Question: Did Jesus go to hell when He died?
Answer: When Jesus “poured out his soul [His life, His being (Genesis 2: 7)] unto death” (Isaiah 53: 12), He did not merely appear to die, but He really died. He was in an unconscious condition of death – oblivion – until on the third day, when God raised Him up “from the dead” (Acts 10: 40) (Romans 8: 11).
The “hell” in which Jesus was during those three days was not gehenna, which symbolizes absolute and everlasting destruction; nor was it a place of eternal torment, such as the one invented by the heathen and made more God-dishonoring by the errors of the Dark Ages. The “hell” in which Jesus was during parts of those three days while He was dead was hades, or sheol. Accordingly, we read of Him in Acts 2: 27, 31 (compare Psalm 16: 10): “Thou [Jehovah] wilt not leave my soul in hell [Greek, hades]”; so “His soul was not left in hell [hades]”.
It would have been improper for the Apostle Peter (Acts 2: 27, 31) to have used the word gehenna here, for there will never be a resurrection from gehenna, the Valley of Hinnom, the Lake of Fire, the Second Death (Revelation 21: 8). The only hell from which the dead will be raised is hades (or sheol), the temporary death state of unconscious “sleep” (Daniel 12: 2) (1 Thessalonians 4: 14, 15). It was, therefore, hades, or sheol, in which Jesus’ unconscious soul rested in death until the third day, when He was raised “from the dead” (Romans 8: 11).
Those who teach that the wages of sin is not “death” but eternal life in torment unwittingly consign themselves to eternal torment (which in their ignorance they call “”hell”), for Jesus never paid such a price for their salvation; hence according to their theory of eternal torment as the wages of sin they are hopelessly lost, without any Savior who ever paid that debt for their redemption, their deliverance from such a penalty for sin!