Is the “Spiritual Suffering” of Jesus the Real Death?

Jesus, like the Old Testament types, offered His BODY as a sacrifice: Who his own self bare our sins IN HIS OWN BODY on the tree…(I Pet. 2:24).

Being put to death IN THE FLESH, He was quickened by the Spirit (I Peter 3:18).

Christ hath suffered for us IN THE FLESH…(I Peter. 4:1).

And you…hath he reconciled IN THE BODY OF HIS FLESH through death…(Col.1:21-22).

I am the living bread which came down from heaven…and the bread that I will give is MY FLESH, which I will give for the life of the world (John 6:51).

…we are sanctified through the offering of the BODY OF JESUS once for all (Heb. 10:10).

Having abolished IN HIS FLESH the enmity, even the law of
commandments…(Eph. 2:15).

In addition to these clear texts which indicate that the sacrifice of Jesus involved the offering up of HIS BODY OF FLESH, there are others. When Jesus said to the opposing religious leaders, “Destroy this temple, and in three day I will raise it up,” we are informed that”…he spake of the TEMPLE OF HIS BODY” (John 2:19-21).

When Jesus spoke of His approaching death it was always with reference to the offering of His BODY not His SPIRIT. This is clear from John chapter 6 where Jesus spoke of giving HIS FLESH to provide life for the world. He also said, “This is my BODY which is given for you” (Luke 22:19; Read also I Cor. 10:16; 11:24-29; Eph. 2:15; Rom. 7:4; Heb. 10:19-20).

The necessity for the incarnation of the Son of God is clearly set forth in passages such as Hebrews 2; Phillipians 2; Galatians 4:4-5; John 1, 3, and Colossians 1, 2. The Jesus Died Spiritually VIEW (taught by Harold Camping) is that if Jesus only died physically, and that if the physical death of Jesus paid the penalty of sin, then every man could have died for himself.

Such a position on the Atonement reveals a lack of comprehension of the meaning and nature of the Old Testament sacrifices. The sin-offering remained even in death MOST HOLY to God. To say that if the physical death of Jesus (without a “spiritual death”) paid the penalty for sin, then every man could have died for his own sins overlooks the fact that the essential requirement in the sin-offering was that it had to be pure and sinless in order for God to accept it as a suitable substitute.

This was typified in the requirement that the Old Testament type had to be spotless and without blemish; and it was literally fulfilled in the case of Jesus Christ (Heb. 9:14; I Pet. 1:18-19).

The efficacy of the Atonement did not depend upon how much blood was shed on the cross. The Atonement’s validity depended only on the fact that the Son of God shed His spotless blood and died for the guilt of the elect. The Old Testament animal type did not bleed to death on the altar; only a few drops of blood were sprinkled on the altar as an atonement (Lev. 1:5); or, in the case of the sin-offering, the priest merely dipped his finger in the blood and applied it to the horns of the altar (Lev. 4:25).

The physical death of Jesus was absolutely essential so that Jesus would bear the punishment for our guilt IN HIS BODY (I Pet. 2:24), when He was put to death IN THE FLESH (I Pet. 3:18). We
are told that the elect are redeemed, not by a “spiritual death” but “with the precious BLOOD of Christ, as of a lamb without
blemish and without spot” (I Pet. 1:19).

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34 Comments on “Is the “Spiritual Suffering” of Jesus the Real Death?”

  1. Ilove the verse that says “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgivenessof sin.”

  2. David Bishop Says:

    Amen, Mark. It’s obvious Camping is bewildered. I

  3. markmcculley Says:

    We are not to make an image of God in any way,
    nor to worship him in any other manner
    than he has commanded in his Word.

    97. Q. May we then not make any image at all?

    A. God cannot and may not be visibly portrayed in any way.
    Creatures may be portrayed,
    but God forbids us to make or have any images of them
    in order to worship them or to serve God through them.

    98. Q. But may images not be tolerated in the churches as “books for the laity”

    A. No, for we should not be wiser thanGod.
    He wants his people to be taught not by means of dumb images
    but by the living preaching of his Word.

  4. markmcculley Says:

  5. markmcculley Says:

    Revelation 13:8 — “And all dwelling on the earth will worship it, those whose names have not been written from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain.” This use of “Lamb slain” perfectly agrees with the use of that term in Revelation 5:6 and 12, The election of Christ to be slain for His elect is from before the ages, but Christ was not slain until a particular point in time. The Lord Jesus said, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” John 12:23

  6. markmcculley Says:

    Revelation 5: 6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a LAMB standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the LAMB, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying,

    “Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
    for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
    10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign ON THE EARTH.”
    11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,12 saying with a loud voice,

    “Worthy is the LAMB WHO WAS SLAIN,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
    and honor and glory and blessing!”

  7. markmcculley Says:

    s the wages of sin a life of suffering and screaming that never ends?

    Is Jesus Christ still suffering and screaming as the wages for the sins of the elect?

    Many deny that it’s death which is the wages of sin, and locate satisfaction in the “infinite moment” of suffering before the death.

    “Jesus had no impurity. And Thomas said He was pure in heart. So Jesus had some, some experience of the beauty of the Father. Until that moment that my sin was placed upon Him. And the one who was pure was pure no more. And God cursed Him. It was if there was a cry from Heaven – excuse my language but I can be no more accurate than to say – it was as if Jesus heard the words ‘God damn you’, because that’s what it meant to be cursed, to be under the anathema of the Father. As I said I don’t understand that, but I know that it’s true.” (R.C. Sproul. Together for the Gospel. April 17, 2008. Louisville, KY. Session V – The Curse Motif of the Atonement. Minute 55:01)

    “This moment in Mark chapter 15 [i.e. “My God, my God”], it is this moment, it is what takes place in THIS MOMENT that delivers us from hell. This agony, this scream, is what delivers all those who turn from their sin and trust in the Savior from hell. On the cross, Jesus experienced hell for us. He experienced hell for us, bearing God’s wrath and eternal punishment. And because He did, Heaven awaits all those who turn from their sin and trust in Him. He screamed the ‘scream of the damned’ [i.e., “forsaken me”] for us. Listen, this scream should should have been my eternal scream. He screams the ‘scream of the damned’ for me.” Resolved Conference 2008. Session 11 – The Cry From the Cross. Min 46:35)
    “There are four ways that point to the infinite value of the ‘scream of the damned’. . Hell exists, sin exists, Heaven exists, cross exists, everything exists to magnify the worth of the ‘scream of the damned’. Everything. That’s the point of the universe.” (Resolved Conference 2008. Session 12 – The Triumph of the Gospel in the New Heavens and New Earth. Min 00:15)

  8. markmcculley Says:

    Nothing had been done if Christ had only endured corporeal death. In order to interpose between us and God’s anger, and satisfy his righteous judgment, it was necessary that he should feel the weight of divine vengeance. Whence also it was necessary that he should engage, as it were, at close quarters with the powers of hell and the horrors of eternal death. … … Hence there is nothing strange in its being said that he descended to hell, seeing he endured the death which is inflicted on the wicked by an angry God. It is frivolous and ridiculous to object that in this way the order is perverted, it being absurd that an event which preceded burial should be placed after it. But after explaining what Christ endured in the sight of man, the Creed appropriately adds the invisible and incomprehensible judgment which he endured before God, to teach us that not only was the body of Christ given up as the price of redemption, but that there was a greater and more excellent price—that he bore in his soul the tortures of condemned and ruined man. (Calvin, John. “Institutes of the Christian Religion.” Book 3:Chapter 16.

    Luther: ‘Christ himself suffered the dread and horror of a distressed conscience that tasted eternal wrath;’ ‘it was not a game, or a joke, or play-acting when he said, “Thou hast forsaken me”; for then he felt himself really forsaken in all things even as a sinner is forsaken” (Werke, 5. 602, 605) (Packer, J.I. “The Logic of Penal Substitution.” footnote 44)

  9. markmcculley Says:

    did Jesus “die spiritually” before Jesus “died physically” and what does that even mean?

    even though i know what it means for Adam to have become guilty, i do not know what it could have meant for Adam to “die spiritually”

    if “spiritual death” means something like “became corrupt and unable to please God”, and if the Son “died spiritually”, does that the Son became corrupt before He died physically? Ken Copeland teaches that, so please explain what you mean by the “spiritual death” of God the Son

    Did the “soul” of Jesus the Son die before He died physically?

    I know that the Bible teaches that the soul which sins shall die, but what does this mean? Does it mean that the soul cannot really die but becomes corrupt? Or does “shall die” mean that the soul cannot really die but suffers so much that there will never ever be enough suffering inflicted by God do that God will always be present with this soul? Is God being there to continue to punish separation abandonment and banishment from the presence of God?

  10. markmcculley Says:

    in the first approach (incarnate in order to die) Christ does not offer salvation to all the dead, as if God’s covenant had been revised and now everyone had a second chance at salvation. Rather, Christ proclaims salvation only to the righteous dead, including figures like David, Samuel, the prophets, and John the Baptist.

    This means that Christ’s descent vindicates rather than revises God’s promises, and it takes place as the first movement of his Easter triumph. For most the church fathers, this indicated that the physicality of Christ’s death was the very point of his saving work. Christ came to save human beings, and humans are not disembodied souls. Christ saved us by embracing the physical death that comes as a consequence of our sin (Genesis 2:17). This embrace of death was the entire point of the incarnation: Christ took a physical body upon himself precisely so that he could die in it as God.

    In the second approach, Calvin affirms that Jesus Christ “descended into hell,” but he rejects the claim that Christ literally descended to the realm of the dead to preach to the saints. Such an idea, he says, “is nothing but a story” containing “childish” elements with no basis in the biblical narrative. , 2.16.9

    According to Calvin, Christ could not have descended into hell to proclaim salvation to the righteous dead because there are no righteous dead: This means, Calvin says, that Peter’s claim that Christ “made a proclamation to the spirits in prison” (1 Peter 3:19) should not be interpreted literally.

    mark: I think this means that Calvin thinks none of the justified are ever really dead. But it also means that Calvin discounts the significance of “only the physical death” of Christ.

    Calvin: “If Christ had died only a bodily death ,it would have been ineffectual. No—it was expedient at the same time for him to undergo the severity of God’s vengeance, to appease his wrath and satisfy his just judgment.” 2.16.10.

    In ADDITION TO his physical suffering, Christ endured an “invisible and incomprehensible judgment” and paid “a greater and more excellent price in suffering in his soul the terrible moments of a condemned and forsaken man.” 2.16.10.

    mark: so not a sola, but a balanced “at the same time”—can vicarious law-keeping be far behind?

    There is a third Roman Catholic view, both and—Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988), combines elements from each of the
    previous two views. With the tradition, Balthasar affirms that Christ literally descended into hell in the period between his death and resurrection. He moves beyond Calvin on this point, however, by affirming that this suffering happens in hell rather than only
    on the cross. As he sees it, to say that Jesus Christ “descended into hell” is to confess that Christ descended to the place of punishment in order to experience the Godlessness of hell on our behalf. “

    Although often criticized on this point, Balthasar himself does not think that his approach means that Christ’s death on the cross was inadequate or incomplete, as if an additional saving work had to be done in order to secure humanity’s salvation. Rather, he sees Christ’s suffering in hell as the necessary
    continuation and perfection of the suffering that began on the cross. “His being with the dead,” he says, “is an existence at the utmost pitch of obedience.”
    The perfection of Christ’s obedience includes the display of Christ’s lifeless body. This is what Balthasar thinks Peter’s statement about Christ preaching to the spirits in prison indicates. It does not occur as the active proclamation of a triumphant king, but rather, it takes the form of a visible, embodied word as the eternal Son, united to a condemned human corpse, that assumes the fullness of God’s curse on our behalf.

  11. markmcculley Says:

    Joel Osteen, a Better You, p 40—-I love the Scripture that says we are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. The Abrahamic covenant is not unconditional. Material promises depend on your faith.

