Notes for this message have come in large part from the book: What Happened From the Cross to the Throne by E. W. Kenyon.
Where did Jesus go when He died?
Luke 16:19-31 NKJV “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. (20) But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, (21) desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. (22) So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. (23) And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (24) “Then 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.’ (25) But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. (26) And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ (27) “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, (28) for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ (29) Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ (30) And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ (31) But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ “
Prior to Jesus resurrection, Old Testament believers that died did not go to heaven, then went to a place called “Paradise.”
Jesus did not stop there when He died, He went to the place of torment.
Acts 2:22-24 NKJV “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know– (23) Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; (24) whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.
Acts 2:24 NIV But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Remember the conversation Jesus had with one of the thieves on the Cross:
Luke 23:42-43 NIV Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (43) Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
There were two areas that the dead went to prior to the Resurrection:
- Hades can have a different meaning depending on the context:
(Paradise) – holding place for the OT saints
(Hell) – place of torment (Matthew 16:18 – “Gates of Hell”)
OT – Sheol
- Gehenna or Tartarus – place of torment and punishment
Jesus passed through Hades on His way to the place of torment.
Acts 2:27 NKJV FOR YOU WILL NOT LEAVE MY SOUL IN HADES, NOR WILL YOU ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO SEE CORRUPTION.
We know that Jesus passed back through there upon His Resurrection:
Ephesians 4:7-10 NKJV But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. (8) Therefore He says: “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE, AND GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.” (9) (Now this, “HE ASCENDED”–what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? (10) He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
We know He preached the Gospel to those in Hades and got them Born Again and then transferred from there to Paradise in Heaven.
Matthew 27:50-54 NKJV And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. (51) Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, (52) and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; (53) and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. (54) So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
Jesus had an assignment He had to fulfill.
Adam’s sin reached all the way into Heaven.
Exodus 25:40 NKJV And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.
Heaven was affected by Adam’s sin.
Hebrews 9:19-26 NKJV For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, (20) saying, “THIS IS THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHICH GOD HAS COMMANDED YOU.” (21) Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. (22) And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. (23) Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. (24) For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; (25) not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another– (26) He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Colossians 2:6-7 NKJV (6) As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, (7) rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
John 20:11-18 NKJV But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. (12) And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. (13) Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” (14) Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. (15) Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” (16) Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). (17) Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ” (18) Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
John 20:19-20 NKJV Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (20) When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
John 20:26-29 NKJV And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” (27) Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” (28) And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” (29) Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
What happened from the Cross to the seating of the Master on the right hand of the Majesty on High?
This is the essence of the Pauline Revelation.
We talked about the Incarnation. Surely Mary told the Apostles of what she had encountered regarding the birth of Jesus.
All of it is based on righteousness. The whole plan of Redemption was for the purpose of making man righteous.
Righteousness – the ability to stand in the Presence of God without a sense of guilt, condemnation or inferiority. To stand in God’s presence as though sin never existed.
Isaiah 54:14 NKJV In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV (21) For He made (poieio – made from something that does exist in the natural) Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become (ginomai – made from something that did not exist in the natural) the righteousness of God in Him.
1 Peter 3:18-19 NKJV For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, (19) by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,
There were physical giants in the earth at one time. Now, since the Resurrection of our Lord, there are spiritual giants in the earth.
Those that killed Him, thought they had gotten rid of Him but what they did not realize is that at His Resurrection a new race of Jesus men were released into the earth. The empty tomb gave birth to millions of Jesus men.
A new life, a new love and new life-changing power had now been released into the earth.
- Satan had been conquered.
- The claims of justice had been met.
- Humanity had been redeemed.
- God, can now, on legal grounds, give eternal life to man.
- Jesus had become the Savior, had dealt with man’s sin, had settled it and saved man.
- Man at last was ransomed and his debt had been paid.
What Has Jesus Been Up To Since the Resurrection?
When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, it was not the end of His ministry. It actually was the beginning of a new phase of ministry for Him.
Some think that once Jesus ascended into Heaven, that He simply sat down and is waiting for the Father to lean over and say that it is time for the end of all things. That simply is not the case.
You may remember when you graduated from high school or college, there was a commencement. We all thought that meant the end but we all found out that it was only the beginning. We may have had a break for a couple of months, but most of us began a new phase of our lives in college or on a job.
In this part of our study, we are going to look at the different ministries that Jesus has been doing:
- Jesus, Our Mediator
- Jesus, Our Advocate
- Jesus, Our Heavenly Intercessor
- Jesus, Our Great High Priest
Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, (2) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
When Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, He went and sat down on the right hand of the throne of God.
I believe that there are literally three thrones in Heaven. In the center is God’s throne. On the right hand of God’s throne is another throne where Jesus was seated and on the left is another throne; the throne of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s throne is empty because He is not in Heaven but here in the earth.
Jesus is in Heaven right now.
Understand this: Easter was a commencement; Easter was a beginning for Jesus.
Jesus came to earth to represent God to us. He came to earth to tell us all about God.
Now He has gone to Heaven to represent us before God.
1 Timothy 2:5 GNB For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and human beings together, the man Christ Jesus,
John 14:8-11 NKJV Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” (9) Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (10) Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. (11) Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
Jesus is God made flesh. Everything that Jesus had and did was the Father’s.
Why did God have to come Himself? Because you could not save yourself. You and I could not even help God do it.
Jesus had to do that Himself.
Hebrews 1:3 NKJV who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
It also says that Jesus is the express image of His person.
The Greek word translated “express image” is “khar•ak•tar”
charaktḗr; gen. charaktḗros, masc. noun from charássō (n.f., see cháragma [G5480]), to carve. Occurs only in Heb_1:3 where it is translated “express image,” referring to Jesus Christ. Here He is described as the charaktḗr tḗs hupostáseōs autoú (tē̄́s [G3588], the [gen. fem.]; hupostáseōs [G5287], essence [gen.]; autoú [G846], he [gen. masc.]), “the exact image of His [God’s] essence” (a.t.). Whatever the divine essence is, Jesus is said to be its perfect expression. The writer of Hebrews thus sets forth a high Christology affirming the deity of Jesus Christ.
This represents the image of God that was Christ Himself. When Jesus was conceived and born, God Himself took His image and pressed it into the earth and when He pulled it back a baby was born who was His exact representation.
In His deity, He is the glory of God. In His humanity, He is the express image of God Himself.
He has to be unique and be God-man because He has to stand between God and man and pull two impossible entities together. It is impossible for man to come to God and it is impossible for God to come to man and so someone had to stand in between the two and pull them together. The only one that can do is Jesus Christ the God-man.
Job 9:1-3 NKJV Then Job answered and said: (2) “Truly I know it is so, But how can a man be righteous before God? (3) If one wished to contend with Him, He could not answer Him one time out of a thousand.
Job 9:32-33 NKJV “For He is not a man, as I am, That I may answer Him, And that we should go to court together. (33) Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both.
Job 9:33 AMP There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand upon us both, [would that there were!] [I Tim. 2:5.]
Jesus Christ is the Mediator for all mankind. He is the only one that could and does bridge the gap between God and man.
Galatians 3:20 NKJV Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
Galatians 3:20 NLT Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when He gave His promise to Abraham.
Hebrews 8:6 NKJV But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator (Agent) of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Hebrews 12:24 NKJV to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.