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


Way back in early church days, modalism sprang up from the sector of the church in which reason was assumed to run greater than revelation. Modalism is the idea that God must be revealed in three ways at various times. This runs contrary to the Scriptural concept that one God (JHWH) exists eternally as three Persons. No one who accepts the Scriptural truth of the Trinity claims that it is humanly logical. They only claim that Scripture presents it. The question which each person must answer for oneself is "Does God have to be small enough to be logically understood by humans, or can God be so great that He is beyond human reason?" Many choose the first situation. They end up rejecting the Trinity as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three separate Persons in one Godhead. Modalism is but one answer to the problem. Polytheism is another. Jewish/Muslim monotheism is another.

You ask, would all three Persons (to me) or manifestations (to you) suffer on the cross? Since the Son spoke to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, it would appear that there was a differentiation in the level of suffering. But if my son were hung on a cross, I would not be without suffering. I think we may conclude that all three members suffered emotionally while only the physical body taken on by the Son suffered physically.

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.