    Joyce Meyer—-I walk in the Spirit all of the time, I weigh what God wants me to weigh

    Gloria Copeland–God knows where the money is, and God knows how to get the money to the people with faith

    Joyce Meyer—If you stay in your faith, you are going to get paid. I am now living in my reward.

    Creflow Dollar—where your spirit spends eternity depends on your decision to make Jesus your Lord and not just your Savior.

    Kenneth Hagin—Physical death would not save you from your sins. When Jesus tasted death for every man, that’s spiritual death.

  12. markmcculley Says:

    Perspectives on Israel and the Church, Four views-, Reymond, p 57—“The Hebrews word translated ‘everlasting’ may denote the limited duration of the age of promise, such as 1. God’s declaration that circumcision was to be an ‘everlasting covenant’ between him and his people in Genesis 17: 13 and 2. God’s declaration that the Passover Feast in Exodus 12:7 was to be an ‘everlasting ordinance’

    Allan Macrae, Theological Wordbook of the OT, 2:673—Neither the Hebrew (olam) nor the Greek (aion) in itself contains the idea of endlessness. They sometimes refer to events or conditions that occurred at a definite point in time in past history. Sometimes it is thought desirable to repeat the word, not merely saying ‘forever’, but forever and forever…

  13. markmcculley Says:

    A Voice Crying in the Wilderness”:
    Right before Jesus died, he said “It is finished.” He must have suffered all of God’s wrath before he died. …
    For three hours, from the sixth to the ninth hour, God turned the lights out on the earth because he didn’t want anyone looking in when he poured out all of his wrath on his son – when he bruised the son for our iniquities. It was during these three hours that God the son had become sin for us and he could not call God, Father, as before. The son was forsaken by the Father. It was during these three hours that Jesus suffered in our place. Jesus did not have to go to Hell to suffer the torments of those flames

    Glenn Peoples—many reject the view that Jesus atoned for sin by suffering in hell after death . The problem, however, is that they still assume that the punishment for sin is suffering the wrath of God in the form of torment, and so the solution, whatever it is, is assumed to be that Jesus suffers that torment somewhere, either on the cross or in hell – and since it wasn’t in hell it was on the cross.

    • markmcculley Says:

      Matto– “Did the Lord Jesus say ‘It is finished’ before He died or after He died? He said it before He died, which means the atonement was complete before He physically died, and the atonement was on a higher level than mere physical death. Jesus had already suffered the spiritual wrath of God, and that was the punishment, not death.

      Glenn Peoples—Yes, “it is finished” had to have been uttered before Jesus died. Jesus could not have said it after he was dead. But his declaration was based on the inevitable— He just about to die. John portrays Jesus saying these words virtually as he dies: “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” The gospel of John links the saying directly to the death of Christ. The atoning work of Jesus is finished when Jesus died.”

  14. markmcculley Says:

    If the atonement was completed before Jesus died, then why did Jesus die at all? If you deny that Jesus’ death atoned for sin, then your mistake is just as important, whether you relocate the atoning work to some period of suffering prior to Jesus’ death or after his death. Either way, you’re saying that the death of Christ did not atone for sin.

  15. markmcculley Says:

    he gospel has a glorious transfer , but It is not a transfer of depravity. Christ was not imputed with the depravity of the elect, but with their guilt. Even though depravity is part of the punishment for imputed guilt, Christ was not imputed with depravity but with guilt.

    Even though many Calvinists focus on the supposed “spiritual death” that Jesus experienced in the three hours before He died (see Michael Lawrence in It Is Well, or Harold Camping, or W. E. Best), the Bible itself never says that Christ Jesus experienced depravity, not even for three hours. Christ Jesus bore the guilt, the sins of the elect. The result of that was death.

    The entire human race is now born guilty and depraved in nature. Christ was born truly human but not depraved. He did not have to be depraved to be human. Nor did He have to be guilty to be human. This means that Christ can be and was imputed with the guilt of the elect alone, and not with the guilt of the non-elect.

    I do not know for sure when this guilt of the elect was transferred. Because of Christ’s lifelong suffering, I tend to agree with Smeaton that God transferred the guilt at His birth. Surely that guilt was not satisfied though until Christ died on account of the sins of the elect.

    But what we can say for sure is that not only punishment for guilt, but that guilt itself was transferred to Christ. The gospel talks about election, because the gospel talks about Christ bearing sins.

    Isaiah 53:5 speaks of the punishment which brought us peace. But Isaiah 53:6 also tells us that “The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us.” The servant Christ bore not only punishment but also iniquity.

  16. markmcculley Says:

    Since the elect are “placed into the death of Christ”, are they placed into “eternal torment in Hell”?

    Do the elect when joined to Christ’s death become “spiritually dead”?

    Did Christ suffer “eternal torment in Hell?

    Did Christ really die or does His death simply mean that He became separate (for a while) from God?

    If Christ only suffered an equivalent of “eternal torment in Hell”, does that mean that God’s (nominalist and sovereign) grace arbitrarily (merely, only) “accepted” the punishment of Christ as the same as the punishment of the non-elect?

    Since the punishment of the non-elect will never be finished, does that mean that the punishment of the non-elect will never be infinite?

    Since there will always be more to repay, does “I will repay” mean that “I will have never repaid”?

  17. markmcculley Says:

    ad hoc paradoxes—There is a difference between spiritual death and physical death and eternal death, therefore death is not death but separation. Since there is a difference between “spiritual resurrection” (regeneration and new birth) and physical resurrection, therefore resurrection means “going to heaven as soon as you die” . And since the non-elect will also be raised, this means that the second death is eternal life in hell. the non-elect cannot be consumed, because that would mean that they wouldn’t keep being tormented; therefore being consumed in the Bible means being tormented forever. The non-elect cannot be completely destroyed, because that would mean they would perish, therefore being destroyed in the Bible means the process of destruction which is never finally completed

  18. markmcculley Says:

    Smeaton, Atonement As Taught By Himself, p 78—The Son of God took sin upon Him, and bore it simultaneously with the taking of the flesh, nay, in a sense even prior to the actual fact of the incarnation. The peculiar character of the Lord’s humanity, which was, on the one hand, pure and holy, and yet, on the other, a curse-bearing humanity, plainly shows that in some sense He was the sin-bearer from the moment of His sending, and, therefore, even prior to His actual incarnation.

