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


michael_legna's picture

You confuse the meaning of death by your assumed problems

I think the problem some have here is that they are not considering what it means to die.

Death is the separation of the spirit from the body. The problems brought up here seem to assume either that Jesus ceased to exist or that His spirit died too. In other words these problems only exist if we want "died" to mean something different in Jesus' case than in does in the case for the rest of us.

When we die, our bodies die, but our spirits do not die. They are eternal. Jesus died on the Cross in the same way that we die: His flesh died, but His spirit was eternal and did not die.

If we say that "God died on the Cross" (at least the Second Person of the Trinity), then we are saying nothing more and nothing less than we say when we say that one of us died. Our body died, but our spirit lives on. Similarly, Jesus, in his corporal form, died, but His Spirit lives on.

Our Spirit are referred to as having died only when we are condemned to hell. Jesus was not condemned to hell. He descended there only to conquer death.

When we say someone died, we do not take pains to fill in the details. All Christians know the details: the person died, but they still exists in the form of a spirit. We don't bother correcting ourselves because we all know what "died" means and what it doesn't mean the end. I don't see how saying "God died on the Cross" needs any more clarification: we all know that it wasn't the end, as Scripture confirms.