A puzzling question, indeed.
The earthly life of Jesus and that he died by crucifixion have been authenticated by secular and religious sources (1). But, since we were taught that God is eternal, how could he have died? Some argue that it was not really Jesus who died but a substitute (2). Even some during Paul’s time denied his resurrection from death (1 Corinthians 15:12).
This is confusing and at least stultifying depending on one’s concept of:
1. What is God?
After reading the preceding hyperlinks, hopefully one’s “spiritual eyes and ears” will see and hear today. In essence, these links highlight that there is no “upper case” in the original Hebrew word “elohim” translated from Old Testament to an English word that starts with capital letter “G” as in “God“. Moreover, the word “elohim” beginning in Gen. 1:1 and on, is a generic or common name. It can refer to the only true God the Creator that we have to worship, false gods to be avoided, god as angels (like Lucifer the god of this earth/world), rulers like kings , even ordinary man: see Concordance on “elohim“.
Much like the common name Smith, the proper name John Smith identifies which particular Smith is referred to. In Genesis 1:1, the “common name” of the Creator God is “Elohim” and was specifically identified with a “proper name” in Gen. 2:4 as “YHVH ELOHIM” or Lord God in English. To Abraham (Exodus 6:3), he was El Shaddai Elohim, to Moses he was YHVH Elohim, but to John, he was Logos (John 1:1). This YHVH ELOHIM is numerically one, and “above all gods” (Ps. 95:3; 135:5), the only Lord God commanded to Israel to be worshipped and not any other; this became the basis of Israel’s SHEMA doctrine (Deut. 6:4). No one knew about the Father God, as Father/Son relationship was not yet introduced until the baptism at River Jordan(Matthew 3:17). This follows the principle in Isaiah28:10 , as in “…precept upon precept,… here a little there a little…”
The immortal Creator God “elohim” or YHVH ELOHIM/Lord God is also named LOGOS in John 1. He incarnated into a human, (with 2 components same as any human, although unique to one another) thus recognized by Paul as man-Jesus(1 Tim. 2:5), to die for Adam’s and mankind’s sin to reconcile us to God the Father. This particular Elohim was the God referred to in the Old Testament. Whereas, the Father was the God referred to, in general, in the New Testament. They are indeed different, unique, yet “one“, as we are all different, yet will be “one” (in mindset, not different from) with our Lord God Jesus and our God the Father (I Cor. 12:12; 12:20).
Without this incarnation into “mortal flesh-composed flesh” like Adam, the “spirit-composed and immortal Creator God” would not have died. This is an absolute and profound expression of love(John 15:13) and faith “of” Jesus (Rom. 3:21-22) for him to “give up his divine/spirit composition” (Phil. 2:7) and be human to die. Indeed, there is no greater love than for one “to give his life for another”(Jn.15:13). As man-Jesus, a mortal flesh, he is still “god“, as in John 10:34.
Regarding death, the mechanism can be understood by going back to the “creation of man”. Remember that Adam was formed “from the ground, and it was good” but became “living” or alive only after the “breath of life” was breathed into him (Gen. 2:7; 7:21-22). Presence of this “breath of life” in “mortal flesh” defines life or death. Functionally, we observe this among newborns; unless there is spontaneous or artificial breathing, they are dead.
This is why death happens when the “breath of life”, (the “spirit of man”) leaves the “mortal flesh“, goes back to God the Father and our physical body becomes “dust“(Eccl 12:7). What happens to that “breath of life/spirit of man” depends on what the Father decides. Without that “breath of life” given or restored into another body, “physical or spirit- composed”, for practical purposes, the person is dead,i.e., non-functional because it has “no-body“. Consider, all “data” in the computer can be downloaded into a “thumb-drive” and you can take that anywhere you go. The computer may be buried/ destroyed but the “data/ memory” in the ” thumb-drive” can be “restored“, “accessed“, can express its contents/memory, in a “new” computer(new body) thus like being “resurrected“.
With the context laid out in the preceding prolegomenon, Jesus is the Creator God YHVH ELOHIM, Logos and eternal, the “same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). As a Creator God and Logos, being “spirit-composed“, he is immortal. But, as incarnated “mortal flesh“, yes god “died” for our reconciliation to the Father and to save us from 2nd death, an eternal death.
Jesus was El Shaddai/YHVH/Logos and as such was spirit-composed, immortal and “above all gods”. Yet, out of love for his creation, he incarnated to be flesh-composed human with 2 components as other humans, and as such died by crucifixion. And his death was counted, as promised by the Father, as substitute for death of mankind due to Adam’s sin(Romans 5:12-21).
Power is so important and comes only from the Father God. There is mechanical/electric power without which no engine will function; solar, nuclear, gravity and other powers came from God. Our body will not function without the “energizing power“, “the breath of life”, given by God. In Genesis creation, the Creator/YHVH/El Shaddai/Logos created the angels, the universe, plants-animal kingdoms and humans with a “creative-power”. After Jesus was resurrected by the Father, then and only then, was he given this new and distinct “creative power”/Holy Spirit” as a reward to Jesus for his “fruits of the Spirit“, to create us into (Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 18 ; Romans 9:21) a God-Kingdom, all spirit-composed. The Holy Spirit given to us as a gift for us to “bear fruits of the Holy Spirit”.(See Ref. 3,4,5).
God Bless 🙏😇
1. Early Secular Sources support Bew Testament Accounts of Jesus. Retrieved 3/7/2019 from https://christian-apologist.com/2018/02/17/early-secular-sources-support-new-testament-accounts-of-jesus-divinity/
2. Jesus didn’t die on the cross and a substitute was used?. Retrieved 3/8/2019 from https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081007204424AAE76m8
3. Ongoing creation. Retrieved 3/8/2019 from https://fact-s.net/2018/06/30/ongoing-creation
4. Kingdom of God in Human Anatomy. Retrieved 3/8/19 from http://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-anatomy/
5. What is the kingdom of God? Retrieved 3/8/19 from http://fact-s.net/2018/09/12/what-is-the-kingdom-of-god-2/
Original post: 8/21/2015
Revised and reposted with Hyperlink:3/8/2019