Something happened between Christs death on the cross, until the time he was raised alive. Here are my thoughts on the subject, what do you think?
1 Pet.3:18, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God (the Father,) being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit."
To be quickened means to be made alive, to be endued with life. As a transitive verb, it expressing an action that passes from the agent (the Father, and Holy Spirit) to the object (Jesus Christ.) In this verse, a past particle, which expresses a completed action. Quickened, as in to breath, walk, speak, hear, eat, etc.
1 Cor.15:22, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
I understand Peter to be speaking of Christ after he had been resurrected. In His resurrected state, the living Christ now has the power to bring the first-fruits unto the Father.
Jesus Christ who is fully man, and fully God, was made a little lower than the angels, having body, soul and spirit. Upon His death, His mortal body wrapped in burial cloth lay in a tomb for three day.
Rom.1:3-4, Jesus Christ, which was made (born) of the seed of David according to the flesh," this through Joseph, his father. "And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."
Now the question, what happened to His spirit when it departed his lifeless body on the cross?
1 Pet.3:19, "He (Jesus) went and preached unto the spirits in prison." Lets examine the Greek words for preached, and prison.
To preach, to publish, to announce saving truths. How the word is used in other verses. Synonyms are, publish, proclaim. Following are a verses that use the same Greek.
Acts 10:36-37, "The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, --- the word, I say, ye know, which was published (proclaimed) throughout all Judea --." Of Jesus
Matt.4:17-23, "Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel."
"Spirits in prison," Is in the sense of imprisonment. Poetically of the bottomless pit, the abyss, Tartarus, as the prison of demons and the souls of wicked men, compare,
1 Pet.3:19, "Preached unto the spirits in prison," with,
Rev.20:7, "When the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison." A place where Satan will spend 1000 years having had his power taken from him.
2 Pet.2:4, with Jude 6. "If God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (Tartarus) and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment," with,
Jude 6, "And the angels which kept not their first estate (proper domain) but left their own habitation, He (God) hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
The question remains, who were these to whom Christ preached?
Fallen spirit creatures, and wicked men, inhabitants of the antediluvian world. Disobedient, and found guilty of the most flagrant transgressions against God. God waited 120 years for men to repentance as Noah built the ark, and they repented not.
Gen.6:3, God said to Noah, "My Spirit (His Holy Spirit) shall not always strive (abide) with man for that he (man) also is flesh: yet his (man's) days shall be a hundred and twenty years." The Holy Spirit remained with Noah 120 years, for Noah was a preacher of righteousness.
In this, I believe we are well advised as to the future condition of the world, and sadly, many churches, unprepared, unrepentant, unbelieving, and unfaithful. But those who have made themselves ready, with the Holy Spirit will be taken up in the air to be with the Lord, 1 Thes.4:16-17. Noah was sealed in the ark by God, then taken away before God's wrath was poured out upon a fallen world.
These antediluvian people, "Which SOMETIMES were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water."
The Greek word for sometimes means, "At what time," or, "at that time,"
So what transpired between Jesus death, and before He was raised from the dead? He gave his testimony to fallen demons, and men who have been condemned to hell. I also believe that by His preaching, and resurrection, He freed the spirit, and souls of the faithful.
Matt.27:52-53, "The graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose. And came out of the graves AFTER His (Christ's) resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
Now by the power of His resurrection, the shackles of death were broken, and the souls of the righteous were freed.
Of course not all who had died were raised as in Matt.27, but these were counted to be the first offering, the first-fruit unto the Father. They will not see the second death.
So here are two very important events. Christ preached to those fallen spirits who were disobedient in the time before Noah; also the prison doors of hell were opened to release those faithful ones who had been held captive by death.