When did the Gates of Heaven open?

So I have been taught that the gates of Heaven did not open until Jesus ascended. And that prior to that Abraham’s Bosom is where the dead went. Are there any biblical references to this???

The Death of Jesus. Matthew, chapter 27

45* t From noon onward,u darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46v And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”* which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47* Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “This one is calling for Elijah.” 48w Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink. 49But the rest said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50* But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. 51x And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.* The earth quaked, rocks were split, 52y tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54* The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!”

So then it was at His last breath, or was it when he ascended after 40 days???:confused:

From the Catechism:

CCC 637 In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him.

He opened the gates when He “descended into hell” after His death and before His Resurrection.

This is where i get confused. Because of the state of being purged before entering Heave (purgatory) and I thought He went into the abode of the dead. Because I thought the chasm between Heaven and hell cannot be crossed. Those in hell are condemned and cannot be saved while those in Heaven have no need to be preached the Good News because they are with the Father - So the “imprisoned” spirits I thought referred to those who were in another state until Christ came and opened the Kingdom of Heaven.

I do not much know about this in Bibles but according to İslamic knowledge: There are several earths(universes) besides our universe which we are in. So Jesus is in one of this universe but not in Heaven. because no one will get in Heaven before Judgement Day. Souls of dead persons are in one kind of universe which we can not see now.

After judgement of humanbeings all people will cross over the Hell. Bad, evil and unbeliever people will drop in Hell. Good and faithfuls will go in Heaven. So Gates of Heaven will be opened at that time.

Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet. So he will get in Heaven just like other prophets and faithfull after judgement day.


1peter 3.

And the Apostles Creed…remember the line…“He descended into hell.”

and Eph 4: 9 (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended[a] into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.)

Totally concur! :thumbsup:

Hell/Hades is the abode of the dead.
Abraham’s Bosom was in Hades and was separated from the “lake of fire” in Hell where the damned were. So, when we say that Jesus descended into Hell, we are saying that he went to Abraham’s Bosom to free the souls there. Christ is God, and He is all powerful. He is able to ‘traverse’ the barrier between Heaven and Hell (and earth). When He descended to Hell, to Abraham’s Bosom, He emptied it, leaving only the place of the damned, the “lake of fire”.

When the Apostle’s Creed say he “descended into hell,” it is my understanding that it is not using the word “hell” in the sense in which we normally think of it as the place where the souls of the damned are sent for eternal punishment. Rather it is referring to the Hebrew concept of “sheol,” which was the underworld where all of the dead were sent, not just the damned. So I think your understanding of it being the “abode of the dead” is correct. I could be wrong as I am not in any way educated in ancient hebrew and greek, but I think “sheol” was translated into ancient greek as “hades” which translates into English as “hell.”


I think bzkoss236’s explanation posted just above is better than mine.

And since ultimately we speak of timeless states rather than physical locations within time, it can be hard to wrap our minds around it all :o

From an Ancient Sermon for Holy Saturday:

Something strange is happening –there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear. He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden. See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree. I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you. Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.


Ccc 536 says the gates of heaven were opened at jesus’ baptism. Is this just more of a symbolism? Bc I always thought heaven was opened at Jesus death

Opening gates came at His Baptism.

Leading captives into Heaven comes later, after Christ’s death.

God bless.


The scripture reference would be Ephesians 4:8 from Psalm 68:18.

This is a long dormant thread. We are not supposed to resurrect old threads.

Hmmm…i had never heard that before. I always thought his baptism was more of an example and not needed. But if it actually opened up the gates of heaven, then it was needed

sorry, I find this forum to be very useful by searching old threads for topics I am searching for. I don’t see a point in creating a new thread when a lot of valuable info is already in a thread.

Hmmm…i had never heard that before. I always thought his baptism was more of an example and not needed. But if it actually opened up the gates of heaven, then it was needed

His Baptism WAS an example. A prefigurement to Christian Baptism but fell short of Christian Baptism.



But it did some other things too.

It was a communication to mankind of Jesus’ Messiahship (that He already eternally had).

I will post more later as I will look it up before I comment any more as I want my language to be precise. It may be a day or two.