He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
1 Peter 3:19-22
A couple of things jump out at me as I read this passage: 1) Noah and 2) angels, authorities and powers in submission to Christ in heaven.
As Peter was speaking to persecuted people in minor Asia, they would have known about Noah because they were descendants from him. Noah, of course, had a nearly impossible task: call people to repentance and build a large boat. Was his preaching a success? By most accounts no. But, as ministers of the Gospel, we are called to throw out the seeds and let the Holy Spirit bury the seeds in the right people. Noah did what he was told. We have no idea how our lives would be different if only one of each sex was rescued more than the original eight.
Secondly, we see other beings in heaven in addition to angels. Peter tells us authorities and powers are also there. I don’t know who that refers to exactly but he makes it clear they are all subject to Christ.
What does that mean for us?
Noah was a very alone man. Even as he was working hard on the ark day in and day out, he was going it alone. No one understood what he was doing and probably thought he was crazy taking on such a monumental task. We often live very lonely lives as well. No one understands us; no one quite gets us. But day by day God is working with us, encouraging us, pointing us to His son.
Then, when we do arrive in heaven, it will be quite different than what we experience here. There will be no disobedience or sin or loneliness or blaspheming or pride or arrogance. None, whatsoever. And we only boast in what Jesus has done.
It’ll be a great great thing.