Christ's dual natures

When Christ died on the cross, did the dual natures of Christ separate? Or, another way to look at it, did the dual natures of Christ only exist from conception to death? The CCC explains that Christ’s divine nature preserved his body from corruption while his soul separated from his earthly body. And when Jesus is resurrected his body is a glorified body. So is it safe to assume that Christ’s dual nature only existed/lasted while Christ was alive?

Christ continued having two natures at death…and* still* does…as the Risen Lord.

Could you provide a source for this teaching? The parts in the CCC in this subject are a bit to technical and esoteric for my tiny brain, could be I’m looking in the wrong place in the CCC.

My head…


Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI can be of help too with it’s brevity.,%20the%20Only%20Son%20of%20God

Perhaps start around article 81 “And in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord” and onward through article 135…it is really not long.

Best likely to start here.

Some snippets:

See article 87 about his being true God and true man…

and …

124. In what condition was the body of Christ while it lay in the tomb?


Christ underwent a real death and a true burial. However, the power of God preserved his body from corruption.

“Jesus Christ descended into hell;
on the third day He rose again from the dead.”
125. What is the “hell” into which Jesus descended?**


This “hell” was different from the hell of the damned. It was the state of all those, righteous and evil, who died before Christ. With his soul united to his divine Person Jesus went down to the just in hell who were awaiting their Redeemer so they could enter at last into the vision of God. When he had conquered by his death both death and the devil “who has the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14), he freed the just who looked forward to the Redeemer and opened for them the gates of heaven.
129. What is the condition of the risen body of Jesus?**


The Resurrection of Christ was not a return to earthly life. His risen body is that which was crucified and bears the marks of his passion. However it also participates in the divine life, with the characteristics of a glorified body. Because of this the risen Jesus was utterly free to appear to his disciples how and where he wished and under various aspects.

Thank you so much for the recommendations. I have physical copies of both the CCC and the compendium. I think I have trouble seeing Christ’s glorified body as a continuation of the hypostatic union, simply because as the compendium points out that after the resurrection he did not return to earthly life. Though his body bears the marks of the crucifiction, his body is glorified and has different attributes. Clearly it is talking about his body.

I did notice that in CCC 645 - explains it well.

  • The risen body in which he appears to them is the same body that had been tortured and crucified
  • Yet at the same time this authentic, real body possesses the new properties of a glorious body…
  • Christ’s humanity can no longer confined to earth and belongs henceforth only to the Father’s divine realm.

So to sum it up. It’s not that Christ’s human nature ceased, but instead it shares in the divine life per paragraph 646.

I’m going to do s deep dive into this. Thanks a ton for helping to break this down!

Yes. Meaning it was not the resurrection like Lazarus - but the same body was risen and glorified.

Splendid Homily of Pope Benedict XVI

(also see the second book of his* Jesus of Nazareth* on the resurrection)

Yes not “returning to earthly life” meaning it was not the resurrection like Lazarus (normal life …only to later die again) - but yes indeed it is the same body that is risen and glorified.

Splendid Homily of Pope Benedict XVI

May I suggest an amazing book for you that may help? Read Theology for Beginners, by Frank Sheed. I think it will really help you understand the reality and implications of God’s triune nature, and Christ having two natures in one person. I know it helped me!

I think a quick answer to your question might be to ask, do we “lose” our nature when we die? Do I cease to have a human nature at the end of my natural life, when my soul is separated from body? No, because my nature is what I am. I am human because I have a human nature, and I do not cease being human when I die. Likewise, Christ retained his human nature throughout his life, at the moment of death, through death, beyond the resurrection, through the assumption, and will continue to have his human nature through all of eternity.

I will check that book out, thanks. I think the funny thing is that I’m not doubting that Jesus’ body is Jesus’ body, even his resurrected body. The part I’m I think I was most confused about is that the hypostatic union is inseparable even after death. So I was understanding it to be more of a technical way to discuss Jesus while on earth. I was ignoring the fact of the inseparability of the hypostatic union, it is inseparable-no if, ands, or buts about it. I was only looking at the first half of the logical proof so to speak, and not carrying the thought to conclusion.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit