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


DanFugett's picture

Mystical component of death of God and mother of God thinking

I think we all have to acknowldge that the hypostatic union of Christ (100% human and 100% divine) is still somewhat of a mystery. While I believe, along with both the majority of the Catholic and Protestant churches, this propositional truth to be accurate, I cannot explain the how and the why of it. When we speak of Chirst, the eternal Logos incarnate, being born or dying, we are automatically in a world we are not equipped for. Jesus Christ is the Divine Logos enfleshed (born of a woman, born under the law). He was born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the Cross of Calvary. His body lie in a tomb for 3 days. Then He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven after displaying proof of His resurrection and creating eye witnesses/martys using the technical term.

So, yes in a sense Mary is the Mother of God and in a sense God died on Calvary. Yet in another sense, our language fails. Our thinking can only really press this so far. Did the triune God cease to exist while Christ was in Mary's uterus? No. Did the triune God cease to exist while Jesus' body was in the grave? No. While the Logos was enfleshed where was the Logos? Was He any less in heaven then here on earth since God is by definition omnipresent? So if Jesus was and is the union of 100% human nature and 100% divine nature from incarnation onward, how can this be?

Much of this is a mystery but the answer that makes the most sense is still the creed the church settled on: very God of very God and very man of very man.

Submitted as a poster,

In Christ,

Dan Fugett, Sr Moderator