DID CHRIST DIE SPIRITUALLY AND PHYSICALLY? (2022)

by Tom Stegall

Every spring the same graphic images appear in the news—the bloodied bodies of Filipino men willingly nailed to crucifixes. What is behind this annual ritual? What would drive these devout Roman Catholics to be tortured like this? In part, it is because Catholicism teaches that the sufferings of its members are added to Christ’s work in order to secure complete forgiveness of sins. The Second Vatican Council of the 1960s taught:

Following in Christ’s steps, those who believe in him have always tried to help one another along the path which leads to the heavenly Father, through prayer, the exchange of spiritual goods and penitential expiation. The more they have been immersed in the fervor of love, the more they have imitated Christ in his sufferings. They have carried their crosses to make expiation for their own sins and the sins of others. They were convinced that they could help their brothers to obtain salvation from God who is the Father of mercies.1

Having been raised Roman Catholic, I can attest to having missed the spiritual significance of Jesus’ death on the cross. Although I was moved with emotional sympathy for the great injustice and physical agony Christ endured, I never understood that He was paying the penalty for my sins completely because I was too occupied with my own attempts to tip the scales of God’s favor by my own good works. Without faith in Christ alone, I could see only His external, physical suffering and was blind to the spiritual aspect of His death.

So what exactly transpired on the cross? Was Christ suffering spiritually and physically? Did He die once or twice? How was it possible for the Second Person of the Trinity, being the eternal God Himself, to die spiritually? These can be difficult questions to answer, as not every aspect of the Lord’s death is addressed in Scripture (Deut. 29:29); but enough has been revealed for us to study (Ps. 111:2) and sufficiently grasp and answer the question, “Did Christ die spiritually and physically?”

The Biblical Meaning of Death

In order to understand why Christ died in our place and what it means to die spiritually, it is necessary first to understand the Bible’s teaching on death. Scripture states that the penalty for sin is death: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). Death in the Bible does not mean cessation of existence, but separation. When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, he did not cease to exist. But something changed immediately in his relationship with God. Adam died spiritually. As a result, he tried to hide from God (Gen. 3:8‒10). God had warned Adam previously, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Did Adam die “in the day” that he ate? Was God’s Word literally fulfilled? Yes! Adam died spiritually in the sense of being separated in his relationship with God. Obviously, Adam did not die physically that day since Genesis 5:5 states that he went on to live for hundreds of years before dying at the age of 930. But, as soon as Adam sinned, he died immediately in a spiritual sense toward God and he began the long, slow process of bodily degeneration under the curse, leading to physical death hundreds of years later. The example of Adam helps us to see how it was possible for Christ to be physically alive on the cross, while at the same time undergoing a spiritual death or judicial separation from God the Father.

Certain New Testament passages parallel the example of Adam’s spiritual and eventual physical death. For example, Ephesians 2:1‒3 says, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Like the Ephesians before their salvation, all of us were in a state of spiritual deadness toward God in our trespasses and sins before salvation and were under the wrath of God (John 3:36). From God’s perspective, before our regeneration, we were all spiritually dead men walking! Thus, spiritual death refers to the condition of being separated from a right standing or relationship before God while still being physically alive.

The Bible not only speaks of spiritual death in terms of separation rather than nonexistence, it also describes physical death as separation—the separation of the soul/spirit from the body (Gen. 35:18). In reference to an ongoing walk of faith in the Christian life that results in justification before men, James 2:26 states, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” Physical death occurs when the immaterial part of man (soul and spirit) separates from the material part of man (body). Though the soul and spirit are separated from the body, they continue to exist after death (Rev. 6:9‒11).

The Bible also speaks of eternal death, which is the permanent, eternal separation of the unbeliever from a right standing or relationship with God. Revelation 21:8 calls this the “second death.” If unbelievers, who are already dead spiritually toward God (Eph. 2:1‒3), refuse to trust in Jesus Christ for salvation throughout their entire lifetimes, they will not only die physically but will also become separated eternally from God and experience a “second death.” Whether it is spiritual, physical, or eternal death, death for human beings in the Bible always refers to some kind of separation, not annihilation or cessation of existence.

In reference to Christ’s physical death, Scripture states that He bore our sins “in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24) and was “put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 2:24; 3:18). In addition, we have been set apart to God (positional sanctification) by “the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10). Besides these passages on the physical aspect of Christ’s death for our sins, there are also passages in the Bible that speak of the spiritual aspect of Christ’s death for sin. These passages are given in the remainder of this article, along with extensive quotations from leading Bible teachers to show that the spiritual aspect of Christ’s death, far from being a novel view, is in fact the normal view.

Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:45‒46

Of Christ’s seven sayings from the cross recorded in the Gospels, only once did He quote Scripture. Mat-thew 27:45‒46 states:

Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Some who deny the spiritual aspect of Christ’s death claim that He only intended this statement as a figurative expression of His physical agony and that He was simply reciting this verse to the crowd assembled at Calvary, not crying out directly and personally to God. But this interpretation seems hollow in light of the particular verse Jesus chose to quote and when He spoke it.

