Updated: Apr 19, 2022
The Keys to Death and Hades
Revelation 1:18 says, “I was dead, but look, now I am alive — forever and ever — and I hold the keys of death and of Hades!” (NET)
Yes! Jesus is alive forever and ever! But wait, it also says that he holds the keys to death and Hades! Sheol in the Hebrew.
Revelation 20:11-15 gives a clear distinction between Hades and the Lake of Fire (what we call Hell). Hades is a temporary place then, where souls are held until they are judged and thrown into the Lake of Fire.
But Jesus tells the thief on the cross in Luke 23:43 “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” So what is paradise? It’s Heaven.
It appears that before Jesus was crucified, that all souls went to Hades, an area with a “great divide” between those awaiting the Lake of Fire, and those awaiting Heaven. Jesus’ death changed this forever.
Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8 (NET)
We don’t know if those who have rejected Jesus go straight to the Lake of Fire. I am of the thought that they are in Hades awaiting judgement. What a place of torment that must be, knowing in full what that actually means. BUT believers and followers of Jesus will be present with him in Paradise, a place other than Hades.
Interesting points, but the real message here is that Jesus took the keys (authority) over death and Hades away from satan permanently! That is the story of Easter.
Hallelujah! He is Risen indeed!