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


My apologies Justin

I do not want to sidestep the broader questions here. But it has been a long 13 hour work day wherein I literally took 10 minutes to check on ccel and reply. Tomorrow promises to be about the same.

In brief I would like to respond to the heart of your Q2.

Justin said

    Q: How can Jesus be fully God and fully man?
    A: Because he is.
    My problem?
    Q#2: Okay. But how?

I have studied schaeff and other church historians for years. I think if you take some time and read schaeff that perhaps you may have minimized (horrible term but best one I can think of) the order and intent. The church started out needing to define who Jesus is ... who is this person we are dying for? Is He God or man or both somehow? Is He One person with two natures? Why does it matter? Who are we willing to die for and what books are we willing to die for? A host of various beliefs, including gnosticism came into play. The idea of fully God and fully man was arrived at as a destination, not a beginning. The how of it was not attempted but, in honesty, any conclusion would have rendered us in the same boat. How is He half of each, or how did He start out one being then become human and then become god/God? Any conclusion would have failed the "epistemological" test being applied here because the metaphysical is, by definition, beyond our how. We can only see where the Spirit/wind has been ... we cant capture it (dont get scientific on me :) ). Yet the composite teachings of scripture, as you brought them out, lead to a finite number of acceptable conclusions. Of those, one Person Who is fully God and fully human, with the dual natures existing in tandem but not mixing, still makes the most sense. To me that has nothing to do with greek philosophy as it does taking the constraints you laid out very nicely into balance.

A man couldnt die for us. God couldnt empathize with us. Yes that is overly simple but it points out the futility of the alternatives by explicating the dilemma of answering is He man or God, or some mix of each or both but at different times.

Now, I think if we are going to honestly look at the various possibilities we need to try (yes I said try ... I will try) to lose the idea of preprogrammed orthodoxy and unorthodoxy. If we cant approximate an answer to ourselves what we believe and why, then why should the world listen to us. Why is gnosticism an undesirable conclusion of WHO JESUS IS, other than the fact it is unorthodox?

So here is teh question as I recall it flowing in history.

    Q: Who is Jesus Christ?
    A: He is fully God and fully man with both natures co-existing in their entirety in one Person. I believe this because I have looked at the evidences from scripture, as presented in the several centuries it took for us to grapple with the scriptural truths. We made statements and tested them. We refined and tested. Until we reached what we believe to be the truth of who Jesus is, and arrived at a dogma that cant be seriously challenged.
    Q: How
    A: I dont know how that can be but I know how we arrived at the conclusion, and believe it to be true today

Please accept I am tired and may have included verbiage here that didnt necessarily come accross the way I meant if I had waited until this weekend to respond. I am interested and certainly dont want you to think I am deferring. But before drawing a firm conclusion on some point I may have misstated, please let me know if I said something that doesnt sound at all right.

Submitted as a poster.