Middle Eastern Mythologies

The Christian Story

What happened after Jesus’ death?

According to one tradition, after death Jesus descended into Hell to “harrow” it and to symbolically redeem the original sinners, Adam and Eve. Jesus is one of many mythological heroes, including, for instance, the Greeks Odysseus, Herakles, and Theseus, who descend into the Underworld. But it is what happens next that is most important for Christians. It is said by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and by later followers such as Paul of Tarsus (Saint Paul), that after three days Jesus emerged from his tomb and forty days later ascended into Heaven on a cloud. It is this resurrection myth that signifies to Christians the possibility that belief in Jesus can lead to eternal life.


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