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-When Jesus died on the cross, did God die?

by Dr. D ~ April 21st, 2010

Cross
Image by Glen’s Pics via Flickr

From Operation513-Apologetics Blog:

When Jesus died, did both of his Natures die?

Q&A with Dr. William Lane Craig

Question:

My question is one I have never been able to get a clear answer on. When Jesus died on the cross, did God die? That being, did the essence of Jesus actually die? …

Response:

<<Read Dr. Craig’s clear and able response>>

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1 Response to -When Jesus died on the cross, did God die?

  1. Preston

    In his human nature, Jesus died (Luke 23:46; 1 Cor. 15:3). But with respect to his divine nature, he did not die, but was able to raise himself from the dead (John 2:19, 10:17-18; Heb.7:16)…. It is not correct to say that Jesus’ divine nature died, or could die, if “die” means a cessation of activity, a cessation of consciousness, or a diminution of power. Nevertheless, by virtue of union with Jesus’ human nature, his divine nature somehow tasted something of what it was like to go through death. The person of Christ experienced death. Moreover it seems that Jesus’ divine nature had somehow to participate in the bearing of wrath against sin that was due to us (though Scripture nowhere explicitly affirms this). Therefore, even though Jesus’ divine nature did not actually die, Jesus went through the experience of death as a whole person, and both human and divine natures somehow shared in that experience.
    Following quoted from Pastor Randy Johnson:
    This is a question that can be only answered by a proper understanding of the “Incarnation of Christ” The word “incarnation” is like the word “rapture” neither one are biblical terms but they are both well defined in the scriptures. When I say that God did not die on the cross I certainly do not want to belittle the death of Christ at all and I do not. God is an eternal being and because of that very fact He cannot die nor can any part of Him die or else He would not be an eternal God. The word incarnation put simple is two completely separate natures in one body i.e. the Son of God and the Son of man. With this understanding we have the eternal Son of God in a human body known as the Son of man with two separate natures; however the two natures are not mixed or confounded. The Son of God was not born but rather the Son of man because the Son of God is eternal, The Son of God did not grow and learn because the Son of God is omniscient, just as the Son of God did not die He is eternal. One of these two men asked me what I was going to do with the scripture that read “God died” but after an extensive bible search I cannot find such a scripture. Ever search showed me that Christ died, or the Son of man died, but never God died or the Son of God died. My question is this why did Christ cry on the cross “…My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. The word forsaken comes from the Greek word egkataleip? and means to leave behind in some place or to desert and we certainly know that God would never desert the Son of Man while on the cross so we must take the idea that there was a separation which means the word here means to leave behind in some place. With that being said I believe just before death deity had separated from humanity leaving the Son of man to die on the cross.
    Some will say that this belittles the sacrifice and makes it insignificant but I must ask why? In the temptation was Satan tempting the Son of God or the Son of man? Satan is a fallen angel and knows God and knows God cannot be tempted so therefore he must have been tempting the Son of man. It does seem that Satan did not fully understand this man was the Son of God “And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.” Luke 4:3. While it is true that in one you have the other however the fact remains there were two separate natures in this one body. The Son of man was no less a redeeming sacrifice for our sins than the Son of God. The Son of man was the perfect sacrifice because He had lived a perfect life and by that I mean a sin free life and that alone makes Him a sufficient sacrifice.
    ………..God was not born and God did not die, please do not allow ourselves to belittle God and make Him like ourselves.

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