Christians believe, and the Bible teaches, that Jesus is God. The Bible also teaches us that Jesus died on the cross. So if Jesus is God, and Jesus died on the cross, therefore God died. If God died who was running the universe? That is what many people ask about the Bible. The question really is: what does it mean to die? We need to answer that question in order to understand how God could die.

There are two deaths

Not everyone understands that it is possible for human beings to die twice. Jesus taught us: “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28). “This lake of fire is the second death.” (Revelation 20:14).

Jesus died both deaths for us. Jesus died physically on the cross, and Jesus died spiritually in hell.

Jesus suffered hell on our behalf

As human beings we face the punishment for our sins in the lake of fire after we die physically. We do not have to go to the lake of fire if our sins have been forgiven. And our sins can only be forgiven if someone suffered and paid the penalty for our sins on our behalf. This is what Jesus did: “He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins–and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” (1 John 2:2).

Jesus is the one who die for our sins. “For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.” (Romans 3:25-26).

Jesus tasted death on our behalf

Either we will die in hell forever for our sins, or we can accept Jesus Christ who died for us on our behalf. The punishment for our sins is the second death. And the second death is that we spend eternity suffering in the lake of fire. The lake of fire is called hell, the second death. The death for our sins is the suffering for eternity without God.

The good news is that: “Jesus tasted death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9). And this is not talking about dying physically, because: “each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). We will all die physically. We will all experience a physical death. Our heart will stop pumping blood and our bodies will die.

We do not have to experience the second death. The second death is the death of the soul in the lake of fire called hell. If we accept Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins then we do not have to go to hell and suffer the punishment in hell for our sins. We will die once physically (the first death), but we will not suffer in hell for our sins (the second death).

Jesus is our substitute

The Bible teaches us that Jesus “was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” (Romans 4:25). Jesus became our substitute. He died in our place. “Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18).

Jesus became the sacrifice for our sins. He died on our behalf.

Jesus was separated from God as punishment for our sins

Our worst fear is to be separated from God for eternity. We do not want to live away from the presence of God. When Jesus was on the cross He was separated from God. This is when He tasted the second death of hell on our behalf. Jesus cried out to God His Father: “why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

Jesus was separated from God His Father. He experienced hell. Hell is separation from God. This is what we fear and this is what we do not have to experience if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. If we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour we will experience what it means to be born again. If we experience what it means to be born again we do not have to experience separation from God.

God purchased us with His own blood

Yes, God did die on the cross. He purchased us “with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28). God entered the body of a human being and grew up to be a man. When Jesus was a man He took our sins upon His own body and died upon the cross for our sins. He was separated from God His Father. He was punished for our sins. He became our sacrifice. Our lamb who was sacrificed for our sins.

God raised Jesus from the dead

“God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.” (Acts 2:24). Jesus died and was buried. Jesus was nailed to the cross and separated from God His Father. Yet, Jesus was raised from the dead. Jesus said: “I am the living one. I died, but look–I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” (Revelation 1:18).

Put your faith in Jesus and live forever

If you want to have your sins forgiven and if you want to live with God forever in heaven, then you need to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. There is no other way to go to heaven. The Bible teaches us: “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

© Somali Christian Ministries, 2018