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    Between Death and the Resurrection (1 Peter 3)

    John MacArthur

    by John MacArthur

    128 views For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, (1 Peter 3:18--20) The verb rendered made proclamation (kerusso) means that Christ "preached" or "heralded" His triumph. In the ancient world, heralds would come to town as representatives of the rulers to make public announcements or precede generals and kings in the processions celebrating military triumphs, announcing victories won in battle. This verb is not saying that Jesus went to preach the gospel, otherwise Peter would likely have used a form of the verb euangelizo ("to evangelize"). Christ went to proclaim His victory to the enemy by announcing His triumph over sin (cf. Rom. 5:18--19; 6:5--6), death (cf. Rom. 6:9--10; 1 Cor. 15:54--55), hell, demons, and Satan (cf. Gen. 3:15; Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8). Christ directed His proclamation to the spirits, not human beings, otherwise he would have used psuchai ("souls") instead of pneumasin, a word the New Testament never uses to refer to people except when qualified by a genitive (e.g., Heb. 12:23; "the spirits of the righteous"). Ever since the fall of Satan and his demons, there has been an ongoing cosmic conflict between the angelic forces of good and evil (cf. Job 1--2; Dan. 10:13; Zech. 3:1; Eph. 6:16; Rev. 12:3--4; 16:12--14). After the devil's apparent victory in inducing Adam and Eve (and consequently all their descendants) to fall into sin (Gen. 3:1--7; Rom. 5:12--14), God promised to the Evil One himself eventual destruction by Messiah, who would triumph with a crushing victory over him, despite suffering a minor wound from him (Gen. 3:15). Satan therefore sought to prevent this by the genocide of the Jews (cf. Est. 3:1--4:3) and the destruction of the Messianic line itself during the time of Joash (2 Chron. 22:10--12; cf. ...