“Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”’
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
- Acts 2:29-36
The Apostles' Creed states Jesus' crucifixion, death, and burial. Strangely, it (seems to) repeat itself: "He descended to the dead".
This statement partly exists to remind us that Jesus really was a human being, and not just a celestial being hiding in a human body. Body, mind and soul, he followed the human journey all the way to its conclusion. And that conclusion is death.
But then something happened that has happened to hardly anyone else, and no-one else in the same way. In John's vision of Jesus in Revelation 1 Jesus says, "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." Jesus overcame death - it is itself under his authority.
Why? Because when it comes to the Scriptures death is more than a biological process. It is spiritual separation from God, the source of true life. It is also a weapon in the hands of evil (Hebrews 2:14). On the cross, both these things are dealt with. We are invited into God's family, and into deep relationship with Him, and Satan is disarmed (Colossians 2:15).
We have a hope that is greater than death. "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, o death, is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55).