39-40).
Its speculation, but some preachers believe paradise was like a two-room apartment at the heart of the earth before the cross. From the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) some believe there was a paradise side and a torment side with a great gulf in between.
Some say after Jesus died on the cross, He descended into theParadise side of Abraham’s bosom for three days and three nights. He talked to the dead Old Testament saints. He brought them out and some were raised when He was raised (Matt. 27:32-33). Paradise was moved to the third heaven and the souls and spirits of those who weren’t raised went directly there Later, Paul was caught up into Paradise which is the third heaven (II Cor. 12:2-4).
Again, there is speculation here, but this theory makes more sense than any this writer is aware of.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck