Have you ever found yourself pondering this And We need to account for this when discussing the death and burial of Christ. Three Sins Against God’s Word. The theme of God's "death" became more explicit in the theosophism of the 18th- and 19th-century mystic William Blake. existing (even for a moment), creation itself would know about it. info); also known as The Death of God) is a widely quoted statement made by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. As Altizer writes, Blake "celebrates … we say of Jesus in the Creed, “by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of As Jesus' life was a divine person's totally human life, so his dying was a divine person's totally human death. Such an answer may lead to more questions. If Jesus in His divinity died, the world would cease to exist. All rights reserved. Existing isn’t something God does, it’s something He is. Further, the immortality of the soul is well attested both in biblical language—the “perishable” body dies, but the soul/spirit is “with him in paradise today;” “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord;” “my soul will live with him;” etc. By the very definition of God, as far as the Hinduism goes, is the sole entity which makes, controls and destroys stuff. Christ, for that is far better” (Phil 1:21,23). People die of disease, because God created us that way at the beginning. The Holy Spirit was active in the incarnation at conception, but did not himself put on flesh. Remember, the holy God cannot let sin go unpunished. [2] On the other side, Jürgen Moltmann took up this question at length, controversially challenging basic assumptions about the impassibility of God.[3]. 4. death was as real as any other human’s death. St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica even described God as “Him who is subsisting being itself”. Does this sound like a dilemma? He experienced anger (Matt 21:12-13), sadness (John 11:35), temptation As a true man, he was capable of dying, and He did exactly that 2000 years ago. God can and will undo all the damage of the Holocaust. other hate him. 1 decade ago. That, precisely, is death. We affirm that Jesus Christ is the God-man, never ceased to be the God-man in his birth, never ceased to be the God-man in his death and resurrection, now stands ascended in Heaven as our mediator as the God-man, and will return one day as the God-man to join our souls/spirits to our resurrected bodies; therefore, we must affirm that God the Son died that day on Golgotha, but he in no way, shape, or form ceased to exist or experienced ontological separation from the Father (or Holy Spirit). But if to die is to be separated from a body, then the whole Son died. The incarnation is both a simple doctrine to summarize and a very complicated doctrine to explain. The short answer is yes. mistake, He was and is just as much human as we are, similar in all ways except Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. I once heard a man object to the divinity of : The Trinity and the Crucifixion, Evangelical Baptist Catholicity: A Manifesto, the relationship between the Father and the Son. He didn’t sacrifice his nature or his character or his power. As a true man, he was capable of dying, and He did exactly that 2000 years ago. Many of us can articulate some version … Instead, he himself put his nature, character, and power on full display on the cross, a victory chariot disguised a torture device. Did God die on the cross? He didn’t send a mere messenger. As His Yes, Christ died. dilemma? body, animates the body, makes it to be a living body” (Sheed, F. J., “Spirit.” [4] Via personal correspondence after my original Facebook post on this subject. No, God cannot die. God in Christ substituted himself for us. There was no broken Trinity. It is The two work together in an inseparable form Since Jesus is the complete incarnation of God, fully God and fully man (a concept referred to as the hypostatic union), this causes us to use terminology that may imply that God Himself died – a conundrum of the highest order. Though St. Paul assured us that one day, body but we all had a part in killing him though he did nothing he took the cursing, he took the blame, he took the hate, and he endorse the love and yet we crucified him why did he let that happen and which catorgory do you belong to. Another thing, we needn’t be so careful to say the Son died in his human nature. God allows some to die … And it wasn’t until both came together that Forget this and you’ll run toward multiple age-old heresies, chief among them are those mentioned above. TS100N. Consider St. Paul’s words when he said, “For to Did God Die on the Way to Houston? He is a unique human, but he is nonetheless fully and truly human. God had clearly said to Adam, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17). God is different than us. Nailed to the wood of the cross, moments before His death, He cried out, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” We need to affirm, then, that the human soul/spirit of Jesus remained alive (thus, his nature did not die), but that he experienced a real human death like all of us: body in the ground, soul/spirit with the Lord. To bear our own sins would be to suffer God’s judgment in the flames of hell. For three days Christ’s body was Book Preview . the first man was complete. Rather than us die and be permanently, eternally separated from God, Jesus paid for our sin on the cross, in order that we could be forever forgiven and have eternal life. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? sara. Eric Shearer is the author of On This Rock Apologetics, a website dedicated to explaining and defending the Catholic faith. Or, as Stephen Wellum says, “God the Son incarnate died.” Or, as Rhyne Putman prefers, "God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, experienced death in his human nature. Relatedly, neither God the Father nor God the Holy Spirit died on the cross. God remains dead. Four reasons God allows Christians to die. The nature of God's divinity is that he cannot change, so he cannot die. But God is not biological. A Christian may rest assured that there is no God cannot die.”. 2. However, proponents of the strongest form of the Death of God theologyhave used the phrase in a literal sense, meaning that the Christian God, who had existed at one point, has ceased to exist. He did. 23 Answers. God promises to bring back to life millions who have died, including Holocaust victims. Did God Die on the Cross? So to do this, we must explain with several caveats: 1. Theology for Beginners). We tend to think of it as “The End” (roll the credits). Advent season raises annual theological questions about the person and work of Christ. have you ever looked around the world and thought why did God die for us. Did God die? For it is at the heart of what Pope Benedict calls the essential message of the great teaching of our time, the Second Vatican Council: The center of the Christian life and of the Christian year is the Paschal Mystery, Jesus’ death and rising. Jesus’s human nature—like ours—still existed in his death, because the soul/spirit is immortal and thus the human nature still lives in/not in the presence of God. Physical death is when the soul-spirit separates from the physical body. But the soul does not die with the body. But that view of death ignores all mention of an afterlife. J. I. Packer | April 5, 1999 some of us curse him . Separated from Consider the second creation account in Genesis Though it seems like the end, The biblical answer the Church Fathers defended against the early heretics was this: the Eternal Word who cannot suffer and die (he’s eternal!) This is known as the Atonement. if we are saying that while Jesus was in the tomb the world was without God. Read Romans 5:6-10 to see if this helps explain the gospel and why the Father had to go to such extreme measures for our sake. When we say that Mary gave birth to Jesus and therefore she is the mother of God we are not saying that God began at that moment of birth. 3. Tagged: Advent, Trinity, Christology, Church Fathers, Creeds, Confessions, Theology. the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Eccl 12:7). His divine nature did not die or cease to exist. As a spirit it does not depend for its life upon the body: matter cannot give life to spirit (Sheed, F. J., “Life After Death.” Theology and Sanity). breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” And after this, “the man became Take one away and he is not complete our time on Earth. And we have killed him. Nailed to the wood of the cross, moments before His death, He cried out, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Then Jesus “breathed his last” and His spirit departed His body (Luke 23:46). Even Now, Religion Remains a Fact of Life. Sellers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble online, & the publisher. As it is written, “the dust returns to (we are included in this 'stuff'). Or, as Stephen Wellum says, “God the Son incarnate died.” Or, as Rhyne Putman prefers, "God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, experienced death in his human nature. Why did Jesus die? In Of course not. But His Why did Jesus have to die? Why? In his intricately engraved illuminated books, Blake sought to throw off the dogmatism of his contemporary Christianity and, guided by a lifetime of vivid visions, examine the dark, destructive, and apocalyptic undercurrent of theology. Jesus died for us because our sins had us separated from God (Isaiah 59:2), but Christ bridged that gap by the old rugged cross (John 3:16), and thankfully, we know that “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Even more, our existence depends on His. A Queer Tale: A Work of Theological Fiction by David B. Myers /Publisher: Wipf & Stock. and spirit. the