Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
If Jesus is God, how can God die? Who was running the universe those three days that Jesus was dead?
Sam’s initial response is to redefine the meaning of the word death, he gives two meanings from the Bible:
- Spiritual death, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” – Genesis 2:15-17.
- Physical death, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” – James 2:26,
Finally, he concludes:
Christ, therefore, did not cease to live when he died on the cross since, as the Holy Bible teaches, the Lord’s soul was still consciously alive during the three days his body lay in the tomb. The only way that Christ could be able to raise himself from the dead is if Christ were still consciously alive. This establishes that Christ did not cease to exist for those three days that his body remained in the grave. Both Christ’s divine nature and his human soul were still conscious during that period of time. So in answer to the question, the one true God always exists as three distinct Persons even during the entombment of Christ’s physical body. And, even as his body lay buried, Christ was alive and sovereignly sustaining the universe along with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
According to Sam Shamoun, Jesus did not die, whether physically or spiritually. If Jesus did not die, then the notion of Christ dying for our sins is a false one. See, the argument works as :
- Christ died for your sins.
- As a sacrificial lamb was able to atone for sins, so was Christ.
Since according to Sam Shamoun, Christ never actually died, then no atonement actually took place. Sam never really answers the question as to how God died, instead he tells us that Jesus did not actually die, at all. He gives an either or option, that is a physical or spiritual death, then he negates both options. Thus leaving us with the understanding that Christ/ “God” never died. His argument can be represented as such:
- Christ died.
- He could have died either a spiritual death or physical death.
- Christ neither had a spiritual or physical death.
Which is a problem as the Bible mentions that the sacrificial lamb was to be killed and by kill, we mean be put to death i..e not alive:
Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. – Exodus 12:6.
As an addendum, Sam must answer the question, that if the sacrificial animal does not die, i.e. there is no cessation of life, is the sacrifice valid, or must the animal die? This death as referred to in Exodus 12:6, or slaughtering of the animal/ sacrifical animal refers to a physical cessation of life. This definition can be attested to by CARM’s Theological Dictionary:
Death is understood two main ways in the Bible. First, it is used to describe the cessation of life, this can be physical or spiritual. – Death.
Either way, Sam Shamoun has put himself between a rock and a hard place:
- Either he concedes to the fact Jesus never died (which Sam did), therefore shelving his entire faith (1 Corinthians 15:12-17).
- Or if Jesus died (which Sam believes), then God ceased to live, therefore his God is not Ever Living, All Powerful.
wa Allaahu ‘Alam,
and God knows best.