How did Jesus die if he is God?

I received a question asking how we can make sense of Jesus dying on the cross.  If he died spiritually, then does that mean that part of God died?

My response is below:

There certainly was an element of separation or interruption in the divine community involved in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  I would want to refrain from saying that there was some sort of split in their being, but rather a temporary interruption in their relationship as it does not seem logically possible that God can be split in his being.  We do not want to think of God as composed of three parts, which are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Rather we should think of God as one unified being in whom there are three centers of consciousness, known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We also should not think of Jesus as being “part human” and “part divine”, such that these parts can be divided.  Rather we should say that Jesus has two natures, and is both fully man and fully God.  His death should be understood to be something he experienced through his human nature, but this is not to say that his human and divine natures were split.

I would recommend that you take a look at the Defenders Podcast and download the episodes related to the doctrine of Christ.  Dr. Craig gives a very thorough explanation of the doctrine and will likely address many of your concerns.

Matt Bilyeu

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