body, the spirit lives on. And his resurrected body, like ours one day, was raised imperishable and he now lives as the God-man who will never die again. Now that we’ve defined what man and death are, This means that he cannot change. The God who is spirit (John 4:24) took on flesh (John 1:14). Remember the hypostatic union. So how do we explain that God died on the cross? non-material component (his spirit). some love him . God must always exist. It can be difficult to imagine the God of the God knows, but that doesn't mean he is specifically picking on you or your family. Who said god, was born or whether god was male or female then. It marks the end of our earthly lives, and it’s a tragic It’s a comma, not a period. Lv 6. other hand, remain on earth, lifeless. Even Nietzsche's announcement that … Answer: God didn't die. > “God is dead. god isn't real. sin. The body unvivified, falls away into its elements. Favourite answer. Perhaps one of the most common ways modern evangelicals fall into a trap on this question is through poorly handing Jesus’s cry of dereliction in Matthew 27:46 (quoting Psalm 22:1), “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The language here could imply that the Father “turned his face away” or “abandoned” Jesus, leaving Jesus alone on the cross to bear the wrath of mankind’s sin. Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates. For God to “die” in that sense would mean that He ceased to exist, and neither the Father nor the Son nor the … assumed humanity, was born of a virgin, and suffered and died in the flesh which he assumed. Did God die on the cross? The question of human death is not easy to understand without a basic understanding of why God created people in the first place. in God that “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). But we do need to be careful because it is nuanced. Therefore, when Jesus died on the cross that means God died on the cross. As Paul said, “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). These are different ways of making the same basic point. It’s as But a world without God is impossible. John 3. The Bible tells us that God is immutable (Psalm 90:2; Malachi 3:6). 1 decade ago. Answer: When Jesus died on the cross, Jesus died. If the being of God ceased for one second, the universe would disappear. Even though Scripture clearly describes the passion of Jesus Christ, many Christians are unwilling to acknowledge that the divine Son of God suffered and died for our sins. Recall what God said to Moses when asked about His name: “I am who am” (Ex 3:14, Douay-Reims translation). Soli Deo gloria. But does this pose any problem for a Christian? There is science and math. And what is death? But make no Sheed commented on this, saying that, “only in man spirit is united with a However, if by “die” we mean a cessation of existence, then no, God did not die. As Christians, we don’t see death as the end. If Jesus’s human nature died/ceased to exist for three days, this would indicate not only a death of his soul, but also a split in his person—only half of Jesus would exist for three days while his body was in the tomb. understandably so. me, living is Christ and dying is gain… my desire is to depart and be with So, in that sense, yes, God died, because Jesus was God in human form, and Jesus’ soul-spirit separated from His body ( John 19:30 ). In heaven, the Oreo will be all teach clearly that the soul is immortal. separated from His spirit. Similarly, man is composed of two parts: body Of course, we know that God is immutable and incapable of change, so it would certainly jeopardize fundamental affirmations about the doctrine of God to assert that the cross initiated a complete three-day loss of Trinitarian relations or the death of divine nature. The Father sent the Son; he did not send himself. So not existing isn’t exactly an option for God. made whole again. (Isaiah 65:17; Acts 24:15) God’s love for mankind guarantees that he will fulfill these promises.—John 3:16. Did God Die on the Cross? This is a more precise rendering of this crucial question, of which for a Christian there can’t be room for doubt. Obviously, then, God could … God not only created the universe, He sustains it by the very power of His being. However, as with any human death, his body was separated from his soul/spirit, but his soul/spirit did not cease to exist. God the Son died in the person of Jesus Christ. While typically the questions are aimed at the mystery of the incarnation or perhaps the relationship between the Father and the Son before Jesus was born, reflecting on the incarnation necessarily raises other Christological questions. If he died, that would be a change. Last updated 2009-09-18. Something just doesn’t sound right when we say that God died. Not only did God die on a cross, God was born of a virgin. move on to discuss what death is. If God dies, everything dies with Him. the Virgin Mary, and became man”. God the Son died in the person of Jesus Christ. 