In the Apostles’ Creed we confess about Jesus: “He descended into hell.” The scriptural basis for Jesus’ descent into hell is 1 Peter 3:18-20: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.” Many also see Colossians 2:15 as alluding to Jesus’ descent into hell: “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
After Jesus’ body and soul were reunited in the grave and before he appeared to people on earth, the Lord descended into hell. By his descent into hell, Jesus declared his victory over Satan and the forces of evil. He did not go to hell to suffer for the sins of the world or to free people from a limbo. Jesus descended into hell to proclaim his victory.