Did God die on the cross?


Is it wrong to assert that God died on the cross? If so, we must revise some of our hymns, e.g.,

“Save in the cross of Christ, my God,” and “When Christ, the Mighty Maker, dies.”

It is quite possible that some of our hymns (though not perhaps above) need revising; at best they are human compositions, but let it be done by those capable for such work. Not every amateur possesses the poetic gift. Better leave out a hymn, than maul it. Certainly it is quite unscriptural to say that “God died on the cross,” for “God only hath immortality,” and as such of course cannot die, but this does not imply that the One who hung upon the cross was not God, for He was, and Thomas was perfectly right when he exclaimed later, “My Lord and my God.”

Perhaps an illustration will make the matter plainer. We read twice in Psalm 121 that “Jehovah slumbers not nor sleeps.” Are we then to assert when we read in Mark 4: 38 of our Lord that “He was asleep on a pillow,” that God was asleep, or that He who was asleep was not God? Neither the one nor the other, for both assertions would be false. Hebrews 2:14 teaches that He who in chapter 1 is spoken of as the Son, the Heir of all things, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, and Who as such possessed Immortality, and was therefore immune from death, did Himself in order to purge our sins “take part of flesh and blood, that through death, etc.” He did not cease to be what He was before; but He became flesh, and so far capable of death, though never subject to death, as we are.