Apr 23, 2011
Dead man speaking.
1Peter 3:19–20 says that Jesus "went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah…"
1Peter 4:6 says that the gospel (the good news) was "proclaimed even to the dead…"
In the Orthodox traditions, this is an important part of Pascha (the original name for the celebration of Christ's defeat of death, the name "easter" is actually of pagan origins) called Harrowing Saturday. The Roman Church, and the Protestant churches that came out of it, don't say much about this, even though the three creeds of Christianity (Apostles, Athanasian, and Nicene) all make it a primary tenet of the Faith.
Hades, being outside of time and space, is not a chronological place. It is reasonable to believe (if you can believe in reasonableness) that Jesus preached to all the dead of all time, and released from prison those who would follow. I know this to be true.
Why? Because he preached to me when I was yet a dead man... and he will yet preach to everyone. His sheep will then recognize their master's voice.