We suppose that the crucified Jesus went down to the realm of the dead because of the New Testament affirmation, "Jesus was raised from the dead." Jesus, like all men, experienced death, and his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. His soul left his body, but his divine Person remained united with both his body and soul. But he descended to the dead as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the imprisoned spirits there. Thus, the descent to the dead brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfillment.
The first element we encounter in the framework of the Easter events is the empty tomb. The discovery of the empty tomb by the disciples was the first step towards the recognition of the fact of the Resurrection.
Mary Magdalene and the holy women were the first messengers of Christ's Resurrection for the apostles. They came to where Jesus' body was buried to finish anointing his body because Jesus was buried in haste because the Sabbath began on the eve of Good Friday. Next, Jesus appeared to Peter, and then to the apostles when they were gathered in the Cenacle.
The appearances to Peter, to the disciples of Emmaus, and to the whole group gathered in the Cenacle at the day's end, finally brought the glorious truth home to them. They saw Christ, heard him, touched his wounds, and watched him eat. They realized that it was Jesus, though somewhat mysterious, for he came and went at will, and passed through closed doors.
Jesus established direct contact with his disciples by means of touch and the sharing of a meal. He wanted them to know that he is not a ghost and that his risen body is the very same body that had been tortured and crucified. The only difference is that he is not anymore limited by space and time, and he could present himself when and how he wills. He could disguise as a gardener, as a poor man, or in other forms familiar to his disciples to awaken their faith.
We must understand that Christ's Resurrection was not a return to earthly life. In his risen body, he passes from the state of death to another life beyond time and space. At Jesus' Resurrection, his body is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Resurrection, a work of the Holy Trinity. The Resurrection of Christ is an object of faith. It is a transcendent intervention of God himself in creation and history. In it, the three divine persons act as one, and manifest their own proper characteristics. The Father's power raised up Christ his Son and by doing so, introduced his Son's humanity, including his body, into the Trinity.
The significance of Christ's Resurrection. Christ's Resurrection is the fulfillment of the promises both in the Old Testament and of Jesus himself during his earthly life. The Resurrection constitutes the confirmation of all Christ's works and teachings.
The Resurrection of Christ confirms the truth of his divinity. His Resurrection shows that he was truly "I Am," the Son of God and God himself.
The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from his sin, and by his Resurrection, we were given a new life. The new life reinstates us in God's grace. Justification consists in both victory over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace. It brings about filial adoption so that men become Christ's brethren. Finally, Christ's Resurrection is the principle and source of our future resurrection.