The Death of Christ and the Miracle of the Resurrection

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46

Spiritual death in Christianity is “separation from God” while physical death is “separation from the body.”

Question:

Did Jesus die spiritually? IOW, was the Son separated from the Father?

“And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth” John 11:43-44

Question:

What exactly did the the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection entail?

My understanding is that, because Jesus was fully human (never forgetting that he was fully divine), he had, like all humans, to freely choose to love God even while carrying his cross.

Now, and this is entirely me thinking about this and not backed by anyone that I know of who has any authority to say something like this so please correct me instantly if I am wrong, but does it not make sense that for Jesus to experience the full human condition he had to have a “dark night of the soul”? (A spiritual crisis in a journey of faith…)

And is it not all the more beautiful, then, that in spite of this experiential loss of contact with divinity (though he was still in fact fully divine) he perseveres his complete trust in God by saying, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit?”

How many of us, when carrying our own crosses, are suddenly faced with our own perceived lack of connection to God? Can we still say, during those times, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit?”

One of the reasons upheld by the Church for the Incarnation is so that Jesus could show us in his teaching and by his example how we are to live as God’s people. This was all to say how I understand that scriptural passage.

As to your question about spiritual death…

You are right that spiritual death is separation from God. However, it is a result of sin, of turning away from God. Jesus, even in his humanity, did not turn away from God. Jesus, in his divinity, could never be separate from God, as he IS God. He could not have died the spiritual death that we choose by rejecting God.

Jesus’ Passion, Death & Resurrection will always be a “Mystery” to us in many ways. Mathew 27-46 refers back to the OT, but I can’t remember where. Remember that Jesus was carrying OUR sins to the Cross with him. Imagine that! All mankinds sins! At that moment, I am sure HE felt, in HIS human nature, that He was alone. Jesus still continued in HIS sacrifice for us, HE died on that Cross for us!!! How many times have we felt “abandoned” in our sins??? God is still there with HIS Love and Mercy, even if we feel alone. Thank you Sweet Jesus for all You have done and are doing for us. Divine Mercy Sunday comes right after Easter. Also the Canonization of two Holy Popes.
God Bless, Memaw

A warm welcome to the forum! :slight_smile: With many thanks for your superb post! :clapping:

Amen… :thumbsup:

No. The spirit is immortal - including yours. Yours can be “separated” (i.e. kept away) from God, but this is not really “death” in the sense of ceasing to exist (annihilation) but separation from the one thing that the spirit desires. Jesus can not be separated from the Father because He is the Father (consubstantial / He and the Father are one).

Jesus says this because any Jew in the area at the time would immediately recall the entire 22nd psalm.

I don’t think any human can really answer this until after death. The resurrection of Jesus is a miracle and the central mystery of our faith. If we knew and understood the details, it would not be a mystery. Certainly it included the return to life of his body, in a glorified form, the decent into hell, and return to earth. Victory over sin and death. Then there is that whole assumption into heaven…

Your argument does not exactly accord with the Scriptures.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

If spiritual death is separation from God, then it follows that the Son must have been literally separated from the Father. For how else could “he who knew no sin” be made sin for us that “we might be made the righteousness of God in him?” This implies that the Godhead was split and subsequently (or simultaneously) healed. And that is the real miracle that defies explanation.

My thinking, and mine alone, is this: Sin results in separation from God. When Jesus took on our sins he had to experience, in a real way, mankind’s separation from God. He had to do this because he was truly man, not just God playing at being man.

For me this is the mystery: God, in the Second Person of the Trinity, must experience fully what it is to be separated from Himself. I know it doesn’t make sense; it’s a paradox. I hope I explained my thinking on it.

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” Psalms 22:1

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“For the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23

The how could he be made sin who knew no sin? And if the wages of sin is death and death is separation, then he must have experienced the separation. This would explain why he cried out - “my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

It sounds like you may be invoking “mystery” in order to evade the question.

I believe you have just hit the nail on the head. The Godhead had to be experience both separation and reconciliation. This is the real mystery of the atonement.