(Video) Did Jesus Die Spiritually on the Cross?

Christ’s choice to quote Psalm 22:1a was significant. Out of 23,145 verses in the Old Testament, He chose just one that precisely conveyed what He was experiencing at that moment in His personal relationship with God the Father. Christ could have quoted many Old Testament verses, but He chose a particular verse that contains speech directed personally to God (“My God, My God, why have You…”). For that matter, of the 31 verses in Psalm 22, there are many that fulfill the objective of describing the Crucifixion in vivid detail (e.g., vv. 16‒18) yet do not contain speech directed personally to God as in verse 1. Christ could have chosen to quote any one of these. Furthermore, no other verse in Psalm 22 uses the word “forsaken” or conveys as strongly the idea that the Son of God was separated from God the Father on the cross. Christ did not quote Psalm 22:1a during the first three hours of His crucifixion, but yelled it out during the hours of darkness, when God the Father was pouring out His wrath in judgment on His own Son. Why? Because at that time our sins were judicially imputed to Christ (2 Cor. 5:21) and He was punished in our place, bearing the wages of sin that we deserved—death—even spiritual death. J. Vernon McGee ex-plains the unique nature of this death:

He did not die as martyrs who in their death sang praises of joy and confessed that Christ was standing by them. . . . Our Lord didn’t die like that. He was forsaken of God. He said, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt. 27:46). His death was different. He died alone—alone with the sins of the world upon Him.2

We see the Man Christ Jesus on the cross as the perfect Man. He had learned to rest upon God. He had learned to trust Him in all that He did. He said, “I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). But yonder in that desperate and despairing hour He was abandoned of God. There was no place to turn, either on the human plane or on the divine. He had no place to go. The Man Christ Jesus was forsaken. No other ever has had to experience that. No one. He alone. . . . The Father was with Him when He was being beaten; the Father was with Him when they nailed Him to the cross. But in those last three hours He made His soul an offering for sin, and it pleased the Father to bruise Him (see Isa. 53:10). Forsaken. My friend, you do not know what that is; and I do not know what it is to be forsaken of God. The vilest man on this earth today is not forsaken of God. Anyone can turn to Him. But when Christ takes my sin upon Himself, He is forsaken of God. “Why hast thou forsaken me?” It is not the why of impatience. It is not the why of despair; it is not the why of doubt. It is the human cry of intense suffering, aggravated by the anguish of His innocent and holy life. That awful and agonizing cry of the loneliness of His passion! He was alone. He was alone with the sins of the world upon Him. “Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” (Ps. 22:1). Roaring? Yes. At His trial He was silent, “as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isa. 53:7). When they beat Him, He said nothing; when they nailed Him to the cross, He did not whimper. But when God forsook Him, He roared like a lion. It was a roar of pain.3

McGee’s interpretation of Christ’s cry of abandonment is shared by other sound Bible teachers and theologians, such as John Walvoord:

Matthew records that from the sixth hour, or noon in Jewish reckoning, there was darkness over the land until the ninth hour, or 3:00 P.M. This darkness seems to have begun after the third cry of Christ on the cross in which He put His mother, Mary, under the care of John (Jn 19:26‒27). It was in this period of darkness that Jesus became the sin offering and, as such, was forsaken by God the Father. Matthew records the fourth cry of Jesus on the cross as being spoken in a loud voice: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (27:46)…. The cry of Jesus has been variously interpreted, but it seems clear that God had judicially forsaken Jesus on the cross in contrast to the fact that He had strengthened Him in the garden of Gethsemane. Here Jesus was bearing the sins of the whole world, and even God the Father had to turn away as Jesus bore the curse and identified Himself with the sins of the whole world. When Jesus actually died, He commended Himself back into the Father’s hands.4

Saying that Jesus was “judicially forsaken” is a vital qualification regarding the spiritual aspect of Christ’s substitutionary death. The Son of God was not spatially or ontologically separated from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit since it is impossible for God in His essence or being to be separated. Christ’s separation from the Father was a judicial and relational act of judgment, not a metaphysical or spatial separation, as if God the Son ceased to be a member of the Triune Godhead for the finite period in which He died in our place. Thus, while teaching that Christ died spiritually in the place of sinners, Erwin Lutzer writes:

Nor should we misrepresent the Trinity as we approach this sacred cry. When Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” we should not think that the Father and the Son became separated in their “being” or “essence.” In other words, when the Father forsook the Son, the Trinity did not divide in two. This was a break in fellowship, not a breach of the fundamental unity of the Father and the Son.5

Of course, God cannot die, if by death we mean some form of annihilation. But if death is defined as separation (for us the separation of the spirit and the body), then God died in the sense that the Son was separated from the Father.6

Charles Ryrie reiterates the same point:

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). The first three sayings were probably all spoken before noon. This one, which is in every way central, was uttered about 3 P.M., after three hours of darkness and silence during which the Son of God bore the sin of the world. In that work He had to be forsaken by God, and yet at the same time there was no splitting up of the Trinity. All that is involved is inscrutable, but He gave Himself, He was made sin, He bore our sins, and His soul was made an offering for sin.7

