Matthew 27:57-66 (NRSV)
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, `After three days I will rise again.' Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, `He has been raised from the dead,' and the last deception would be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can." So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.
In the Apostles’ Creed, Ecumenical Version, that we recite frequently in our worship services, there is this line, “he descended to the dead.” It is difficult for us to ascertain exactly what this means. There are many opinions and ideas. Here is a link to an article that helps:
Where was Jesus in that period between his death on the cross and his
resurrection on Sunday morning? If “into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46) as Jesus says, where is that spirit when not alive in the body of Jesus? I don’t think we can say with any certainty.
What we can say with certainty is our belief in the grace and love of God in Jesus Christ. With confidence we proclaim a Gospel for all people, that the God who does not wish for any to be lost, will go to any length to rescue us from our lostness. Who will be saved? That is not for us to say. But, we are confident that it is God’s will for all to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, for every knee to bow and acknowledge him as Lord, for the whole of creation to worship Him forever. We say, “he descended to the dead”, and even in death, the work of God is alive. And, in between, we wait for resurrection.