“Love separates for the sake of union.” - Rumi

Part of the mystery is how is He able to experience these without having committed any sin.

I owed a debt I could not pay, so he paid a debt he did not owe.

Counterpoint, I will look into the Biblical side of my answer and get back to you. I just need some time to really consider it. Very thought provoking, loving it!

Jesus is not merely a human. He’s a divine person with both the divine nature of God and the human nature of man. Even the death of his human body did not separate Jesus from the Father and the Holy Spirit. It’s not possible for Jesus to be separated from the Father, because Jesus and the Father are both God.

Lazarus was simply brought back to the same life he had before, and eventually died again of old age.

Jesus, on the other hand, returned to a new life with a new glorified body. By reopening heaven and restoring access to God’s grace that had been lost since the fall, Jesus made it possible for all of us to also be raised to that same new life after we die.

Thank You Counterpoint, God Bless, Memaw

Then it is not possible that Jesus was made “to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

In the verse “He made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be the righteousness of God in Him…”

He’s not saying that Jesus “knew” sin as we do. He’s saying that Jesus voluntarily identified himself with sinful humanity, without being a sinful human Himself. As demonstrated by Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist in order to “fulfill all righteousness.”

Further if Jesus was to be the “New Adam”, He must be as the old Adam before the Fall (I.e. sinless) in order to repair the fault of the first Adam’s sin.

Christ thus stood in and paid “the wages of sin”-our sins, not His-by receiving the penalty for our sins(death) while being perfectly innocent due to His divinity.

His citation of Psalm 22 is not Christ saying that the Father has forsaken Him. Read the whole Psalm and you realize that the Psalm is a todah: it is a prayer of confident deliverance in a time of trial. The Psalm is fulfilled in all that had transpired to that point.

“I am a worm…scorned by everyone, despised by the people.”(v7)

“All who seek me mock me; they curl their lips and jeer; they shake their heads at me.”(v 8)
“‘You relied on the Lord-let him deliver you; if he loves you let him rescue you.’”( v9)

-These are the words of the Jewish authorities to Jesus while He was on the cross.

“They stare at me and gloat; they divide my garments among them; for my clothing they cast lots.”(v 19).

“For God has not spurned or disdained my misery. Did not turn away from me, but heard me when I cried out.”(v 25)
“The anawim will eat their fill; those who seek the Lord will offer praise. May your hearts enjoy life forever!”

This is why context is important.

“For the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23

Death here refers not only to physical death, but also spiritual death (separation from God). So, in order for Christ to pay the penalty of sin, he must suffer (eternal) separation from God. IOW, God must be estranged from his “self.” God, in some sense, must die!

And there’s nothing in the context which suggests that Paul is intending what your claiming that he does.

All you’re doing is ripping various Scripture verses and mashing them together to make a preconceived point.

So, in order for Christ to pay the penalty of sin, he must suffer (eternal) separation from God. IOW, God must be estranged from his “self.” God, in some sense, must die!

He was only estranged from Himself in that he died a human death-his soul was separated from His Body.

The fact is that Jesus is a divine person who assumed a human nature. So according to the communication of idioms whatever is said about one aspect of Jesus, either His human nature or His divine nature, must be said about Jesus Himself.

So you’re correct in saying that “in some sense God died.”

But it does not follow that Jesus died a “spiritual death”. Even us true humans when we leave this plane of existence don’t die a “spiritual death” but a physical death. That’s not to diminish the tragic loss of something essential to our natures, I.e. our bodies.

But neither can we say that Jesus’ death was more than ours when it was not, His nature was not, nor could it, suffer a “spiritual death” because sin is diametrically opposed to the divine nature of God. Jesus’s divinity is essential to His nature. He was like us in all things except sin.(Heb 4:15; 1John 3:5).

Therefore what you’re saying simply doesn’t follow.

:thumbsup: Jesus’s death was only more than ours in the sense that He offered His life for all of us to liberate us from evil and give us new life. He couldn’t have done that if He had been spiritually dead. His love was - and is - indestructible, and divine as well as human. To be spiritually dead is to be in hell - a state of self-imposed isolation from God!

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