Isaiah 53:10‒12

Isaiah 53:10‒12 is another passage that sets forth the spiritual aspect of Christ’s satisfactory death. Note especially that the word “soul” (nephesh) occurs three times in the passage:

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul [nephesh] an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul [nephesh], and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul [nephesh] unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Some who hold that Christ died only physically interpret “soul” (nephesh) in these verses as referring only to Christ’s body or physical life that He offered on the cross. They say the word “soul” in verses 10‒12 is limited in meaning to just Christ’s body rather than the immaterial part of Him. This theological view cannot allow the word “soul” (nephesh) in these verses to mean: (a) the immaterial part of man, or (b) the body and the immaterial part of man (i.e., a description of the whole person). Meaning “b” is the meaning of nephesh that occurs most frequently throughout the Old Testament. This physical/material + spiritual/immaterial meaning of nephesh occurs so frequently that we may safely say that it is the normal, primary meaning of the word, unless contextual factors indicate that a secondary meaning is intended.

(Video) Did Jesus Die Spiritually Upon the Cross?

The interpretation that “soul” in Isaiah 53:10‒12 refers only to Christ’s body appears to be theologically driven based on a preconceived doctrinal conclusion, for there is nothing in the context, grammar, or parallel usage of nephesh within Isaiah to limit its meaning to the physical body alone. Elsewhere in the Old Testament, nephesh most frequently refers to the person as a whole—material and immaterial. Genesis 2:7 says, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being [nephesh].” Here, the body of Adam is formed from the ground, but there is no animating principle until God breathes into Adam’s body and he becomes a whole, living person. In a few instances in the Old Testament, nephesh is clearly used of the immaterial part of man in distinction to the material body (Gen. 35:18; 1 Kings 17:21‒22). This is the sense in which “soul” is used centuries later by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 10:28 when He speaks of men being able to destroy the “body” but not the “soul” (Gr. pyschē = Heb. nephesh). In the Pentateuch, nephesh can even refer to a person’s “body” without its inner life (Lev. 21:1, 11; Num. 6:6, 11; 9:6‒7, 10). However, in the book of Isaiah, nephesh occurs in 10:18 in reference to the immaterial part of man, where Isaiah uses the expression “soul and body” to encompass the whole person. Isaiah 26:9 also uses Hebrew poetry’s standard form of synonymous parallelism to speak of the “soul” (nephesh) and “spirit” (ruach) as the immaterial, inner part of man (ruach cf. Dan. 7:15). Therefore, Isaiah’s use of nephesh permits the meaning of the word in 53:10-12 as being either (a) the immaterial part of man, or (b) the body plus the immaterial part of man (the whole person), but not (c) the body alone.8 Since nephesh never means the body alone everywhere else it occurs in Isaiah, to interpret the word this way in 53:10 would be an example of forcing one’s theological views onto the verse, which would be eisegesis rather than exegesis. Ironside fittingly concludes:

We read in Isaiah 53, “When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” How tremendously solemn! He upon whom the law had no claim whatsoever poured out His soul unto death in the sinner’s stead. Let me remind you that it was not simply the physical suffering which our blessed Lord endured upon the cross that made expiation for iniquity. It was what He suffered in His holy, spotless soul, in His sinless being, when the judgment that our sins deserved fell on Him.9

Another crucial clarification about Christ’s sacrificial death in Isaiah 53 is that He died only one death, not two. Some who speak of Christ’s “two deaths” appeal to the plural use of “death” in Isaiah 53:9, which says He was “with the rich in His death,” where the Hebrew word for “death” is plural. However, the plural here for “deaths” is simply an instance of the intensive plural,10 which is a well-recognized category of usage.11 Delitzsch comments on “death” in Isaiah 53:9, saying, “it is applied to a violent death, the very pain of which makes it like dying again and again.”12 Scripture consistently speaks of Christ dying one “death” for our sins, not two “deaths” (John 12:33; Rom. 5:10; 1 Cor. 11:26; Heb. 10:12).13 Technically, there were two aspects to Christ’s one death—a spiritual and a physical aspect—not two separate deaths.

Christ’s single, propitious death included the judi-cial, spiritual abandonment He suffered on the cross right up to, and including, the moment that His soul and spirit left His body at physical death. But some people might wonder, if the Lord’s physical death was necessary to pay for our sins, then why did He say “It is finished” (John 19:30) before His spirit left His body? Luke 23:46 says, “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last.” A comparison of this verse with John 19:30 shows the order of Christ’s final statements:

1) “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice” (Luke 23:46a): “It is finished” (John 19:30a).

2) “He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit’” (Luke 23:46b).

