did god died?

I heard someone say this. Also heard in the lutheran hymnal. When christ died on the cross, did the creator of the universe died too?
This kinda of boggled me since i never thought of it that why.
I am not sure on this cause if only his divine nature died than it is seperated from his humanity. On the other if his divine nature died how did the world sustain it self. Wouldn't it all fall apart?
Thanks and i know this is a simple question.


  • Without getting too technical, God can't die. He is the source of life. When we speak of Christ dying, He is only able to die because He became man. His divinity, united in essence with the Father before all ages is eternal and immortal. Many of the hymns of the church about the Resurrection speak of Christ as being woken up from sleep and it is a pretty good analogy.

    Christ definitely died and here are some biblical references that make it clear:

    whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. (Acts 2:24)

    For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Rom 5:10)

    Both of these verse talk about Christ dying, but the same time, reference how death has no authority of Him. He both died and is immortal at the same time. It is one of the mysteries of the incarnation.

    Very basic answer, I'm sure others can elaborate further if you need.

  • "His divinity parted not from His humanity for a single moment even a twinkling of an eye..." (St. Basil's Liturgy)

    His divinity did not die; rather, He experienced death in His human flesh. But because He is God and full of life, death could not take hold of Him, whereby He rose from the dead. I beg you to read "On the Incarnation" by St. Athanasius here: http://www.orthodoxebooks.org/node/212

    If that is too complicated for you then read "The Divinity of Christ" by H.H. pope Shenouda here: http://www.orthodoxebooks.org/node/40
    The book called "The Nature of Christ" by H.H. pope Shenouda can also be found here: http://www.orthodoxebooks.org/node/32

    I strongly recommend you learn more about the theology of the church.

  • Great thanks for the links.
    Like i said it sounded odd.
    I like that the east is happy with mysteries and do not try to rationalize things.
    I will read over the links.
    Now by saying his humanity died but his divinity did not is that seperating natures?
  • That isn't separating the natures, even after the union the natures had their own characteristics... there was no mingling or confusion between the 2 natures. 
  • "Now by saying his humanity died but his divinity did not is that separating natures?"

    Christ did have two distinct (not separate) natures that were united into one Person.  It is not possible for us to full comprehend the mystery behind the incarnation of our Lord. What is important to know is that both natures have their distinct properties but in the case of Christ they have been united.
  • By death we mean the separation of the soul, from the body. That's what happened with our Lord. His body remained in the grave, while his soul went to Hades. No separation of his natures (NO His soul isn't His divinity, nor the body alone His humanity). An example is this: Take a piece of paper (Humanity), put it in a glass of water (Divinity). If you now cut this watered piece of paper, you won't separate the water from the paper, nor the paper from the water.
  • In orthodoxy we say 'God died in the flesh'
  • "Now by saying his humanity died but his divinity did not is that separating natures?" 

    YES, if you do not qualify it with specific terminology. And Tobit hit the nail on the head. We find all the answers in St Cyril's Third letter to Nestorius (The 12 Anathemas). The act of God dying is really no different than God born from the Virgin. If we agree on this, it is easy to see why specific language must be used. 

    Nestorius said the Virgin gave birth to Christ the man and the 2nd Person of the Trinity indwelled in that body. For this reason, Nestorius claimed, Mary gave birth to Christ, not God for God cannot be born. He separated the two natures based on a misunderstanding of prospona and hypostasis. If now we say, Christ died in the flesh and divinity cannot die, we have separated the two natures like Nestorius. Rather St Cyril makes it clear. "Since the holy virgin gave birth in the flesh to God hypostatically united to the flesh, for this reason we say that she is the "Mother of God". Without that specific Orthodox language, we will speak the same language as the Nestorians. 

    So in Orthodoxy we say, "God, the Word of God (hypostatically united to the flesh) tasted death in the flesh." In fact, St Cyril specifically addressed this in Anathema 12, "Whosoever shall not recognize that the Word of God suffered in the flesh, that he was crucified in the flesh, and that likewise in that same flesh he tasted death and that he is become the first-begotten of the dead, for, as he is God, he is the life and it is he that giveth life: let him be anathema." Because everything the Logos does, He does as a hypostatically united being. This is why we don't accept Leo's Tome that said "Those thing, like miracles and walking on water, pertain to the divinity and those things, like hunger and sleep, pertain to the flesh." (I'm paraphrasing). 

    Regarding the soul and body, St Cyril takes it a step farther. First he compares the hypostatic union to the union of body and sou, even though "the description altogether falls short of the truth" as he said. But he qualifies what that union really means in His Scolia on the Incarnation. "For the soul appropriates the things of the body even though in its proper nature it is apart from the body's natural passions...For the body is moved to physical desires, and the soul which is in it feels these things too, because of the union, but in no way does it participate in these things, except in so far as it takes the fulfillment of desire as its own gratification. If the body was struck by a sword, or tortured on an iron grid, then the soul would share in its grief, because it is its own body which is suffering. But in its own nature the soul does not suffer anything of these things. This indeed is how we attribute the union to Emmanuel....It is foolish to say that God the Word shared in feeling the suffering. For the Godhead is impassible and is not inout condition. Yet the Word was united to the flesh endowed with a rational soul, and when the flesh suffered, even though he was impassible, he was aware of what was happening within it, and thus as God, even though he did away with the weakness of the flesh, still he appropriated those weakness of his own body. This is how he is said to have hungered, and to have been tired, and to have suffered for our sake...As I said earlier, the Word appropriated the affairs of his own flesh, the operations of his own divine powers. This is how he was able to give life to the dead and to heal the sick."

    Thus, when Christ was alive on earth, he appropriated the operation of his divinity and gave life to the dead. When God died, He appropriated the act of death of his flesh. In this understanding and language, we never separate the natures. As God in the flesh, death had no power on Him to begin with. He didn't have to die ever. But He willed and allowed the act of death on his own flesh so that He may save us.  Using PaNo5's example, death which is the cutting of the watered piece of paper would never have been able to be cut in the first place since the paper since the divinity can not be cut. However, the divinity appropriated and allowed the cutting of his own paper. If you don't place this caveat, then one is saying indivisible water or indivisible divinity is subject to death or indivisible divinity dwelt in someone else's paper and separated when death came. And St Cyril says this is foolish talk. 
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