Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
A discovery made by Elijah and Aaron while helping me with the Hell Study.
Over the phone, Elijah would not tell me where in the Bible it was or even what it was that he had found while doing some research for the Hell study that we were doing. I was in a hotel room in Florida, hundreds of miles away from my books; so, I was depending on him and Aaron to look up some information for me concerning “the Pit”, which is another name for Hell. When they discovered a certain verse (he would not tell me which one), he had become very excited, but he wanted me to see the fax he was sending instead of talking about it on the phone. So, all I could do was wait, curious as to what he had found.
When the fax came and I read his note, I was cautious at first because I had some questions about the Hebrew involved, but I could certainly see why he was so excited. It was intriguing. In looking for the verse concerning Hell (and Jesus’ descent into it), Elijah and Aaron had come upon a verse in the book of Lamentations that seemed to be a prophecy about Christ and his descent into Hell. When I called home to talk to him about it, I asked Elijah to describe the Hebrew letters of a certain word in that verse, and, from that, it did appear that they had come upon an amazing prophecy of the Messiah.
When I returned home, one of the first things I did was to read that verse in the original language, and it was undeniable. That verse was a prophecy of Christ and his time in the heart of the earth.
In order to fully appreciate the verse, you will have to keep in mind several other biblical truths. First, you must remember that the Bible often refers to Hell as “the Pit”. Second, it will be helpful to know that the Hebrew word for “breath” is also the word for “spirit” and to remember that “the Lord is that Spirit” (2Cor 3:17). Thirdly, you should know that the word “anointed” is the Hebrew word for “Messiah”. The precise meaning of “Messiah” is “anointed one”. Lastly, however, and most important, you must remember that when God created man, He “breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7).
The verse Elijah and Aaron found was Lamentations 4:20. I translated it from the Hebrew and now pass it on to you:
“The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was taken in their Pit, of whom we said, ‘In his shadow we shall live among the Gentiles.’ ”
A loose translation of that beginning phrase (but not very loose at all) could be, “The breath of life in our nostrils, Jehovah’s Messiah was taken in their Pit . . .”
One of the truly amazing things I learned while doing that study on Hell was how many Old Testament references there were to Jesus setting free the captive souls from Paradise that were in the heart of the earth. The Old Testament truly is “the New Testament concealed”, and the New Testament truly is “the Old Testament revealed.” Who knows what God will still reveal to us if we will just believe His word when we hear it and believe His book when we read it!