3) “Having said this, He breathed His last” (Luke 23:46c); “And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit” (John 19:30b).
After Jesus said, “It is finished,” He did not immediately die physically. He spoke one more time, saying, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Thus, when Christ cried out in John 19:30a, “It is finished,” He clearly meant it was about to be finished momentarily when He gave up His spirit at the point of physical death. John 19:30 is similar to John 17:4, where Jesus speaks in the past tense to the Father the night before the Crucifixion: “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” Christ’s work of paying the price of redemption by His death would not be finished until the next day at the end of His suffering on the cross, when His spirit would leave His body and He would physically die (John 19:30b). From Christ’s perspective, His work was so certain to be finished that He could speak of it beforehand as already finished.

Both John 17:4 and 19:30 are examples of prolepticism, which is a rhetorical, literary characteristic of John’s Gospel. A proleptic statement uses either a past-tense or present-tense verb to speak of an event as though it were already fulfilled or even being presently fulfilled, when technically the event is still future. For example, if a friend were to offer you free tickets to join him at an upcoming championship football game, you might respond with eager anticipation, saying, “I’m there!” In reality, you are not there yet, but you are expressing certainty that you will be there when the event arrives. Examples of such proleptic statements abound in John’s Gospel. A classic case in point pertaining to the Lord’s death is the pronouncement of John the Baptist when he saw Christ: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away [present tense] the sin of the world” (1:29). John the Baptist made this statement at the beginning of Christ’s public ministry, but the Lord would not actually take away the sins of the world for another three years until He died as God’s sacrificial Lamb on the cross.

Therefore, Christ’s statement “It is finished” in John 19:30a should be viewed as slightly proleptic, having been spoken in anticipation of His physical death just seconds away. Theologically, this is significant, for it shows that when Christ said “It is finished” He clearly meant to encompass both aspects of His death—His spiritual separation from God the Father on the cross and the moment that His spirit separated from His body at physical death.

Jesus’ last statement on the cross, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46), should also be understood as slightly proleptic since it was spoken immediately before His spirit left His body. While on the cross, Christ trusted God His Father to receive His spirit and have their fellowship restored immediately upon physical death since at that point the debt of sin would be fully paid and God the Father would be fully propitiated or satisfied (Isa. 53:11; Rom. 3:25). For this reason, Christ could not have gone to Hell after His death.

The Savior’s statement “It is finished” in John 19:30 proves that His payment or death for sin must have ended on the cross, not afterwards. The metaphor of location used throughout the New Testament to speak of the Lord’s death is “the cross” (1 Cor. 1:17‒18; Gal. 5:11; 6:12, 14; Eph. 2:16; Phil. 2:8; Col. 1:20; 2:14) or “the tree” (Gal. 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24), not “the grave,” “Hades,” or “Hell.” Thus, to say that Christ died spiritually and physically does not lead to or support in any way the heretical teaching of some Charismatics and Pentecostals that Christ’s spirit had to suffer in Hell for three days between the Cross and Resurrection in order to complete the payment for our sins. Christ’s promise to the repentant thief on the cross next to Him, “today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43), clearly shows that He did not suffer in Hell after the cross. But during this time before the Resurrection, He did go in spirit to pronounce or proclaim His victory to the spirits in prison (1 Peter 3:18‒19).

Hebrews 5:7

Jesus’ prayer to the Father in Gethsemane prior to Calvary also has bearing on the question of whether Christ died both physically and spiritually. Hebrews 5:7 states, “when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear.” Dwight Pentecost clarifies what “death” does not mean in this verse:

Another explanation is that Christ was praying not concerning physical death, but spiritual death. The penalty for disobedience to God was death (Gen. 2:17). This death was the separation of the sinner from God—that is, spiritual death—and physical death was the result of prior spiritual death. Therefore if Jesus Christ was to satisfy the demands of God’s holiness, righteousness, and justice to provide salvation for people who are dead, He would have to experience the same death that separated them from God. He must enter into spiritual death, as anticipated in the prophetic 22nd Psalm where the sufferer cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (22:1). Here is a mystery deeper than any human mind can comprehend: How could God the Father and God the Son—who are one—be separated one from the other? Yet Christ realized such separation was involved in providing salvation for sinners. Since only that kind of separation or spiritual death could satisfy the demands of a holy, just God, Christ could not have been praying that He would be spared that which was essential.14

(Video) Did Jesus physically or spiritually rise from the dead?

Robert Gromacki also interprets Hebrews 5:7 as a reference to Christ’s spiritual death:

The most plausible position is that He prayed to be delivered from the realm of eternal death, the second death of separation from God. The punishment for sin is both physical and spiritual death (Rom. 6:23). At the cross Christ experienced this double death in order to provide both physical and spiritual redemption for lost humanity.15

1 Peter 3:18

First Peter 3:18 may also support the truth that Christ died spiritually. The New American Standard Bible and English Standard Version translate the end of the verse to say that Christ was “put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” rather than “made alive in the Spirit.” The Greek permits either translation. But if Christ was made alive spiritually, then He must have died previously in the sense of being separated from the Father. Thus, for Christ to be “made alive in spirit” simply speaks of the restoration of His spiritual relationship with the Father, not that His spirit was resurrected or regenerated.

