8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this, “He ascended” — what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
Many times, I imagine what heaven would have been like at the great homecoming of Jesus after His resurrection. The angels probably would have sung in their loudest voices for the triumphant Son of God was coming back with His mission fully accomplished.
The more exciting thing about the homecoming was not just that Jesus came home. It was that Jesus came home, not empty handed, but carrying His blood. I imagine Him saying, “Now I am bringing this thing and the purpose is being fulfilled.” That blood was the price He paid. It was precious, and it was preserved. When He rose again from the dead, He went to heaven with His blood, so that the purpose for which He shed it would be fulfilled.
He knew if He didn’t take the blood home safely, the purpose for shedding it would all be in vain. The cross would all be in vain. The days in hell, between the crucifixion and the resurrection, would all be in vain. Thank God, He made it home with His blood! Jesus, the Captain of our salvation is the One paving the way for us to follow. He was the first Man in heaven. No other Man had made it to heaven before Him.
That is what the phrase, “He led captivity captive” means. He freed Old Testament righteous dead from Sheol or Paradise and Paradise was emptied forever. Sheol was in the lower part of the earth next to hell (Luke 16:26). Hell was where the unrighteous dead went, and still go. Now the way was open and all the saints who had died could also have their own “homecoming” to heaven! Abraham could finally go home, as well as David and all the other saints. What a glorious day! Now anyone who gets born again, becomes a saint immediately and their spirit is heaven-ready. When your body expires on this earth, your spirit is ready to have your own glorious homecoming. No need to go to Paradise to wait anymore. The way is open. Thank God, Jesus made it home with His blood!
Confession: Thank You Jesus for making it home with Your blood.