Did God die on the cross?

When Jesus Christ died on the Cross, did he die WITH his divinity intact or without it? The problem is that if he did not die with His Divinity intact, then we are still in our sins because scripture says that he was both God and man…So wouldn’t it make sense that both of his natures died with Him and were buried? This is very confusing to me and my forum on Facebook right now. Bottom line:

If He is “Emmanuel” which means God With Us, then who died on the cross? :confused:

Jesus is one person with two natures. People die, not natures. The person Jesus died on the cross. That person was both fully human and fully divine.

You make no sense at all. How can you say Jesus has 2 natures but only 1 of them died with Him. How are you saved by a mere man dying on the cross leaving His Divine nature behind? Makes absolutely no sense at all…:rolleyes:

I did not say that.

Not at all sure how you got from my (completely orthodox) statement that Jesus is one person with two natures, fully human and fully divine to “a mere man dying on the cross leaving his divine nature behind”.

I don’t see where he stated that Jesus’ human nature died.

Anyway, the divine nature of God (the Second Person of the Trinity, the Logos) is the substantial bearer of Jesus’ human nature. These two natures are inseparably joined, but not commingled. This is what we call the hypostatic union.

The closeness of this union is why the Church can say things like “Jesus is God” and “God died on the cross.” It does not mean that the divine nature of God or the human nature of Jesus died. Jesus the man’s body died, and God experienced that death.

Yes! By taking on a human body, God experienced human suffering and death. And this is exactly why we call Mary the mother of God, theotokos, because even though she gave birth to a human, He was fully God. By no better way of conveying it than by His passion and death, we know something of the depths of His love for us.
"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form…" Col 2:9

It seems to me on the face of it that it would be impossible for G-d to die spiritually or physically. Moreover, the souls of humans do not die, only their earthly bodies. So the only death on the Cross must be the physically human body of the Person of Jesus. However, the Person of Jesus is believed to be both fully human and fully divine. Therein lies the paradox or mystery. Another question I have is whether the New Testament tells us who died or did the Church arrive at an answer to the question? And I also wonder whether if Jesus as both human and G-d died, did G-d the Father and G-d the Holy Spirit also die, since the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son, and both Persons are in the Holy Spirit?

Communicatio idiomatum. We attribute actions to the Person even those that are proper to only one nature.

Yes. God died.

Think of what this means, however: you are saying that G-d Himself died. Do you mean G-d died BOTH physically and spiritually? And if G-d died spiritually, how did He resurrect Himself?

I think it would be most accurate to phrase it thus.

Human beings are fully human in nature, with a body and a soul. Human beings’ bodies die, and our souls pass on to eternity. However, the human being is both body and soul, and the human has experienced death. Their soul did not die, but they, as a whole, experienced death, which is how their soul and bodies were separated.

Jesus was both fully human and fully Divine. He, as a person who is God, experienced death on the cross. His body died, and His soul passed on to the afterlife. He died just as every other human being does, wherein His soul and body were separated, but his soul was still very much alive. So he still existed as both man and God. At the Resurrection, His body and soul were rejoined in a glorified state. Likewise, we await our deaths to this world and the passing of our souls to the afterlife, and the eventual resurrection of our own bodies to be rejoined in Heaven.

What is death?

Death is the violent separation of the human body and the human soul when the body is no longer able to sustain life. The body dies and is buried; the soul lives on. This is death. The same thing that occurs in any human death happened to Jesus–separation of body and soul.

That does not mean that his human soul ceased to exist. Neither does it mean that his divine nature ceased to exist. Actually, it doesn’t even mean that his human nature ceased to exist: his human nature was simply in a state of death, the soul temporarily deprived of the body until the resurrection.

But Jesus is God as well as man. Jesus died. The Second Person of the Trinity experienced death (but not the Father or the Holy Spirit.)

Does that mean that Jesus, or God, ceased to exist? Not at all. No more than our own death will cause us to cease our existence.

This explanation makes more sense to me.

In Christianity, we believe the human soul never dies, as in ceasing to exist, although hell can be considered eternal death. So God experienced physical death same as we do. Jesus knew-and proved by the resurrection-what we can’t know on our own, that life continues after physical death.

To die for an eternal person is impossible. A spiritual being cannot die, uless he enters eternal Hell. So the Son didn’t die.

But Jesus, who was the Son with a human nature, and a human with the fullness of divinity, died. And there we see that the definition of death must be reinterpreted for the Son.
And we read in Revelation: " I am the First and the Last … I was dead…"
Thus, God died, in the flesh at the very least.
That being said, we should never forget the hypostatic union. The Son died then! But when God dies, it destroys death, this latter has no power on Him.

Another view (totally unorthodox I guess) is to say ok the Father or the Holy Spirit resurrected the Son. That is very dangerous. The Son in his divine nature didn’t die as we do.

Yes. God died on the Cross.

Not exactly an answer, but here’s a nice prayer from the Eastern Divine Liturgy: “When your body was in the tomb, and your soul in hell, when you were in paradise with the thief, you were at the same time - O Christ, as God, upon your throne with the Father and the Spirit - infinite and filling all things.”

Actually, Kurisu35712 brings some much needed clarity to the issues

Keep in mind that the lamb was slain in the beginning of creation, which I take to mean, among other things, that God already had a nature of love and sacrifice.