Some Pentecostals falsely claim that Jesus Christ was reborn in Hell, becoming “the first born-again man.” But Scripture never says Christ was regenerated—and for good reason! The Lord did not need to be born again because He never became a sinner like the rest of humanity. Even when He took our sins upon Himself and died as our substitute, our sins did not become part of His nature but were legally imputed to Him. When 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be made sin for us,” it does not mean that Christ metaphysically became sin itself, but only that He became a sin-offering for us. Ironside says in reference to this verse, “In both the original languages in which the two Testaments were written, the same words were used for sin and sin offering; so we may understand this expression to mean, ‘He was made the sin offering.’”16 Christ never became unregenerate or a sinner when our sins were placed upon Him and He was judicially condemned in our place. Therefore, He did not need, as we do, the “washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5) or to have the old man put off through the new birth (Col. 2:11; 3:9).

John Whitcomb joins Gromacki, Pentecost, Ironside, Ryrie, Lutzer, Walvoord, McGee, and a host of other sound Bible teachers in accurately summa-rizing the biblical view of Christ’s death:

The last three hours that Jesus was on the cross He was physically alive, right? But He was spiritually dead. Why? The Father turned away from Him. But the minute He died physically He became alive spiritually. Why? Because He said, “Into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” And He was alive spiritually when He was dead physically. And three days later He became alive physically as well as alive spiritually, and so forevermore in glory.17

To say that Christ died both spiritually and physically on the cross does not contradict the unity of the Trinity or the sinlessness of Christ but is simply the teaching of Scripture. As man is material and immaterial, having body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12), so Christ died both physically and spiritually as our perfect substitute in body (1 Peter 2:24), soul (Isa. 53:10), and spirit (1 Peter 3:18). ■

_____________________

1. “Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences,” I.5 in Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, ed. Austin Flannery, rev. ed., 2 vols. (Northport, NY: Costello, 1992), 1:65.

2. J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, 6 vols. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), 3:314-15.

3. Ibid., 2:707.

4. John F. Walvoord, Matthew: Thy Kingdom Come (Chicago: Moody, 1974), 234-35.

5. Erwin W. Lutzer, Cries from the Cross (Chicago: Moody, 2002), 89-90.

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6. Ibid., 102.

7. Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Biblical Theology of the New Testament (Chicago: Moody, 1959), 69.

8. Edward J. Young comments on verse 10: “His soul is not a mere substitution for himself, but shows that the very life is to be the oblation. The prophet speaks of the soul as performing what in reality is done upon it (cf. John 10:11, 18; 15:13. Note also Lev. 17:11), yet actually it is the spirit that is offered” (The Book of Isaiah, 3 vols. [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972], 3:354).

9. H. A. Ironside, Charge That to My Account (Chicago: Moody, 1931), 64-65.

10. Young, Book of Isaiah, 3:353 n. 35.

11. Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, eds. E. Kautzsch and A. E. Cowley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1910), 396-97; Bruce K. Waltke and M. O’Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990), 122.

12. F. Delitzsch, “Isaiah,” in Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, trans. James Martin, 10 vols. (Reprinted, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996), 7:516.

13. Some claim support for Christ dying two separate “deaths” from NT passages that speak of Him being raised “from the dead” (Rom. 1:4; Col. 2:12; etc.), where “dead” is plural in Greek, so that these verses supposedly say Christ rose “from deaths.” But the plural simply means He rose out from among the “dead ones” (i.e., those still in graves).

14. J. Dwight Pentecost, A Faith That Endures (Grand Rapids: Discovery House, 1992), 97.

15. Robert Gromacki, Stand Bold in Grace: An Exposition of Hebrews (The Woodlands, TX: Kress, 2002), 95.

16. Ironside, Charge That to My Account, 64.

17. John C. Whitcomb, “Resurrection and Life” Series, Part 6, Isaiah 53, November 9, 2008. www.sermonaudio.com

Tom Stegall is an associate pastor at Duluth Bible Church and publications director for Grace Gospel Press.

FAQs

How did Jesus physically die? ›

Accordingly, death resulted primarily from hypovolemic shock and exhaustion asphyxia. Jesus' death was ensured by the thrust of a soldier's spear into his side. Modern medical interpretation of the historical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead when taken down from the cross.

How did Jesus physically suffer? ›

The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body. The beating so horrific that His face was torn and his beard ripped from His face. The crown of thorns (two to three inch thorns) cut deeply into His scalp. Most men would not have survived this torture.

Did the spirit of Jesus die on the cross? ›

Our Lord experienced two deaths on the cross: Physical and spiritual, both His body and His soul experienced deaths. In the Isaiah 53 crucifixion prophecy, His soul is referenced three times: His soul (nepes) in travail; His soul an offering for sin; His soul poured out unto death (verses 10-12).

What is the meaning of physical death in Bible? ›

Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the mortal body. The Fall of Adam brought physical death into the world (see Moses 6:48). Death is an essential part of Heavenly Father's plan of salvation (see 2 Nephi 9:6).

Why did Jesus have to suffer and die for us? ›

In the New Testament, Jesus, God's Son, came to earth to reunite us with God through the ultimate sacrifice: his own life. We could never a life worthy of God on our own. So Jesus lived a life without sin on our behalf. And then he died the painful death our sins deserve.