    And when it is said that God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, we have the very same thing…Sin was borne by God, not alone in the sense of forbearance, but in such a sense that it was laid on the sin-bearer, to be expiated by the divine Son.
    Thus the Lamb of God appeared without inherent sin or taint of any kind, but never without the sin of others. The sin of man was not firsti mputed to Him or borne by Him when He hung on the cross, but in and with the assumption of man’s nature, or, more precisely, in and with His mission.

    The very form of a servant, and His putting on the likeness of sinful flesh, was an argument that sin was already transferred to Him and borne by Him; and not a single moment of the Lord’s earthly life can be conceived of in which He did not feel the harden of the divine wrath which must otherwise have pressed on us for ever.
    Because He bore sin, and was never seen without it, it may be affirmed that the mortality which was comprehended in the words, “Thou shalt surely die”—that is, all that was summed up in the wrath and curse of God,—was never really separated from Him, though it had its hours of culmination and its abatements.

    As the sin-bearer, He all through life discerned and felt the penal character of sin, the sense of guilt, not personal, but as the surety could realize it, and the obligation to divine punishment for sins not His own, but made His own by an official action; and they who evacuate of their true significance these deep words, “that beareth the sins of the world,” allowing Christ to have no connection with sin, and only dwelling on His purity and spotless innocence as our example—they who will not have Him as a sin-bearer—are the most sacrilegious.

  19. Peter Anders—Christ’s death would be the death of just another human being, if not for the death of the Son of God.” In light of a properly applied doctrine of the communication of attributes, it must be affirmed that the divine nature of Jesus did not specifically suffer and die in and of itself, but only in reference to the unity of the person of the God-man.

    “The death of God in the specific death of the divine nature of Jesus is problematic since in God we all “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). If God actually and intrinsically dies, then the whole of creation, which he alone sustains, must also die with him. Furthermore, a death experienced by God within which he may still actively sustain creation or resurrect himself is not a death in solidarity with that experienced by humanity. ”

    “The mystery of the incarnation is not in the actual death of God’s intrinsic being; it is in the precise reality of the communication of attributes between the two distinct natures in the unity of the one person of Jesus. The trinitarian distinction is the conceptual key that opens the door for the understanding of God himself as freely relating to humanity in the incarnate person of Jesus. It properly points humanity to Jesus, who is the only mediator through which God and humanity may meet in true solidarity.

    “The more human we try to make God, the less we need the incarnation. But the more we acknowledge the radical otherness of God, through the affirmation of the trinitarian distinction and divine impassibility, the more we will cherish, lift up, and worship Jesus Christ who is the incarnation of God, the Immanuel, or “God with and for us.”

  20. markmcculley Says:

    How many Deaths did Christ Die? , by J C Settlemoir, in The Grace Proclamator and Promulgator, July 2016

    Some people say that Jesus died spiritually before he died physically. They say Christ died TWO DEATHS. John Calvin, “If Christ had died only one death, it would have been ineffectual”.

    B H Carrol—“Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body, and spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God. So just before that darkness passed away, Christ died the spiritual death”,

    The first question we ask when men tell us that Jesus died spiritually, is, where is the Scripture which teaches this? Just saying it does not make it so.

    Scripture tells us when Christ died. Daniel 9:26 says that the Messiah will be CUT OFF from life. This cutting off occurred only once. Christ only died once. I Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all time, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God.

    Scripture does not speak of Christ’s deaths.
    Hebrews 10: 5
    You prepared a body for Me.
    6 You did not delight
    in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings.
    7 Then I said, “See—
    it is written about Me
    in the volume of the scroll—
    I have come to do Your will, God!”
    8 After He says above, You did not want or delight in sacrifices and offerings, whole burnt offerings and sin offerings (which are offered according to the law), 9 He then says, See, I have come to do Your will, He takes away the first to establish the second. 10 By this will of God, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all time

    If Christ Died Spiritually Before He Yielded up His Spirit, Then His Sacrifice was not Acceptable. Philippians 2: 8 He was obedient to death. Christ could not be obedient in a swoon. Was Christ obedient all the Way? If so, Christ did not die before His death.

    (mark–Of course there are many who teach that Christ’s death is not His righteousness or His obedience. They teach that Christ’s vicarious law keeping was His righteousness, and that the death (or deaths) were only for the purpose of remission or getting back to neutral).

    II Timothy 1:10 Christ abolished death by His death, not by two deaths. This was accomplished by Christ’s physical death on the cross. Christ never prayed to be saved from ‘spiritual death”. Christ prayed to be resurrected from physical death.

    The veil of the temple was rent only once and that was when Christ died.

    At the Mount of Transfiguration, Christ’s physical death was the topic of discussion. He took along Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. Luke 9: 29 As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly, two men were talking with Him—Moses and Elijah. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of His DEATH which He was about to ACCOMPLISH in Jerusalem.

    If Christ died spiritually, then Christ Needed to be Regenerated

  21. markmcculley Says:

    There are dangers to describing sin as corruption instead of guilt, because guilt is cause of inability. There is great error in describing “made sin” as the “spiritual death” of Christ. Christ did not become corrupt, and Christian do not become righteous by infusion or by impartation (of an extra nature to make two) but by God’s legal imputation. …..

    If Christ died spiritually, then Christ Needed to be Regenerated

  22. markmcculley Says:

    Lee irons—Calvin was equally concerned with this phrase and felt the weight of these objections against it. However, he didn’t want to tamper with an ancient Creed, so he interpreted it metaphorically (Institutes 2.16.8-12). He said that the descent of Jesus into hell means that Jesus endured the torments of hell in his soul prior to his death. Calvin’s interpretation is theologically acceptable. It’s true that Jesus “endured most grievous torments … in his soul” (WCF VIII.4), in addition to the painful sufferings of his body. Calvin’s metaphorical interpretation has had a tremendous influence in the continental Reformed tradition. It is the view enshrined in the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 16:

    Question 44: Why is there added, “he descended into hell”? Answer: That in my greatest temptations, I may be assured, and wholly comfort myself in this, that my Lord Jesus Christ, by his inexpressible anguish, pains, terrors, and hellish agonies, in which he was plunged during all his sufferings, but especially on the cross, has delivered me from the anguish and torments of hell.

