Did Jesus Take on the Hell We Deserve?

Question from a reader:

On page 35 of the revised edition of Heaven, what do you mean when you write that Jesus took on the hell we deserve? I cannot explain this statement biblically. I can say that He took on our sins, that He faced the enemy on our behalf by dying, but did He really? Did He literally?

Answer from Randy Alcorn:

To experience God's complete punishment of sin on our behalf meant he had to experience hell on our behalf. Not eternal hell for Him, but what would have been eternal hell for us placed upon him for 6 hours on a cross. For as long as it lasted, especially the last three hours and when he cried “Why have you forsaken me?”, it was literal hell, but a hell that ended. 

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries