Final Thoughts on Hebrews 9:11-12
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. NKJV
The Most Holy Place into which the soul of the Lord Jesus Christ entered upon His death on the cross is identified in Hebrew 8:1-5 as Heaven itself. It is the true Holy of Holies made without hands as opposed to the earthly holy of holies which was but a copy of Heaven. Our text seems to be in contradiction with passages like Psalm 16:10 and Acts 2:27, 31 which indicate that the soul of Jesus entered into Hades with His death on the cross. So where did the soul of Jesus go while His body lay preserved in the tomb—Heaven or Hades? The answer is both.
When He died at Calvary, Jesus soul first entered into the bowels of the earth (Eph. 4:9), the location of which corresponds with Hades as the point where the physical dimension in which the center of the earth exists overlaps with the spiritual dimension in which Hades exists. Hades is the place to which the souls of unbelievers go when they die (Lk. 16:23), where they remain until the last resurrection at the end of the Millennium at which time they will be brought out of Hades, judged by the Lord at the great white throne judgment in which their eternal sentence will be pronounced, and then they will be cast into lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-14). Hades is divided into two compartments separated by a great gulf or abyss. The compartment on one side of the abyss is a place of torment where the souls of the unsaved presently go when they die (Lk.16:24-26), and the compartment on the other side of the abyss was a place of comfort known as Abraham’s Bosom where the souls of the Old Testament saints went when they died (Lk. 16:22, 25). The fallen angels (demons) that did not keep their proper spiritual domain (Jude 1:6) in the days of Noah (I Pet. 3:19-20), but (either by taking on human form or by possessing human men) had sexual intercourse with human women (Gen. 6:1-4; compare with Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7) were imprisoned in the abyss that separates the two compartments of Hades, and will not be released until Satan is given the key to the abyss under the fifth trumpet judgment of the great tribulation (Rev. 9:1-11).
Because Jesus had not yet died and paid off the penalty for their sins, the Old Testament saints were unable to go into the Heaven, the true Holy of Holies made without hands, and into the presence of a perfect, holy God (Heb. 9:9, Jn. 3:13), so they went into the Abraham’s Bosom compartment of Hades, where they waited until Jesus died for their sins and accomplished their salvation (Heb. 10:11-14). When Jesus died, He descended into Hades, proclaimed His triumphant saving sacrifice unto the falling angels imprisoned in the abyss (I Pet. 3:19), and took the Old Testaments saints out of Abraham’s Bosom and into Heaven, the true Holy of Holies made without hands, and into the presence of God Himself (Lk. 23:43; compare with II Cor. 12:2-4). Since the perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, the souls of all true believers go immediately into Heaven, the true Holy of Holies made without hands, and into the glorious presence of God when they die (II Cor. 5:8).
When to you die, where will you go—into Hades to await the great white throne judgment, or into Heaven? Have you truly repented of your sins, and by faith received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?