2. $25. Rather, we are saying the person of Christ died and that the person of Christ had divine attributes. The Bible says that God so loved us, despite our sinfulness, that He gave His only Son, Who died a horrible death, but only His physical body, because He is also God and God as Sprit, cannot die. Ultimately, we see similar mysteries throughout the Bible. You might summarize it as “God becomes a human” or “the Word became flesh” or “the divine Son was made man”. 0 0. robert p. Lv 7. some blame him. Therefore, the human body of God the Son died, but the hypostatic union of two natures was never separated, broken, or compromised. Theology and Sanity, Frank Sheed describes death in these words: A point comes—suddenly if there is violence, or by slow wearing—when the body can no longer respond to the life-giving energy of the soul. Tweet. God did not die, but rather Jesus as a human person died, and when He died He gave up his spirit. Well, this turns interesting. One person of the Trinity could not cease to exist for any time without indicating mutability (changeability) in God’s nature. and spirit will be united again (1 Cor 15:35-44). (Matt 4:1-11), and yes, even death (Matt 27:50). In his resurrection, the body and soul/spirit were rejoined, as will ours one day—if we die before he returns, our bodies will be in the ground as we await the resurrection, but we will not cease to exist because our soul/spirit will be in/not in the presence of the Lord. Why should it? By taking on flesh, Jesus acquired a human And it can be even more tempting to reduce (Romans 3:25) Boil that down to the most basic problem the death of Christ is meant to solve. An Oreo is made of chocolate cookies and white frosting. As a primer to what follows, I recommend reading two excellent reflections by Matthew Emerson that directly handle the cry of dereliction. His humanity to a more comfortable and bitesize understanding. About The Author. When Jesus died, did God die? Jesus Christ, the God-made-man and the second person of the Holy Trinity was tortured to death at the hands of Roman soldiers. Yes, Christ died. If God stopped Relevance. "[4] Or, God the Son died according to his human nature. The body of God the Son in his human nature died and was buried. Are you one of the many? ... For Christians it is through Jesus's death that people's broken relationship with God is restored. Published: July 2020. It is clearly described in scripture that Jesus did in fact die and was buried (Matthew 27:50-61; Mark 15:37-47; Luke 23:44-55; John 19:30-42). The real question is, "Why did God create the human body with the potential to get sick in the first place?" Why would the fully God/fully man Jesus Christ be any different? event for everyone. This is complicated and must be dealt with without falling into the heresies that lie on all sides. Death no more blotted Jesus from existence than separating a From the earliest Christian traditions surrounding the Assumption, the answer to the question of whether the Blessed Virgin died as all men do has been "yes." that is man. Eric works as an electrical engineer, and in his off-time studies to be an amateur apologist. While they affirm that Jesus Christ was truly one human/divine person, they say it was only Christ’s human nature—not His divine nature—that suffered and died. Furthermore, death is a biological function where something that is alive ceases to be alive. We read that, “the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and 2 0. [1] Martin Luther, On the Councils and the Church, in the Formula of Concord: Solid Declaration VIII:44 (St. Louis: Concordia, 2006) 588-89. This is exactly why Jesus came, as our Savior, to save us from God’s judgment, condemnation and payment of our sin. This raises all sorts of questions, some of which we can address here indirectly. Answer Save. 1 decade ago. Most notably, Blake refused to view the crucifixion of Jesus as a simple bodily death, but rather, as a kenosis, a self-emptying of God. So we need to dispel any notions of other Trinitarian persons dying on the cross. body the breath of life, a spirit. © Copyright 2020 Catholic Exchange. It would pass out of existence, because nothing can exist apart from the sustaining power of God. Jesus Christ, the God-made-man and the second person of the Holy Trinity was tortured to death at the hands of Roman soldiers. The Bible says that people were created with the capacity to love - both each other and God Himself. Jesus is both God and man. radical claims. Nietzsche's complet… When His body could no longer sustain life, His spirit departed the material world, leaving His body lifeless. There is a long history of religions condemning LGBTQ human beings, with tragic consequences. contradiction in saying that our Savior truly died for us. We must let Scripture expand and inform our preconceived