Why did God let Jesus die? ›

For them the death of Jesus was part of a divine plan to save humanity. The death and resurrection of this one man is at the very heart of the Christian faith. For Christians it is through Jesus's death that people's broken relationship with God is restored. This is known as the Atonement.

Does God Look Like? ›

What Does God Look Like? | Igniter Media | Church Video - YouTube

What kind of pain did Jesus suffer? ›

Within minutes of crucifixion Jesus became severely dyspnoeic (short of breath). 18,His movements up and down the Cross to breathe caused excruciating pain in His wrist, His feet, and His dislocated elbows and shoulders.

How was Jesus tortured in the Bible? ›

Bits of lead and stone made the whip a brutal, slashing instrument of terror, ripping a man's back and legs to shreds, occasionally even tearing out an eye or slicing open an ear. Jesus was led like a sheep to the slaughter. When forced to carry his own cross, the beam rubbed Jesus' shoulders raw.

How did Jesus react to suffering and death? ›

In the face of human suffering, rather than asking why, Jesus swung into action and healed all kinds of sicknesses; he raised the dead and consoled the afflicted and comforted the broken-hearted; he forgave sinners, liberated those in the power of the devil, and welcomed the oppressed and rejected (Cf. Matthew 9:35).

Where did Jesus spirit go when he died? ›

At death his Spirit went to the Father in heaven, and then returned to be clothed in the resurrection body, in which he appeared to the disciples over a period of 40 days before the ascension. The statement in John 20:17 tells us that the ascension of the resurrected Christ had not yet happened.

What age did God die? ›

Jesus died at the age of 33.

When did God die? ›

Jesus died, therefore, on 14 Nisan, 3793 anno mundi—Friday, April 3, AD 33 at about 3 p.m., a few hours before the beginning of Passover day and the Sabbath.

What is the difference between spiritual death and physical death? ›

Spiritual death is distinct from physical death and the second death. According to the doctrine of original sin, all people have a sinful nature and thus commit sin, and are thereby spiritually dead. Those who have faith in Jesus Christ are thereafter made spiritually alive.

What happens immediately after death? ›

Decomposition begins several minutes after death with a process called autolysis, or self-digestion. Soon after the heart stops beating, cells become deprived of oxygen, and their acidity increases as the toxic by-products of chemical reactions begin to accumulate inside them.

What is your spiritual body? ›

— 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, NIV. Christian teaching traditionally interprets Paul as comparing the resurrection body with the mortal body, saying that it will be a different kind of body; a "spiritual body", meaning an immortal body, or incorruptible body (15:53—54).

What are the sacrifices of Jesus? ›

Jesus' crucifixion is regarded by Christians as the "perfect sacrifice." He spilled his blood on the cross for the sins of the world. The practice of the Eucharist is a symbolic celebration of the body and blood of Christ.

Why did Jesus die on the cross and rise again? ›

The Bible tells us that Jesus died and rose again not only so that we could receive forgiveness, but even more so, He died and rose again so that we might have life. It is through His death and resurrection that we receive life.

What is the significance of the death of Jesus? ›

Christian theology teaches that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross provided the perfect atoning sacrifice for the sin of all humanity, thus making the cross one of the defining symbols of Christianity.

Why did God send Jesus a baby? ›

Jesus had to come to Earth as the miraculous baby, having been born of a virgin, in order to fulfill all of the many prophetic messages, concerning mankind's Messiah (Savior) in the Word of God.

Did Jesus die on Good Friday? ›

Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum.
...
Good Friday
SignificanceCommemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ
CelebrationsCelebration of the Passion of the Lord
10 more rows

What color is God's hair? ›

For many scholars, Revelation 1:14-15 offers a clue that Jesus's skin was a darker hue and that his hair was woolly in texture. The hairs of his head, it says, "were white as white wool, white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace.”

Is God a woman? ›

So God has to be "He" or "She", and in a patriarchal society there's no contest. As The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "God is neither man nor woman: he is God".

Who saw God physically in the Bible? ›

Some Important Principles, Doctrines, and Events. Moses saw God face-to-face upon an unknown mountain sometime after he spoke to the Lord in the burning bush but before he went to free the children of Israel from Egypt (see Moses 1:1–2, 17, 25–26, 42; see also Exodus 3:1–10).

Why did they break legs during crucifixion? ›

To speed death, executioners would often break the legs of their victims to give no chance of using their thigh muscles as support. It was probably unnecessary, as their strength would not have lasted more than a few minutes even if they were unharmed.

Which shoulder did Jesus carry the cross? ›

It can be supposed that Jesus had first used his right shoulder to bring the cross. The abrasions in question are consistent with injuries caused by carrying the cross on the shoulders. The contact areas of the cross on the shoulder have been experimentally verified in the same figure 3.

