We often discuss theological questions when the play is slow. The question of the day was concerning Christ’s death on the cross. Of course there are Liberal theologians, who don’t believe that Jesus even died physically on the cross. We don’t discuss such nonsense as theirs. But in a sense what these “conservative” TV theologians, who do believe in His death burial and Resurrection.have stated would blow most believers minds.
Now to the question raised: did Jesus die not just physically but also spiritually for our sins? My first reaction to that question is: How could He? — He is eternally one of the Trinity of God. God is Spirit, God cannot die. Satan is a Spirit being created by God. He will never die. He is already sentenced to an eternity in Hell. The argument that was presented for giving this question consideration by this TV panel of Theologians was this: Jesus did ask the Father; “Why hast Thou forsaken Me?”.
So can this mean that Jesus had died spiritually, and therefore cut off from God totally during His time on the cross?
Let me expound for a bit. First Spiritual death did not come to both Satan and man because of that moment of the first turning away from God and from His truth, which was set before each one individually. At the time man died spiritually, but why? Did Satan die spiritually? Man was created a mortal being, was Satan? Jesus was begotten of God. Jesus, though He took upon Himself all of our sin and by His sacrifice made payment once and for all for every mortal man’s sin (even those who will not accept that payment, in order to be made alive as an eternal spirit in Him, because of this payment); yet He never once sinned Himself. He proceeded sinless through every temptation known to man, and yet, was without sin. Spiritual death and a separation from God would require that Jesus not just become sin for us, but actually it would require His actual engaging in sin Himself, which He never did.
So why did the Father turn His back on Jesus? We are given no explanation in scripture. Some say that it’s because God is so Holy that He cannot look upon sin. I don’t buy that. God knows the end from the beginning and He precedes man even into hell itself to achieve His purpose. He is Omnipresent. “If I make my bed in Hell Thou art there.” David’s understanding. No it’s not because He cannot look upon sin.
In fact, to me, the only explanation that makes sense is this: God the Father had sent His Son for this mission. Did He ask Him to volunteer? I don’t know. Did Jesus volunteer without being asked? I don’t know, but it would seem so. Jesus said: “I lay down My life for my sheep”.
But whatever transpired, just being a father as I am I do know that I could never watch one of my two sons undergo the physical much less the Spiritual anguish that you and I as humans can never in this life begin to imagine which Jesus voluntarily went through for us. “No man takes My life”. I believe that the Father could not look, and turned His back, and that Jesus only understood what was happening because the Holy Spirt went totally silent in those moments when Jesus felt forsaken. I also believe that that feeling was a purely Human emotion. He died a purely human death, as Larry Wisenburger told us during our conversation. For Jesus was fully God and fully man. He was the God man who could not die Spiritually, remember the thief accompanied Him into Paradise, where He preached to the dead. He was Spirit at that moment.
Neither can you or I die Spiritually, so long as we are in Him.
Man is given Spiritual life with His new birth, should he then die again spiritually, can he ever again be restored?
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and [then] have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. (NASB2020)