notions about birth and death. As mentioned above, human nature doesn’t cease to exist in death; rather, the body perishes but the soul/spirit lives to God. Let’s begin. We have to deal with the fact that Jesus is God; Jesus is both God and man; and Jesus died. Let’s consider four reasons God allows death, especially for His people. When you hear the question, “For whom did Jesus die?” what do you think? Death is when our spirit leaves our body, ending Jesus’ death on the cross was just as real as any other human death. So when we say that Jesus died, we mean it. That is, he has both a material component (his body), as well as a You might even be able to say something like “Jesus is one person, the divine Son, in two natures, divine and human”. It’s easy to be nearsighted when we talk about This question has been discussed for millennia and has been addressed in every era of church history. Did God die on the cross? So death is not the end at all. death. death only marks a transition from this life into the next. cookie from its icing blots out an Oreo. We’ll need to investigate two questions: What is man? The answer may seem obvious: for the world.After all, John 1:29 says that Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.And John 3:16 declares that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” When did God die? He lives in Pennsylvania with his beautiful wife, where they founded the local Catholic young adult group, REV316. [1] John Calvin reasoned that only man could truly die and only God could truly overcome death, thus the necessity for Christ to be the God-man. How then are we to make sense God suffering and dying? The short answer is yes. Why did God design humans to die? First God formed man’s body, then he infused in that When we say that Jesus is God and that Jesus died on the cross, we are not saying that the God-nature died. He will also eliminate the pain that Holocaust survivors feel because of horrific memories. Take away one of those two components and you don’t have a complete Oreo anymore. body, and His divine nature was coupled with a human nature. Martin Luther asserted that if only a man had died on the cross and not God himself, then we are lost. And here we come to one of Christianity’s most Existence is one of God’s attributes. Our spirit passes into the afterlife. His son Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again.God is not dead, He was there at the beginning and He will be there at the end. It is also well attested in the Christian tradition: Irenaeus, Tertullian, Athanasius, Cyril, Gregory of Nyssa, Chrysostom, Augustine, etc. Nietzsche used the phrase to express his idea that the Enlightenment had eliminated the possibility of the existence of God. god didn't die. Jesus Christ is two natures in one person; fully God and fully man. a living being” (Gen 2:7). Now that we’ve looked at what a human is, we can This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. Praise God, He kept His promise to send and sacrifice the perfect Lamb to bear the sins of those who trust in Him. 5. To use a simple analogy: man is like an Oreo. we’re finally ready to come back to our original dilemma. universe taking on a human nature. The Trinity was not all of a sudden in disarray, confused, conflated, separated, or out of order. However, if by “death” we mean “a cessation of existence,” then, no, God did not die. Yet many dedicated and faithful Christians have died—some in anguish—because God did not choose to intervene and heal them. spirit lived on. Our bodies, on the For now, we will get right to the point. is a common one worth reflecting on. In his Theology for Beginners, Frank The Feast of the Assumption was first celebrated in the sixth century in the Christian East, where it was known as the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos (the Mother of God). anymore. Assuming that Adam knew which of all the trees was the tree of knowledge, the word of God was clear and simple. All men are in a kind of "life lottery", where we really don't know how we will die. Yes, indeed, God came and rescued us. For God to die would mean that He ceased to exist, and neither the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Spirit will ever cease to exist. God put Christ forward (he sent him to die) in order to demonstrate his righteousness (or justice). The Church Fathers addressed this issue head-on with modalists who taught the heresy of patripassianism—that the Father became incarnate and suffered on the cross—as well as Nestorians, who taught that the divine and human natures existed as two persons (the divine Logos and Jesus Christ) in one body. [3] Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993). Jesus, saying that “Jesus cannot be God because Jesus died on the cross, and "[4] Or, God the Son died according to his human nature. God the Son in his divine nature continued to exist and to sustain the universe.