How long does death by crucifixion take? ›

Death, usually after 6 hours--4 days, was due to multifactorial pathology: after-effects of compulsory scourging and maiming, haemorrhage and dehydration causing hypovolaemic shock and pain, but the most important factor was progressive asphyxia caused by impairment of respiratory movement.

Did Jesus beat before crucifixion? ›

By Andrea Nicolotti. The Gospels say that Jesus suffered flagellation before his crucifixion but the texts do not describe the scourge. Modern commentators have speculated about the scourge on the basis of the Greco-Roman literary evidence and later relics.

Who helped Jesus carry his cross? ›

Mark 15: 21

They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

What happened Jesus cross? ›

Fragments of the Cross were broken up, and the pieces were widely distributed; in 348, in one of his Catecheses, Cyril of Jerusalem remarked that the "whole earth is full of the relics of the Cross of Christ" and, in another, "The holy wood of the Cross bears witness, seen among us to this day, and from this place now ...

What is God's purpose for suffering? ›

Suffering as a Tool of Sanctification

Suffering causes our focus to turn inward, to face those parts of ourselves we might otherwise ignore. God can use suffering then to develop us into better people: the people who can love and enjoy Him forever (Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4).

What is God's response to suffering? ›

The cross is God's ultimate response to the brokenness of humanity – and that includes your pain and suffering. He walks through every season of life with you, seeing that exhaustion and frustration life can bring, reminding you that He is so compassionate towards you that He's already responded.

Where is God in times of suffering? ›

When we are suffering, God is right beside us. Nothing can separate us from His love. He wants to show us His love through His church, and give us a purpose through His Word!

How did Jesus go to heaven? ›

In the Christian tradition, reflected in the major Christian creeds and confessional statements, God exalted Jesus after his death, raising him from the dead and taking him to Heaven, where Jesus took his seat at the right hand of God.

How many heavens are there? ›

In religious or mythological cosmology, the seven heavens refer to seven levels or divisions of the Heavens (Heaven). The concept, also found in the ancient Mesopotamian religions, can be found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; a similar concept is also found in some other religions such as Hinduism.

What did Jesus do in the grave for three days? ›

At the conclusion of three hours of destruction, yet during the darkness, which lasted three days, a voice, only a voice, came to them. The voice identified itself as that of Jesus Christ, saying: “Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.

What is God's wife's name? ›

God had a wife, Asherah, whom the Book of Kings suggests was worshiped alongside Yahweh in his temple in Israel, according to an Oxford scholar.

What was Jesus's wife's name? ›

Mary Magdalene, sometimes called Mary of Magdala, or simply the Magdalene or the Madeleine, was a woman who, according to the four canonical gospels, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers and was a witness to his crucifixion and resurrection.
...
Mary Magdalene.
Saint Mary Magdalene
BornPossibly Magdala, Roman Judea
7 more rows

What was Jesus's last name? ›

What was Jesus's Real Name? - YouTube

Who created God? ›

We ask, "If all things have a creator, then who created God?" Actually, only created things have a creator, so it's improper to lump God with his creation. God has revealed himself to us in the Bible as having always existed.

Which religion did Jesus follow? ›

Of course, Jesus was a Jew. He was born of a Jewish mother, in Galilee, a Jewish part of the world. All of his friends, associates, colleagues, disciples, all of them were Jews. He regularly worshipped in Jewish communal worship, what we call synagogues.

How old is God in the Bible? ›

'How old is God? When was God born?' || A reading from ... - YouTube

Did Adam and Eve go to Heaven Bible? ›

God is the One who decides who does or does not enter heaven. There's no place in the Bible that says they were saved. But there is no place in the Bible that indicates the couple was lost, either.

How can I stop spiritual death? ›

Spiritual Death or an Eternity With Jesus
  1. by Willie Keys. ...
  2. Now, how does one prevent spiritual death? ...
  3. Romans 10:9-10 says if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
16 Jun 2021

How do I get over my spiritual death? ›

Spiritual death can be overcome through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and by obedience to His gospel. The Book of Mormon prophet Samuel taught, “All mankind, by the fall of Adam being cut off from the presence of the Lord, are considered as dead, both as to things temporal and to things spiritual” (Helaman 14:16).

When someone is dying what do they see? ›

Visual or auditory hallucinations are often part of the dying experience. The appearance of family members or loved ones who have died is common. These visions are considered normal. The dying may turn their focus to “another world” and talk to people or see things that others do not see.

When someone is dying do they know? ›

A conscious dying person can know if they are on the verge of dying. Some feel immense pain for hours before dying, while others die in seconds. This awareness of approaching death is most pronounced in people with terminal conditions such as cancer.

What is the place called before you go to heaven? ›

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that there is a place where sins are punished and a soul is purified before it can go to Heaven. This is called Purgatory .

How do you feed your spiritual body? ›

As a holistic health coach, one of the most insightful things I've learned in my training is the concept of primary food.
...
Here are 5 ways to feed your spirit:
  1. Do what you love. sleep support+ ...
  2. Surround yourself with supportive people. ...
  3. Listen to your body. ...
  4. Connect with something bigger than yourself. ...
  5. Learn and grow.
4 Sept 2020

How many bodies do we have? ›

Within yoga philosophy, it is said that our bodies are actually made up of three bodies; the physical, astral and causal. Within these three bodies are five sheaths or 'koshas'; annamaya kosha, pranamaya kosha, manomaya kosha, vijnanamaya kosha and anandamaya kosha.

