DID JESUS REALLY DIE?
By Juan Baixeras
Did Jesus really die? Of course he did. The Bible states that fact in many verses. The Bible also states that only God has immortality. 1 Timothy 6:16:
"Who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, and whom no human being has seen or can see."
Not to mention the fact that this verse says that no one has or can see God. Thousands of people saw Jesus. Back to the original topic. People claim that Jesus is fully God and fully man. Lets take a look at the creed from which this idea comes from:
DEFINITION OF THE COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON
Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, WITHOUT DIVISION, WITHOUT SEPARATION; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
Now let’s take a look at one of the many verses that speak of God raising Jesus. Acts 2:32 states:
"God raised this Jesus"
Who raised this Jesus? GOD! Notice that it does not say "the Father," but "God." Unless we discard every known rule of language, we can see that Jesus is not included in the term God. Another point to be made is that God is alive and Jesus is dead. God is raising Jesus from the dead. As Timothy pointed out before, God is immortal, He cannot die. Jesus on the other hand is DEAD. If you believe Jesus to be God, then it is obvious that Jesus was never truly dead because he did in fact raise himself from the dead. A huge problem arises with this absurd idea in that the forgiveness of our sins comes only through the death of Jesus Christ as the Bible states. If Jesus is God then there was no real death because God is raising Jesus. Do you think that the Bible is wrong or that the creeds that were created by men that made Jesus God are wrong. Someone is wrong, the question is who, the writers of the Bible or the writers of the creeds?
This idea of a dual nature comes from Greek philosophy, it is called Dualism.
Dualism - The view that reality may be divided into two essential forces. There are two forms of this understanding. From a cosmic perspective, the world struggles between two opposing forces - typically, one of evil and one of good. From a philosophical approach, the essence of a person is divided between two incompatible natures - that of the body and that of the soul. Early Christianity incorporated both views from those religions and philosophies with which it came in contact. This is the same concept used not only in Greek philosophy, but also in Greek mythology. Hercules is the son of Zeus and the mortal Alcmene. He had a dual nature, he was a man that had supernatural strength which he inherited from his father Zeus. The Pharaohs were godmen and so were the Caesars. The Bible even provides us with an example of this belief in Acts 14:11 when God healed a crippled man through Paul and Barnabas:
"When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out in Lycaonian, "The gods have come down to us in human form."
The idea of gods becoming men was very prevalent in the Roman-Greco world. This is why it was so natural to inject this belief into Christianity. As you can see, the idea of Dualism is the exact definition that Trinitarians have used for Jesus: He has two natures. He is fully God and fully Man. This is stated in the Chalcedon Creed of 451 AD. Jesus is not a godman, he is the Anointed (the Messiah).
Some people will try to answer certain questions about Jesus by saying, "Jesus emptied himself." This shows how little people understand their own creed. This is called the "kenotic doctrine" and people try to use it in defense of the trinity. But it is in total contradiction to the Chalcedon Creed. The kenotic doctrine says that Jesus emptied himself of his deity. Well, you can simply read in the Chalcedon Creed that it defines Jesus' nature as fully God and fully man at all times, without division, without separation. You cannot say that you believe in the trinity and use this excuse. If you subscribe to the kenotic doctrine, then you have already rejected the trinity. You cannot subscribe to both.
If you want to understand who Jesus is you have to understand what his most important title means, "Messiah." Without an understanding of what it means to be the Messiah you will never really understand Jesus. He is after all, Jesus the Christ (Messiah).