Jesus Died Twice

Jesus Died Twice. (One A Physical Death and One A Spiritual Death)

Jesus’ death on the cruel cross evokes such details of the physical pain He endured, we often overlook the spiritual agony He suffered. The gory brutality and inhuman mortification is not to be minimized. It was as hideous and despicable as imagined. However, it was only the background for His real suffering. The spiritual agony resulting from His separation from the Father was His primary suffering. It is summed up in His cry:

“My God. My God, why have you forsaken me?”

In that instance He was enduring spiritual separation from the Father. This He was experiencing for us. This was truly His substitutionary death for us. Salvation is based upon this premise. 

Scripture makes it clear He died physically. He “breathed His last” (Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46) and He “gave up His spirit” (Matthew 27:50; 19:30).

Physical darkness enshrouded the area “from the sixth hour until the ninth hour,” that is from 12:00 noon until 3:00 PM. These were the hours preceding His physical death. These were the hours during which He was separated from the Father, His spiritual death.

It was during this time He cried “I thirst.” He was suffering hell’s agony as had Lazarus, the rich man, when he begged for Lazarus to “dip the tip of his finger and cool my tongue.” 

This is not to say Jesus was in hell, but rather that He was suffering the agony of hell resulting from separation from the Father.

It was during this darkness Jesus was made sin for us. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13).

“Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished” (John 19:28) said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). This was a reference to His separation from the Father that was the reference, not His physical death, for it had not at that moment been accomplished. This cry in effect was the occasion of His spiritual reunion with the Father, that is, His spiritual resurrection.

He endured this separation that we might not have to. What has been your response to this loving provision? Pause and thank Him for this spiritual victory and commit yourself to Him.