What does skin represent spiritually? ›

The skin is both the separator and the connector between self and others, and can affect spiritual intimacy with another, a spiritual leader, or a higher power. The skin projects to self and others both physical health or illness and emotional reactions and responses.

What sacrifices does God want from us? ›

God wants us to offer ourselves wholeheartedly, living for him with every part of our being. Jesus, you offered yourself for my sake. Help me to offer myself to live for you. May I act with justice, mercy, and humility, as you did.

What is a sacrifice spiritually? ›

sacrifice, a religious rite in which an object is offered to a divinity in order to establish, maintain, or restore a right relationship of a human being to the sacred order. It is a complex phenomenon that has been found in the earliest known forms of worship and in all parts of the world.

What are the 5 sacrifices? ›

These five sacrifices elaborate one's socio-ecological responsibilities are such as: (1) Rrushi Yajnya- (sacrifices for the source of knowledge - teachers), (2) Pitru Yajnya (responsibility for the parents, ancestors and self genetic system), (3) Deva Yajnya (protection for the environmental powers as Gods), (4) Bhoota ...

Why did God let Jesus die? ›

For them the death of Jesus was part of a divine plan to save humanity. The death and resurrection of this one man is at the very heart of the Christian faith. For Christians it is through Jesus's death that people's broken relationship with God is restored. This is known as the Atonement.

Does God Look Like? ›

What Does God Look Like? | Igniter Media | Church Video - YouTube

When did God die? ›

Jesus died, therefore, on 14 Nisan, 3793 anno mundi—Friday, April 3, AD 33 at about 3 p.m., a few hours before the beginning of Passover day and the Sabbath.

What is the meaning of Jesus suffering and death? ›

Suffering is at the heart of the Christian gospel. The Gospels themselves are stories, with long introductions, about the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus calls us to choose suffering for the sake of His kingdom as He himself chose to suffer for the Kingdom of God.

Why is the death of Jesus important for salvation? ›

Humanity is saved through the death of Christ. Because of God's love and forgiveness, Christ sacrificed himself so that humanity may be righteous before God.

How did Jesus look like? ›

For many scholars, Revelation 1:14-15 offers a clue that Jesus's skin was a darker hue and that his hair was woolly in texture. The hairs of his head, it says, "were white as white wool, white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace.”

How does a crucified person die? ›

Crucifixion is a method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross or beam and left to hang until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. It was used as a punishment by the Persians, Carthaginians and Romans, among others.

How did Judas die? ›

According to Acts 1:18, Judas bought a field with his silver reward and fell “headlong” in it, and “all his bowels gushed out,” implying that he threw himself down rather than that he died accidentally.

What is Jesus real name? ›

Jesus' name in Hebrew was “Yeshua” which translates to English as Joshua.

What height is God? ›

This looks like one of those unanswerable questions, but it turns out that the Mormons – and the leaders of the American "Prosperity Gospel" movement – believe they know the answer: God is about 6' 2" tall. (He doesn't use the metric system).

What was Jesus last name? ›

What was Jesus's Real Name? - YouTube

How long did death by crucifixion take? ›

Death, usually after 6 hours--4 days, was due to multifactorial pathology: after-effects of compulsory scourging and maiming, haemorrhage and dehydration causing hypovolaemic shock and pain, but the most important factor was progressive asphyxia caused by impairment of respiratory movement.

Are people still crucified? ›

Crucifixions have been relegated to history in much of the world, but they still happen elsewhere. Saudi Arabia seems to lead the world in crucifixions these days, occasionally applying the penalty to rapists and other serious offenders. The kingdom crucified a murderer just this week.

Why was crucifixion so painful? ›

The crucified victim was physiologically forced to move up and down the cross, a distance of about 12 inches, in order to breathe. 16,The process of respiration caused excruciating pain, mixed with the absolute terror of asphyxiation.

How did Peter die? ›

Peter was crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus Christ.

Is Judas in heaven? ›

It is one step, but looking to Jesus as the crucified, risen Savior for one's soul is what brings salvation, assurance of being in heaven for eternity. So from what Jesus said in Matthew 26:24, it would certainly appear that Judas is not in heaven.

How did the apostle Paul die? ›

The exact details of St. Paul's death are unknown, but tradition holds that he was beheaded in Rome and thus died as a martyr for his faith. His death was perhaps part of the executions of Christians ordered by the Roman emperor Nero following the great fire in the city in 64 CE. It is known that St.

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3. Physical and Spiritual Death
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4. Was Jesus spiritual or physical after His resurrection?
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5. Jesus Christ Died Both Physically (on Earth) and Spiritually (in Hell)
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6. Did Jesus Die Spiritually Upon The Cross? by Jerry Fite - December 8, 2019
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