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, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 1 Pet 3:18-20
I don’t know about you but I am prone to mistake emphasis for redundancy especially when it comes to scripture. I find I need to discipline my impertinence toward God’s word lest I become distracted from the depth of simplicity in pursuit of glorified entertainment.
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… Is the first part of the gospel message which is the gospel of salvation.
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, (vinegar and mixed with gall) put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:28-30
…They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink. Psalm 69:19-21
Whether they offered this to Jesus to dull the pain of His suffering on the cross or to prolong His death remains a topic of debate. That hyssop dipped into a bitter wine that now represents suffering and His redemptive blood brushed His lips as hyssop dipped in blood struck the lintel and the two doorposts before the first Passover Exodus 12:22 seems more significant in that it points to the scripture that Jesus fulfilled.
“It is finished!” – Tetelestai was a contemporary commercial term that meant
“Paid in Full”.
Peter goes on to say the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison…
This scripture is the source of the belief that Jesus descended into Hell well He gave up His spirit and was in the tomb for three days. The argument is reasonable enough and it may be the case. The only problem with this is that Peter does not clearly say either way. What he tells us is that there are spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. He is making a direct reference to the days of Noah.
Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Gen 6:1-8
The book of Jude adds further clarification regarding the identities and the sin of these imprisoned spirits such that we know they are the Sons of God, fallen angels, who came into the daughters of men to produce Nephilim the giant mighty men of renown.
And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Jude 1:6-7
There are myriad believers today chasing after signs and wonders, others are after Nephilim and Bigfoot whom they are convinced are secretly running the world today. As for me, I’m not saying they are or aren’t. I don’t really care. The Bible already tells me that satan is the God of this age. 2 Cor 4:4. I remain convinced that Jesus was rebuking the idolatrous craving for entertainment and stimulation because it leads down paths of deception that at best only invalidates our witness of the true light of the world.
When I read Peter’s accounting of the fallen angels I hear Jesus in Mathew 24:37. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. The question at hand is not who are the spirits in prison? Or where is the prison located? It’s not whether Jesus preached to save them or if He went to proclaim His victory over them. The question for us is;
what caused them to be imprisoned?
I see two things. The first is that the Sons of God hybridized God’s creation by causing the daughters of men to give birth to Nephilim. This sin is currently represented in the LGBTQ+ and Transhumanism movements. The second is sexual sin. Jude specified the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah that includes but is not limited to LGBTQ+ but includes any sex outside the sanctity of marriage as established by God. If this does not seem relevant to you personally then consider this. We are immersed in a society that is repeatedly told by believers how much God loves them and desires to bless them. It is increasingly rare that this message is accompanied by the warning that unless they repent and surrender their lives to Jesus they will eventually find themselves imprisoned with the spirits who are already there.