Where was Jesus, on Saturday? In the Apostles creed worshippers recite, in the fifth line, “He descended into Hell.” But did he? We Baptists don’t generally recite traditional creeds of the church. We don’t feel bound by them. ‘Descending into Hell,’ seems to say Hell is a place that is reached by descent (stairs, a downward climb or something else?). That understanding of a three-tiered universe, which requires a flat earth, by the way, is incompatible with our present day understanding of space-time.
First Peter 3:19, which tells us that Christ was put to death but then preached to “spirits in prison,” evokes images of Christ’s Saturday work without locking the story into a first century worldview. If prison = souls cut off from God because of sin and Christ, as 1 Peter says, preaches as a spirit, then this passage can account for his activity. Still, it is not a concrete, specific explanation.