Who died on the Cross?

Oberland's picture

Hi all,

At our mid week bible study the Pastor said that God (as in the second person of the Trinity) died on the Cross. Instinctively I believed that to be wrong, and so I checked it out, first from the Word and then from trusted sources, I ended up with R.C.Sproul saying that it was impossible for God (the second person of the Trinity) to die, and John Macarthur said that God did die on the cross.I'm hoping that someone could shed some light on the subject.

Thank you


ElderDad's picture

God and Jesus


R.C. Sproul would be speaking of God as spirit, eternally existent, whether Father, Son, or Holy Ghost, could not die. Keep in mind that even the human spirit will not die, but will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. (I admit not all respondents may take this view of the eternal existence of the spirit in hell.) On the other hand, the incarnate Son of God, born of the virgin Mary, had a body which died an anguishing death on the cross. This would be the aspect of the death of God which was spoken of by John Macarthur. Study Philippians 2 for a look at the price of that person of the Godhead who took on the form of man so He could pay the price for our salvation. In the working of forgiveness by God, only the offended party could pay the price to provide forgiveness.

When the physical body died on the cross, the spirit remained alive and active, according to the Scripture. So God died, and God didn't die, depending on whether you are speaking of body or spirit. Likewise, when we die, the body will die, but the spirit will remain alive. "We are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord." 2 Cor. 5:8 (ASV)

Best wishes in your study of the faith.

Dave S.
Senior Moderator, Volunteers for Proofreading
2 Tim. 3:16--All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.