Church of God, New World Ministries

Was Christ Dead?

It is revealed that Jesus Christ was Emmanuel that is “God with us,” God in the human flesh. He was both God and man. He was divine, as well as human. Can God die? Was Jesus really dead, or did only his body die? Was Christ the Divine One, the second person of the Godhead alive during the three days and three nights His body was in the tomb?

These are questions that have perplexed millions. It is an enigma that has never been made clear and plain to many minds. Yet the Scriptures give us a plain revelation, in simple words, if we will believe the Bible instead of what men, by twisting and wresting the scriptures try to make the Bible say something else.

We read: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (I Corth. 15:3). The word Christ means “Anointed,” or “Messiah,” and while the name Jesus may be used to denote the human man, the title Christ certainly refers to the Divine One, the one who was God with us. This Scripture says He died, and was buried and it was He, the Christ the Divine One who rose from the dead. He did not rise from life or a living state, but from the DEAD!

“For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living” (Rom. 14:9). When He rose, he was revived. When a boxer is knocked out; the attendants work over him to revive him. The expression “He was revived” indicates Christ had been unconscious, not that He rose from a state of conscious mental activity.

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6-8). “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God” (I John 5:2).But does this mean that Jesus was God inside a body of flesh? Could this mean that it was merely the body Christ was dwelling in that died, while Christ Himself, being God, did not die, but left the body and remained alive, conscious, active, during the three days and three nights in the tomb?

Notice again: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The Greek word is “Logos.” It means “Word” or Spokesman.” This is referring to the One who co-existed with the Father from eternity, who always existed who is one with the Father, yet as He Himself said, His Father is greater than He.

Always He referred to Himself as One sent by the Father. He said that the words He spoke were not spoken of Himself, but the Father who sent Him gave him a commandment what He should say and speak. The One who gives the orders and sends another is in position superior to the one sent, and who obeys the orders. A husband is set by God in a position superior, in the family relationship, to that of the wife. Yet they are both human, both on the same level and they are one. Not one God but one flesh.

In the Church, or local congregation, an elder is in authority during a service that all things may be done decently and in order, and he has the rule over the congregation. Yet Christ prayed that the Church would be kept as one, even as he and the Father are One. The Church is composed of many members, yet one body. And its members, more than one, are to be kept one in the sense of harmony and unity in love and purpose, as Christ and the Father are One, and they form one church even as the Father and Christ form One God, yet more than one member, or one Person.

In the Old Testament the “Logos” is called by different names. God calls people and beings what they are.

There was an archangel perfect in beauty, full of knowledge. He was named what he actually was Lucifer, which in English means “Shining Star of the Dawn” or “Lightbringer.” But when, thru pride, he decided to compete against God for supremacy of the universe, and to take possession and rule from God, his name was changed to what he now is Satan, which in English means “Adversary,” or rival, or competitor.

Therefore the names of Christ have always been whether names or titles, words which describe what He is. Most frequently He was called “Yahweh,” erroneously translated in the Revised Version “Jehovah,” and in the King James “Lord.”

Today we don’t know either the correct spelling or pronunciation of this holy, sacred name, it was so sacred it was never pronounced in ancient Israel, any more than a son who properly honors his father would call him by his first name. Yet we know its meaning, it means “The Eternal” or “The Everliving,” or The Self-Existent One,” or the One in whom is inherent life. It signified One who pocesses life inherent from eternity to eternity life-source! He also was called “Yahweh-ropha” God our Healer. He gave His name to Moses as “I AM.” That is, the One who is, who exists, who has life inherent in Himself!

He also is the Word, or Spokesman. God is Creator, but the Father created all things by, and thru Christ the Word. Christ is the One who said, “Let there be light,” and the Holy Spirit moving upon the face of the waters performed the command, and “there was light.” Yet Christ spoke, or commanded, only what the Father had commanded Him. Father, Word, and Holy Spirit combined in perfect harmony in Creation!

Now, the Logos, the Word was God in the second Person. “The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him. In Him was life. And the Word was made flesh, and tabernacled among us” (John 1:1-4, 14). Jesus Christ was converted into flesh.

Notice, the “Word,” who was the Eternal, the Everliving in whom was life, eternal life by whom all things were made and created, the second Person of the Godhead, and very God Himself, He was made flesh. He did not merely enter into some mortal fleshly body, the body of another. He was not separate from the flesh, as One inside the flesh, its says in plain language, if we believe the Scripture, if we believe it means what it says, it says He was made flesh!

That is, He who had existed from eternity He by whom God created the worlds and all things therein, He who was and is Life, He who was God, He was made flesh, converted into flesh, until He became flesh, and then He was flesh!

Jesus Christ was a fleshly man. He was God come in human flesh. And, when converted into human flesh, the life that kept Him alive resided in the blood, as in all who are flesh (Lev. 17:11). The breath oxidizes the blood and is call the “breath of life,” of animal or human life.