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (KJV) Rev 13:8.
Also in 1 Peter 2:19-20.

I dug up some reference info. as some people might want something to put in a reference file this teaching on the subject.

Below is an (English translation) excerpt from The Council of Ephesus – 431 A.D.

God bless.


Second letter of Cyril to Nestorius

[Declared by the council of Ephesus to be in agreement with Nicaea]

Cyril sends greeting in the Lord to the most religious and reverend fellow-minister Nestorius

THE COUNCIL OF EPHESUS 431 A.D. . . . . But I turn to a subject more fitting to myself and remind you as a brother in Christ always to be very careful about what you say to the people in matters of teaching and of your thought on the faith. You should bear in mind that to scandalise even one of these little ones that believe in Christ lays you open to unendurable wrath. If the number of those who are distressed is very large, then surely we should use every skill and care to remove scandals and to expound the healthy word of faith to those who seek the truth. The most effective way to achieve this end will be zealously to occupy ourselves with the words of the holy fathers, to esteem their words, to examine our words to see if we are holding to their faith as it is written, to conform our thoughts to their correct and irreproachable teaching.

The holy and great synod, therefore, stated that

  1. the only begotten Son, begotten of God the Father according to nature, true God from true God, the light from the light, the one through whom the Father made all things, came down, became incarnate, became man,

  2. suffered, rose on the third day and ascended to heaven.

  3. We too ought to follow these words and these teachings and consider what is meant by saying that the Word from God took flesh and became man. For we do not say that the nature of the Word was changed and became flesh, nor that he was turned into a whole man made of body and soul. Rather do we claim that the Word in an unspeakable, inconceivable manner united to himself hypostatically flesh enlivened by a rational soul, and so became man and was called son of man, not by God’s will alone or good pleasure, nor by the assumption of a person alone. Rather did two different natures come together to form a unity, and from both arose one Christ, one Son. It was not as though the distinctness of the natures was destroyed by the union, but divinity and humanity together made perfect for us one Lord and one Christ, together marvellously and mysteriously combining to form a unity. So he who existed and was begotten of the Father before all ages is also said to have been begotten according to the flesh of a woman, without the divine nature either beginning to exist in the holy virgin, or needing of itself a second begetting after that from his Father. (For it is absurd and stupid to speak of the one who existed before every age and is coeternal with the Father, needing a second beginning so as to exist.) The Word is said to have been begotten according to the flesh, because for us and for our salvation he united what was human to himself hypostatically and came forth from a woman. For he was not first begotten of the holy virgin, a man like us, and then the Word descended upon him; but from the very womb of his mother he was so united and then underwent begetting according to the flesh, making his own the begetting of his own flesh.

  4. In a similar way we say that he suffered and rose again, not that the Word of God suffered blows or piercing with nails or any other wounds in his own nature (for the divine, being without a body, is incapable of suffering), but because . . . .


Continued from last post (bold mine) . . . .

THE COUNCIL OF EPHESUS 431 A.D. (Continued) . . . . 2. In a similar way we say that he suffered and rose again, not that the Word of God suffered blows or piercing with nails or any other wounds in his own nature (for the divine, being without a body, is incapable of suffering), but because the body which became his own suffered these things, he is said to have suffered them for us. For he was without suffering, while his body suffered. **Something similar is true of his dying. For by nature the Word of God is of itself immortal and incorruptible and life and life-giving, but since on the other hand his own body by God’s grace, as the apostle says, tasted death for all, the Word is said to have suffered death for us, not as if he himself had experienced death as far as his own nature was concerned (it would be sheer lunacy to say or to think that), but because, as I have just said, his flesh tasted death. **So too, when his flesh was raised to life, we refer to this again as his resurrection, not as though he had fallen into corruption–God forbid–but because his body had been raised again.

So we shall confess one Christ and one Lord.** We do not adore the man along with the Word, so as to avoid any appearance of division by using the word “with”. But we adore him as one and the same, because the body is not other than the Word, and takes its seat with him beside the Father, again not as though there were two sons seated together but only one, united with his own flesh. If, however, we reject the hypostatic union as being either impossible or too unlovely for the Word, we fall into the fallacy of speaking of two sons. We shall have to distinguish and speak both of the man as honoured with the title of son, and of the Word of God as by nature possessing the name and reality of sonship, each in his own way. We ought not, therefore, to split into two sons the one Lord Jesus Christ. Such a way of presenting a correct account of the faith will be quite unhelpful, even though some do speak of a union of persons. For scripture does not say that the Word united the person of a man to himself, but that he became flesh. The Word’s becoming flesh means nothing else than that he partook of flesh and blood like us; he made our body his own, and came forth a man from woman without casting aside his deity, or his generation from God the Father, but rather in his assumption of flesh remaining what he was.

This is the account of the true faith everywhere professed. So shall we find that the holy fathers believed.** So have they dared to call the holy virgin, mother of God**, not as though the nature of the Word or his godhead received the origin of their being from the holy virgin, but because there was born from her his holy body rationally ensouled, with which the Word was hypostatically united and is said to have been begotten in the flesh. These things I write out of love in Christ exhorting you as a brother and calling upon you before Christ and the elect angels, to hold and teach these things with us, in order to preserve the peace of the churches and that the priests of God may remain in an unbroken bond of concord and love. . . . .

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