“Hell” [sheol/hades] is the grave, a condition of oblivion, where both the righteous and the unrighteous dead await the resurrection. Ecclesiastes (9:5) declares “… the dead know nothing” and adds, “There is no work or knowledge or wisdom in the grave” (9:10). For three days, Jesus was truly in the grave – 1 Corinthians (15:4) explains “Christ died, was buried and he rose again” and (15:42) promises “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable”.
Psalms 16:10 predicts- “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” In Acts 2:27-32, the Apostle Peter explains that David was referring to Jesus. “…let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David; that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses”. It is also clear from Psalms 49:14 & 15, what David believed – “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave.”
Isaiah (53: 12, 10) wrote that “he hath poured out his soul unto death”; his soul was made “an offering for sin”. We have the promise of the resurrection – “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”—(I Cor. 15:22). Through Hosea (13:14) we learn that Jesus sacrifice “… will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction…” Because Jesus took the sinner’s place in death, mankind will be awakened from death and given the opportunity to live forever—
Matthew 12:40 predicted “Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (physically dead and buried). Jesus’ victory over the grave is celebrated in I Corinthians 15:55 & 56- “O death where is thy sting? O grave [hades], where is thy victory?”
In Revelation 1:18, Jesus declares “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell [hades] and of death.” These are symbols of Jesus’ authority and power to unlock hades and death through his sacrifice of redemption. Revelation 20:14 indicates that hades, or “hell” will be destroyed – “And death and hell [hades] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Mankind suffers from death on account of sin, but has been redeemed by the blood of Christ and in the resurrection will be given an opportunity for new life. The Scriptures speak of the “second death,” symbolized by a lake of fire wherein all incorrigible sinners will be destroyed, as will the devil himself. We are assured that even “hell”, or the death condition of oblivion, will be destroyed. Revelation 21:4 promises “there shall be no more death.”