Christ was also God; He was both human and divine. But He was not God inside of, yet separate from the body of flesh, He, God , was made flesh, until He, still God God with us, became God in (not inside of) the human flesh, God manifest in the flesh (I Tim. 3:16). “He also likewise (as the children are partakers of flesh and blood) took part of the same” (Heb. 2:14).

That is, as we humans are partakers of flesh and blood, Jesus Christ also, in exactly the same manner, was partaker of flesh and blood. And why? In order that He might DIE! That through death He might annul him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, for verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; He took on Him the seed of Abraham, made like unto His brethren (vs. 14-16).

Christ came not in the nature of angels, that is, spirit nature. He was a human being. He was made flesh, made human, He took on, at birth, human nature. He was tempted in all points like we are. He suffered as we do. He was forced to resist the pull of human nature, even as you and I. He, God became man, man so that He could die for us, that our sins might be erased and forgiven!

Jesus Christ died! Jesus was dead! And for three days and three nights the Second Person of the Godhead, Emmanuel God with us, God made of human flesh was dead!

And dead matter cannot impart life. (One famous televangelist once said: “by his own power, Christ raised Himself from the dead), that is impossible. Either Jesus was dead or he was alive, there is no in-between. Life can come only from life. As a human, Jesus was the Son of God the Father. God was His only Father. Mary was His mother. He became the Son of God at his human birth. And now He was dead! If He was not dead, then the penalty of your sin is not yet paid, you are yet in your sins, you are without hope! But Jesus Christ was dead!

If there was no other Person in the Godhead, then the Giver of all Life was dead and all hope was at an end! If there was no Father in heaven while Christ lay dead, His blood in which resided His life shed from his veins, given for you and for me, then all life everywhere had come to an end! But the Father still reigned in high Heaven! And the Father had Life inherent in Himself!

Life can come only from life! And Jesus Christ was now dead! His life had gone from Him, poured out on Calvary’s Stake, poured out from His veins! That’s where His life resided, in His blood, not in spirit! He did not shed a spirit to save us from our sins; He shed His blood, and in so doing gave His life.

But, “as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself” (John 5:26). God the Father raised Jesus from the dead!

Now notice carefully. God the Father did not cause Jesus Christ to get back into the body which had died.

Some seem to believe that it was only the body which died, that Jesus Christ never died. Christ was alive, and preached to “spirits in prison” during the three days and nights His body was dead. What they believe is that a body Christ had lived in died, but Christ Himself never died. Christ was God, and, they argue, God could not die!

If they are right, they are lost and doomed to eternal punishment! If Christ did not die for their sins, if it was only a mortal body, which died, then we have no Saviour, and we are lost!

What happened is that the Logos, the Word, the Eternal was made flesh. He was converted into, changed into flesh. Now He was flesh and blood, exactly as you and I. His life was in His blood, and He gave His life by the fact His blood poured out while He was on the stake! He had taken on a human nature. He was God, but now God changed into flesh and blood, God with us Emmanuel! The Word was made flesh, and He was flesh and blood, not just an immortal spirit in a body of flesh and blood.

We may argue that God is immortal and could not die. But the Scriptures reveal that God so loved us that while we were yet sinners, the Eternal, the Logos, who was with God and who was God in the Second Person, permitted Himself voluntarily to be changed into a flesh and blood man, until he became a human who could, and did die. But God the Father, God in the First Person, still reigned in Heaven AND He raised Jesus from the dead, not from life.

It was Jesus Christ Himself who was dead, He was revived. Nowhere does the Bible say He was alive and active, or that God had Him get back into the human body that had died and was now resurrected.

Jesus Christ was dead, but was revived! And the resurrected body was no longer human; it was the Christ resurrected immortal, once again changed! As He had been changed, converted, into mortal human flesh and blood subject to death, and for the purpose of dying for our sins; now, by a resurrection from the dead, He was again changed, converted into immortality, and He is alive forevermore! Now a living Saviour, not a dead Saviour. He was dead, but only for three days and three nights!

Do you realize what a tremendous price was paid that you might be released from the death penalty of your sins? The very Eternal, Second Person of the Godhead, and very God Himself, permitted Himself to be changed into a mortal human, stepped down, descended to the human plane, suffered, was tempted, persecuted, despised, rejected of men, put to death!

Christ died, and for three days and nights was dead! He who was in the beginning, and was God! He stooped to human level, submitted to death, trusted the Father to restore Him to life! That is the price paid for you and for me. He gave Himself for you, and in so doing bought and paid for you! And therefore, you belong to Him! Will you give yourself to Him?

That is the only way to salvation; the only way this greatest price ever paid in the universe form eternity can save you, great as it was. You must give yourself up! Give yourself, to Him! Give Him your life, your self. Let Him come into your mind and heart, thru His Spirit, and live His life in you! It means full, complete, utter, unconditional surrender. You are no longer your own, you are His. Give your life to Him, and see what great usefulness and accomplishment He will put it to! See what great joy will be yours as a result of the great Good He can and will do with and thru you, if you are His, wholly in His power, wholly subjected to His WILL! This is all possible because He died for us!

 
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