    This metaphorical interpretation is defended by many Reformed pastors to this day, e.g., Daniel Hyde, In Defense of the Descent (Reformation Heritage Books, 2010).
    But I just can’t see that this is what was intended by “he descended into hell.” If the descent clause is a metaphorical way of describing Christ’s atoning sufferings on the cross, then it’s in the wrong place. It should be after “was crucified” and before “died and was buried.” On the cross Jesus said, “It is finished,” so we know that the atoning sufferings of Christ were completed before he died. He did not go into hell after his death to suffer further punishment in our place.

  23. markmcculley Says:

    My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?–

    The Biblical Timeline of Jesus’ Crucifixion Versus The Myth
    Copyright © 2013 – All rights retained by author

    Did Jesus endure the flames of the Lake of Fire (Hell) in order to secure our salvation? If so, when did He go to the torment of Hell and how long did He suffer there? “What difference does it make?” my wife asked, “He died didn’t He?”

    In the last 500 years the doctrine of the cross has changed and continues to evolve from the way it was understood in the first century. Something new has been added. Namely the new addition is that Jesus had to endure the torment of the fires of Hell (i.e. the Lake of Fire) in order to “pay for our sins” and thus win salvation for humanity.

    The logic behind the myth unfolds something like this:

    Unrepentant sinners go to eternal hellfire in the Lake of Fire to pay for their sins, so Jesus had to go through the same torment in order to pay for the sins of humankind and thus buy for us eternal life.

    Four Scriptures Abused To Build The Myth

    The four most common Scriptures that are improperly pressed into service as prooftexts for the notion that Jesus paid for our sins by suffering in the Lake of Fire while hanging on the cross are:

    He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NAS, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

    Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? (NIV, Habakkuk 1:13)

    At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (NAS, Mark 15:34)

    Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”– (Galatians 3:13)

    These four passages, taken out of their context and supplied with new meanings, are then pressed into service to create a new mythology of the suffering of Jesus. Here is how the myth is developed using these “prooftexts”:

    While on the cross Jesus’ body was turned into actual sin, though He Himself had committed no sins. Since God cannot look at evil, which is now what the body of Jesus was comprised of, God had to turn away Jesus; God could not look at Jesus nor fellowship with Him and consequently His Holy Spirit may even have been withdrawn from Jesus. For that reason Jesus cried out “My God, why have you forsaken Me?”
    Then Jesus’ spirit was cursed by the Father , separated from His body while still alive on the cross, and sent to the Lake of Fire to pay for human sin. While His spirit was being tormented in the fire the Father poured out all the full fury of His wrath on Jesus in some invisible and indefinable way because Jesus was now sin. When God released the spirit of Jesus from the fire His body was turned again from sin to sinless flesh and His body was reunited with His Spirit on the cross. Then He uttered, “It is finished.”

    Thus Jesus paid for all human sin by having suffered for us in Hell.

    Error 1: Jesus’ Spirit Was Able to Leave His Body While His Body Still Lived

    When a spirit leaves a human body it is because the human body has died,

    “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).

    However, when the myth says that Jesus’ spirit was out of His body and was in the Lake of Fire Jesus’ body was still on the cross, living, breathing, thinking, talking, and even drinking. Jesus’ body (which was supposedly turned into sin) was engaged in such godly activities as :saving a thief, commending His mother to the care of John, and praying for the forgiveness of those who were murdering Him.

    The problem should be self-evident. Jesus’ spirit could not leave His body while Jesus lived, else His body would have been dead already. It is unusual for a dead corpse to pray, evangelize, and sip vinegar. Even worse for the myth is that Jesus states, “It is finished” (or more literally, “The debt is paid”) at the moment His death is imminent. In other words, the price of eternal life for all sinners was paid before Jesus’ spirit ever left His body.

    Error 2: It was Jesus’ Spirit Enduring Hell That Bought Salvation for Humanity

    Every Scripture that discusses the topic states that it is the bodily death of the sacrifice that purchases salvation and forgiveness. No passage ever states that it is the torturing of the spirit that buys salvation.

    The goal of the Lake of Fire (Hell) is to separate the resurrected body and soul of the unrepentant unbelievers from God and the saints for eternity. That separation is itself a horrible punishment, but it is not designed to expiate sins, to accrue wages toward the entrance price of eternal life, or to reduce the sin of debt which the sinner has on his account.

    First, since time in Hell does not reduce the sin debt of any sinner, why would Jesus have had to go there to pay for our sins?

    Second, if Hell is designed to separate fellowship between God and the body and soul of the unbelieving unrepentant sinners, why was His body not put into Hell when the body of all other unbelievers will be?
    Error 3: Jesus Substituted His Time in Hell for the Time We Should Have Spent in Hell

    Time in the Lake of Fire (Hell) never pays for any human sin. Hell is not the purchase price for eternal life, nor can time in Hell be applied toward the acquisition fee of redemption. The only thing that purchases salvation for the believer is the body and blood of Jesus.

    Error 4: Jesus’ Body Turned into Literal and Actual Sin

    Jesus’ body did not turn into literal sin. Spurgeon called the theory that Jesus literally turned into sin a modern heresy of the grossest sort.

    He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NAS, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

    Stated differently, the phrase (that Jesus was made to be sin on our behalf) is a shorthand way of saying that Jesus died the bodily death of a sinner so that we would be credited His righteousness and thus be given eternal life.

    To assume that His body literally turned into sin is the same error of force-fitting overly literal language that is applied by some to the passage of the bread and the wine becoming the literal body and blood of Jesus. If Paul meant Jesus’ body did become sin, then which sin?
    Error 5: God the Father Forsook Fellowship with God the Son

    When Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1 (“My God, why have you forsaken me?”) He was demonstrating that His death pains were as crushing as were the life worries of David when David wrote Psalm 22. Psalm 22:24 clearly states that God never forsakes fellowship with His righteous children, nor turns His eyes away from them.

