Tag Archives: he is risen

Easter Message: Death has Dominion, Mastery and Power over the Christian God

It’s Easter, so today you’d be seeing a lot of celebrations over God’s “victory over death”. Slogans en masse such as, “He is Risen!” Perhaps though, one of the most popular verses of the Bible one would see is as follows:

  • For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. – Romans 6:9 (NIV).
  • We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. – Romans 6:9 (ESV).
  • knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. – Romans 6:9 (NASB).
  • because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. – Romans 6:9 (HCSB).

That last line is of great interest. If death no longer rules over God, does it mean that death at one point have power, dominion, mastery, rule over God? Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, says of this passage:

“death hath no more dominion over him: it once had dominion over him; it held him under its power for a time, according to the divine determination”

If God is all powerful, then how is it possible for death to be greater than God, to have power and mastery over God? Some Christians have tried to explain this by saying that God allowed Himself to “temporarily surrender” His own dominion over death, but this leads us to the inevitable problem of the Christian God losing one of its attributes, thus rendering God, powerless. What’s worse is, if God gave up His power over death, and then death overcame God – it would stand to reason that death would be more powerful than God and thus God could never “defeat” death.

In conclusion, this passage is vital for a Muslim’s da’wah to Christians. They quote it and share it, which makes it easier for us to reach out to them. This passage leads to unsettling beliefs for the Christians, God sets up rivals to Himself, God loses essential attributes, God is no longer all powerful, or at the least it can lead them to denying the hypostatic union (two natures in Christ, one divine, one human), by them arguing that death had power over one of the natures – the human or the divine, which is in itself blasphemy since the natures are unified and it is heresy to split them apart.

In contrast, in Islam, God is the master of life and death:

“How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned.” – Qur’an 2:28.

and Allah knows best.

He Is Risen: The Height of Ironies

It’s Easter again, you really can’t miss it as the popular slogan of  “He is Risen!”, it’s plastered on all social media websites by over enthusiastic Christians. There is clearly an important question that needs to be asked about this slogan. George Orwell’s, 1984 gives us a good lesson about simple and meaningless slogans, “war is peace”, “freedom is slavery”, “ignorance is strength”. Simple to shout, easy to believe in and catchy – but a little thought exposes the factitious nature of these mind numbing slogans, their only purpose meant to placate the uninitiated.

A good place to start with understanding “He is Risen!”, is to ask, is this really a surprise or a victory? If we assume that Jesus is God, and someone told us that God died, would we really be surprised that an all powerful deity did in fact, not die? Forgive me if I am oblivious to some super secret that Christians uphold, but what would be so surprising that the all powerful deity didn’t die? It would be a miracle to hear, “He is Not Risen!”, as that would be the last thing anyone would expect from an all powerful deity, the deity in question, not being powerful at all.

So, one has to ask, what’s the big deal about God not dying? Why the enthusiasm, tears and amazement, about a non-miracle? Yes, I get it, through his resurrection you have someone else pay for your sins, but that also shouldn’t be a surprise given that an all powerful deity is all merciful and all forgiving – he could already forgive your sins, with or without killing himself. It must honestly be confusing for lay-Christians to see everyone celebrating a non-miracle at Easter time and wondering what the fuss is about. I suppose tomorrow we should celebrate other attributes of God’s sovereignty while feigning amazement? Or should we simply leave the Christian faith to do that for us?

and God knows best!