Today we are continuing on the subject of Muslim arguments against Christianity. When their arguments are compared with what the Bible says, and not what they say the Bible says, we find that they fall like a house of cards in the wind.
The subject for the last few days has been about the deity of Christ. Muslims believe that Jesus was just a man, and that He was not the Son of God. One of the biggest problems for Muslims is, how could Jesus be God and have died on the cross. The question is, How can God Die? This is a good question, and we must be able to answer it.
When a Muslim poses this, or any other objection to our faith, it is good to ask them if they seriously want an answer, or do they just want an argument. If all they want is an argument we can have a debate, but it will benefit neither of us. Nothing can be resolved if the truth is of no importance to the Muslim.
Let the Muslim know that in order to give an answer we must look into God’s Holy Word. If they really want to know how Jesus could die if He is God, the answer must come from the Bible.
Ask the question, what would happen if God would cease to exist? The Bible actually tells us what would happen. It is found in Colossians Chapter 1:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:14-17)
This speaking is speaking of Jesus. Yesterday we saw that His being the firstborn means He is the preeminent, or the most important of all who were born. Let’s not deal with that again today. When this passages says “For by Him were all things created,” we know that it is talking about God being the Creator and Muslims will agree with this. Verse 17 tells us that He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.
Not only do the things created by God exist, they also consist by Him. If there were no God, nothing would exist in the first place. The Greek word translated consist means, they are set together, or held together. In other words, He is the glue that holds everything together. If God ceased to exist, then this world would cease to exist because God would not be here to hold it together.
One of the greatest mysteries in science is what holds the atoms together, They call it the “strong nuclear force.” In science there are four forces, gravity, the weakest force, the weak nuclear force, the electromagnetic force, and the strong nuclear force, which is the strongest of them all. Although the strong nuclear force is the strongest, it is short in range.
Within each atom there is a nucleus, and within each nucleus there are protons and neutrons. Protons are positive in charge, and things with the same electrical charge repel each other. You have certainly played with magnets and seen this effect when you try to join either the positive or the negative poles together. It takes a force that is stronger than the electromagnetic force of the magnet to hold them together. The neutrons within the nucleus of the atom have no charge, they are neutral and cannot be that force.
The question that science has not been able to answer thus far is what holds these protons together and keeps the atom from blowing apart. They know there must be something so they have given it a name, the “strong nuclear force.” That which holds everything together is the miraculous work of God.
If God were to die, that is cease to exist, the universe could no longer “consist” and it would blow apart. This brings us back to our question, How can God die?
If there were not Trinity, and if God would cease to exist at death, there would be nothing to hold the world together. If God were a triune being, like the Bible teaches, and one member of the Trinity, or even two members, ceased to exist temporarily, the one member of the Trinity that was left could hold it all together. It is because of the triune nature of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that Jesus could die on the cross.
In addition to this, death is not the cessation of existence. When one dies, he does not cease to exist. Death is simply a separation. In the case of physical death it is the separation of the spirit from the body.
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26)
At death, both the body and the spirit exist, but they are separated from each other.
Jesus took upon Himself the sin of mankind to offer His human life as a sacrifice to God for our sin. He became sin for us, they we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Aren’t you glad that He did this for us? I sure am! Because of this, my sins can be forgiven, and so can yours. This is why Jesus laid down His life on the cross. We saw this in Colossians 1:14 above, where it says:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Colossians 1:14)
The person spoken of here is seen in verse 13:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: (Colossians 1:13)
It is God’s dear Son, Jesus Christ. Our redemption and forgiveness of sin is through the blood of Christ, shed on the Cross. It is also clear that it is Jesus Christ who is the Creator, and it is by Him that all things consist.
Muslims don’t have anything in their scriptures that show them how to be forgiven. It is one thing to say that you are forgiven, but it is another thing to understand how. We can be forgiven because Jesus Christ paid the sin debt that we owed. A Just God must insist that the penalty of sin be paid. It is only through the sufficient sacrifice of Christ (propitiation ) that God can remain just, and still justify the sinner.
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:24-26)
To be a good and righteous judge, God must hold man accountable for his sin. For God to free a man from the debt of sin, the debt must be paid. God’s rescue plan required the sacrifice of a perfect life for the sins of men. No ordinary man could pay the debt for another because all have sinned, and all must pay for their own sin. This is why God became a man, took upon Himself the form of a servant, and laid down His life for the sins of mankind.
God can die because He is a triune being and is, therefore, able to be alive while being dead and hold everything together.
Tomorrow we will deal with the last major argument, the deity of Jesus Christ.
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