    In what way did David and Jesus experience a forsaking? David certainly experienced God forsaking him to human anguish and human misery at the hands of his enemies, but David did not experience God forsaking his spirit to Hell.

    Many of the early church pastors from the first century to the fourth century wrote that the only legitimate meaning of Jesus’ crying out and quoting Psalm 22:1 while on the cross was to illustrate the pain of death in His humanity…being forsaken by God to die a human death. Those early pastors were adamant that God never turned away from Jesus nor broke fellowship with Him.

    If Jesus had meant to imply that some type of mystical and invisible severing of fellowship occurred between Himself, the Holy Spirit, and the Father then unimaginable doctrinal problems come to light:

    if the Father broke off fellowship with Jesus then did that mean Jesus lost His divinity?

    if Jesus lost the Holy Spirit then can we lose the Holy Spirit and thus our salvation?
    since Jesus was continuing to evangelize and to prophesy while on the cross, how could He do that if He was missing His own spirit, was not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and was out of fellowship with the Father?
    The silliness truly begins to mount up when we fail to understand that Jesus meant to apply Psalm 22:1 in exactly the same way that David meant it, “God, this suffering is undeserved and painful, why have You forsaken me to it and not brought it to an end yet?”

    Since God can and does observe evil on earth, and even keeps records of everything He sees that we humans do, there is no warrant to assert that God had to turn His gaze away or His fellowship away from Jesus as He suffered on the cross. God is well document as communing with evil characters. In fact, God actually allowed the fallen devil, Satan, into His presence and demanded an account from Satan of his activities on Earth (Job 1:6-7). God talked with Adam and Eve about their first sins. God talked to Cain after he murdered Abel.

    God not only can look upon evil, but He can talk and fellowship with sinners as well. When Jesus fellowshipped with the lowly sinners and the high class sinners, drinking with them and having dinner with them, He was still God and He was still communing with them.

    It is an unbiblical myth that God cannot look at sin or communicate with sinners. There is no scriptural reason to opine that the Father broke fellowship with Jesus while He died on the cross. In fact, God was pleased with Jesus that He made this sacrifice even as it anguished the Father to observe it.

    When all is evaluated, the modern myth, tacked as it is uncomfortably onto the genuine account of Jesus’ crucifixion, simply evaporates. Jesus’ body did not turn into sin, God was not forced to stop looking at Him, the Father only forsook Jesus to the pain of bodily death and did not break fellowship with Him, Jesus’ spirit did not leave His living body while suffering on the cross, Jesus’ spirit did not spend several hours in the Lake of Fire without His body, and the Father did not invisibly pour out the full measure of His wrath onto His dying Son.

    If the myth were true then it would indicate that it was not really the sufficiency of Jesus’ blood or His bodily death that saves. The gospel message would be wrong. Instead the gospel would have to be rewritten to state that it is the necessity of someone’s spirit spending time in Hell that redeems a man. There is no Scripture that even hints at such a heresy. The myth is untrue, a fiction added to the gospel message in the past 500 years. We are better off without it.

    Randy Alcorn, having had attended a conference with CJ Mahaney and John Piper wrote the following:

    CJ [Mahaney] spoke of our Savior’s cry, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And though I have contemplated that amazing cry often, never did it hit me as hard as in CJ’s message, when he referred to it as “the scream of the Damned.”

    Then there was break and music and announcements, and John Piper stood up to bring his message. Several of us had prayed in a back room that God would anoint John, and pick right up where He left off in the previous message, and wow, did He. John referred repeatedly to the “scream of the Damned,” and then moved into Romans 8.

    A flood of tears came as God preached the message to me yet again. That Deity would be Damned. That the God who is called upon righteously by the saints and angels in heaven to damn people, and called upon habitually by unbelievers flippantly and unrighteously to damn people, would in fact damn his Son, would (from the Son’s willingness to drink the cup) damn himself…for us. That it could be said of the Beloved One, “God damned Him,” and that He screamed the scream of the Damned….it was too much for me. It is too much for me this moment. And in the ages to come it will continue to be too much for me.

    In his sermon, The Scream of the Damned, John Piper opined the following:

    Everything exists to magnify the worth of the scream of the damned. That’s the point of the universe.

    What we will do forever in heaven is magnify the worth of the scream of the damned.

    Calvary will not be forgotten. It is the most-horrible, most sinful, most agonizing event that ever was – it will be the center of heaven forever.

    Hell exists, the cross exists, sin exists, heaven exists, you exist, universe exists, in order to magnify the worth of the scream of the damned.

    What is the apex of the revelation of the grace of God? And the answer is the scream of the damned on the cross.

    John Piper, in his personal blog at Desiring God on March 18, 2014 reaffirmed his commitment to his allegations that Jesus had been damned by the Father. He wrote:

    When Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” it was the scream of the damned — damned in our place…
    Of course, the doctrine and the theology expressed in the quotes above are not God’s doctrine or theology. Jesus was not damned to Hell while on the cross, and He did not scream anything like what the truly damned will scream when they are subjected to their proper fate.

    That cry, “Why have You forsaken me?” is the cry that ONLY believers, secure in their salvation but who have endured suffering, may utter. It is only they, the sons of God, who persevere through trials in the service of the kingdom who were ever in God’s good graces and so may rightfully ask why they should continue to suffer here on earth. By way of contrast, the unsaved, the truly damned, will only ever scream back to God, “I hate You, get me as far from Your holy face as You can; I do not want Your fellowship and to be near You is unbearable to me!”

    Why must the predestined sons of God endure misery in this world and be forsaken to human suffering while on earth? Because mankind rebelled, sinned, and was cursed. That curse has not yet been rescinded. We, like Christ, have been forsaken to suffer and die on this planet, subjected to the curse of the first Adam. We deserve this; Christ did not but volunteered to take on that curse. We ask, “God, why have you forsaken me to suffer on this planet?” because death and suffering are unnatural curses for the redeemed righteous ones of God’s choosing.

    The damned will not scream or cry anything like that. Rather, the damned will scream curses and hatred at God, even as they must bow the knee to Christ in angry defiant submission to their Creator. Those who have hated God now will continue to hate God then.

    No, the damned have never truthfully screamed, “My God, why have You forsaken me?” They are not God’s adopted righteous ones and they do not deem Him their God nor value His protection, redemption, fellowship, or salvation.

    The Faithful Icon Return to Home Page

  24. markmcculley Says:

    But here’s the good part of Tiessen’s essay.

    Tiessen—In my many years as a traditionalist, I viewed Jesus’ cry from the cross through the lens which was so often used when I heard it preached, namely, the alienation of Jesus from the Father by his being made sin. I do not deny the truth of that proclamation at all. But, over time, that moment assumed an importance in my understanding of the atoning work of Christ which I now see to have been misconstrued. I came to see that time, and that interaction between the Father and the Son as the supreme moment of Jesus’ accomplishment of our salvation. The Father’s righteous wrath was poured out, and Jesus, in our place, bore our sin “in his body on the cross,” as Peter put it, with Isa 53 very clearly in his mind (1 Pet 2:24). But, because I saw the Son’s satisfying of the Father’s righteous wrath against sin as of utmost importance, I came to think of that moment as virtually the time at which Jesus redeemed us. I didn’t explicitly say this, to myself or others, but I was working with that concept in mind.

    It has taken a while, but being an annihilationist has finally made me aware of my error on this point. I believe that it is true that the Son’s bearing of the Father’s wrath against sin is at the very center of the effectiveness of Christ’s work on the cross. But to put things in the way that I had begun to portray them, would have been to indicate that redemption was accomplished while Jesus was alive on the cross. That is contrary to the continuous testimony of the New Testament that Jesus accomplished our delivery from the guilt and power of sin by his death, by the shedding of his blood. Our redemption in Christ has been “put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith” (Rom 3:24-25).

    All the sinners whom God had chosen “before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love,” had been chosen “in Christ” (Eph 1:4). It is through this incorporation into Christ that those who believe are saved and “have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Eph 1:7, emphasis mine). Their names had “been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slaughtered” (Rev 13:8). After Peter’s declaration, by revelation of Jesus’ Father in heaven (Matt 16:17), that Jesus was “the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” Jesus “began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Mt 16:21-22; cf. Matt 17:22-23; Lk 9:22). Jesus described in detail the events which would occur to him in Jerusalem – condemnation to death, handing over to the Gentiles, mocking, spitting, flogging, and killing, but then rising again after three days (Mk 12:33-34). He spoke of those events as the cup that he was about to drink (Matt 20:22).

    Jesus had stated to his disciples that, although his soul was troubled, he would not ask the Father to save him “from this hour,” because it was “for this reason” that he had “come to this hour” (Jn 12:27). What Jesus did request was that the Father glorify his name, and the Father answered: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again,” with a voice which the crowd took to be either thunder or the voice of an angel who had spoken to Jesus (John 12:29). But Jesus told them that this voice had not spoken for his sake, but for the crowd’s because the time had come for “the judgment of this world, “ when “when the ruler of this world will be driven out.” And when Jesus was “lifted up from the earth,” he would “draw all people to [him]self” (John 12:30-31). That was his way of indicating the kind of death he would die (John 12:33). In the garden of Gethsemane, Peter drew his sword in an effort to protect Jesus from arrest, but Jesus told him: “Put your sword back into its sheath,” because Jesus willed: “to drink the cup that the Father has given me” (John 18:10-11)

  25. markmcculley Says:

    And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Christ was forsaken as our sin-bearer and propitiatory sacrifice (Heb. 1:3) In saying these words, Jesus is fulfilling the prophetic words of Psalm 22 and declaring Himself to be the one true Messiah. “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2)

    Galatians 3:13:
    “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

    jOHN gILL–they are under the curse, that is, of the law; they are under its sentence of condemnation and death, they are deserving of, and liable to the second death, eternal death, the wrath of God, here meant by the curse; to which they are exposed, and which will light upon them, for aught their righteousness can do for them; for trusting in their works, they are trusting in the flesh, and so bring down upon themselves the curse threatened to the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm; not only that trusts in a man of flesh and blood, but in the works of man; his own, or any other mere creature’s: besides, by so doing, he rejects Christ and his righteousness, whereby only is deliverance from the curse of the law; nor is it possible by his present obedience to the law, be it ever so good, that he can remove the guilt of former transgressions, and free himself from obligation to punishment for them: nor is it practicable for fallen man to fulfil the law of works, and if he fails but in one point, he is guilty of all, and is so pronounced by the law; and he stands before God convicted, his mouth stopped, and he condemned and cursed by that law he seeks for righteousness by the deeds oF

  26. markmcculley Says:

    Glenn Peoples—many reject the view that Jesus atoned for sin by suffering in hell after death . The problem, however, is that they still assume that the punishment for sin is suffering the wrath of God in the form of torment, and so the solution, whatever it is, is assumed to be that Jesus suffers that torment somewhere, either on the cross or in hell – and since it wasn’t in hell it was on the cross.

    s the human spirit of Jesus “present in the sacrament” like his human spirit was present in heaven when He was dead?
    David Murray—Jesus was in heaven for these few days, His human soul still united to His divine nature, rightly being worshipped there for His saving work of suffering and dying for sinners. Yes, that worship is theologically sound and totally appropriate. But was Jesus not also on a cold slab of rock in a Middle Eastern cave? Yes, He was. While His human soul was separated from His body, His divine nature was separated from neither and never will be. His divine nature was as united to His lifeless body on earth as it was to His glorified soul in heaven. That means I can worship Him equally in the grave as in glory

    Belgic Confession, Article 19— “So then what he committed to his Father when he died was a real human spirit which left his body. But meanwhile his divine nature remained united with his human nature even when he was lying in the grave; and his deity never ceased to be in him, just as it was in him when he was a little child, though for a while it did not show itself as such.”

    What happens to the “Calvinist extra” (deity not united to humanity) if Christ’s deity is present in two places, not only with His dead body but also with his “human spirit in heaven”? Why object to Lutheran ideas about the ubiquity of the humanity (by communication of attributes with the deity) once you have agreed to humanity present with deity in two places?

  27. markmcculley Says:

    Jesus was tortured to death, but Jesus is not still being tortured, and Jesus was not tortured for three days after He died

    Calvin said that the physical death of Jesus would not save anybody, Calvin said it was God’s torture of Jesus that saved but Calvin also said that the torture was bfore Jesus died

    when Jesus was a baby, He didn’t sleep all that well at the beginning, the baby Jesus kept waking up his mom

  28. markmcculley Says:

    F F Bruce The point at issue is simply this: whether Christ’s flesh had the grace of sinlessness and incorruption from its proper nature, or from the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. I say the latter. I assert, that in its proper nature it was as the flesh of His Mother, but, by virtue of the Holy Ghost’s quickening and inhabiting of it, it was preserved sinless and incorruptible.

    While B W Newton repudiated Irving’s view that Christ accordingly inherited a sinful nature, he suggested that it was because of His federal relationship to Adam that He inherited such side-effects of the fall as ‘hunger, thirst, weariness, sorrow, etc.’, together with ‘the being possessed of a mortal body’. Some years later he repudiated this view in favour of one which accounted for Christ’s suffering such ills as flesh is heir to ‘in virtue of His having been made of a woman’. He realized that the view he had previously expressed might be thought to imply the corollary that Adam’s sin was imputed to Christ j

    In other papers Newton gave further consideration to the subject of Christ’s sufferings during His life (‘non-atoning’ sufferings, as he reckoned them) by expounding some of the ‘individual laments’ in the Psalter in a christological sense

    J. N. Darby, who led the attack against Newton, ran into trouble himself twelve years later because of papers on ‘The Sufferings of Christ’ contributed to The Bible Treasury in 1858 and 1859.6 Here he distinguished, in addition to Christ’s ill-treatment at the hands of men and the atoning sufferings endured vicariously on men’s behalf (the ‘cup’ which His Father gave him to drink), a third category, endured under the ‘governmental’ dealing of God when He ‘entered in heart into the indignation and wrath that lay on Israel’

    One symptom of the docetic tendency appears in the description of our Lord’s manhood as ‘heavenly humanity’, found in the works of C. H. Mackintosh and others..

    Writing in 1901, W. B. Neatby said, ‘A year or two ago I heard an address from a Brother of the Open Section, who actually taught that Christ did not die from crucifixion, but by a mere miraculous act.

    C. F. Hogg’s pamphlet, The Traditions and the Deposit: ‘What He did not know, He knew that He did not know’

  29. markmcculley Says:

    4. Jesus’ Conscious Suffering on the Cross Was the Equivalent of Hell

    Under myth #4, titled “Hell is the Result of a Flaw in God’s Love,” the actual question of how a loving God could send someone to a place of eternal torture is ignored, but an appeal to the love of God is made in light of hell. It is argued that Jesus shows us the depths of God’s love by suffering the equivalent of hell while he was dying (but not dead) on the cross.

    However, this is not how the atonement worked by any orthodox measure. Although the suffering was part of the whole crucifixion package, it cannot and must not be separated from Jesus’ death. Jesus didn’t just suffer on our behalf; he died on our behalf. That is at the very heart of Christianity. Jesus’s death is what ultimately atoned for our sins. The Bible emphasizes the importance of Jesus’ death in both literal and figurative language (e.g. Matthew 26:28; Romans 5:10; Hebrews 9:26; 10:10; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 7:15).

    If Jesus’s conscious suffering, prior to his death, was him suffering the equivalent hell on our behalf, why did he have to die after? After all, if he suffered the equivalent of hell while alive and suffering on the cross, is it not implied that the point of that was to take on our punishment and therefore atone for our sins so we would be spared? But if his conscious suffering accomplished that, why did he have to die? If Jesus atoned for our sins by suffering hell before he died, then his death was unnecessary!

    Jesus’ death was not unnecessary. Rather, it was the central part of the atonement. Our sins are not forgiven because he suffered “hell” before death, but because he suffered death. Any orthodox treatment of the cross has to treat Jesus’ death as at least part of the atonement, at least part of the price he paid to save us. Traditionalists do not believe that the fate of the wicked entails suffering that concludes upon death (as was the case with Jesus). The very best a traditionalist can say when it comes to the atonement is that there was not meant to be a one-to-one correspondence to what Jesus endured and what the unsaved will face without Christ. And I am actually okay with that. But by any measure, the atonement can only help conditionalists because Jesus died for our sins

  30. markmcculley Says:

    “Jesus had no impurity. And Thomas said He was pure in heart. So obviously He had some, some experience of the beauty of the Father. Until that moment that my sin was placed upon Him. And the one who was pure was pure no more. And God cursed Him. It was if there was a cry from Heaven – excuse my language but I can be no more accurate than to say – it was as if Jesus heard the words ‘God damn you’, because that’s what it meant to be cursed, to be damned, to be under the anathema of the Father. As I said I don’t understand that, but I know that it’s true.” (R.C. Sproul. Together for the Gospel. April 17, 2008. Louisville, KY. Session V – The Curse Motif of the Atonement. Minute 55:01)

    “My God, my God”, it is this moment, this agony, this scream, that delivers all those who turn from their sin.., Heaven awaits all those who turn from their sin. He screamed the ‘scream of the damned’ [i.e., “forsaken me”] for us. He takes upon Himself the scream I deserved He screams the ‘scream of the damned’ for me.”… the infinite value of the ‘scream of the damned’. …The quote you just heard from ‘Spectacular Sins’ is my effort to get at it. Everything exists to magnify the worth of the ‘scream of the damned‘. Everything. That’s the point of the universe.” (John Piper. Resolved Conference 2008. Session 12 – The Triumph of the Gospel in the New Heavens and New Earth)

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