Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Jesus and the Second Death

One of the frequent things you hear in SDA circles is that Jesus died the "second death". Like this latest example from the Conversations about God discussion list. From which I have effectively been banned because I contributed too much and the owner wanted the quieter members to have a chance. B.S. sums that up. Anyway this person writes:

Jesus came(it seems to me) to propitate us and appease our lack of knowledge of
the 2nd death requirement of sin/seperation that is the wages of sin.By taking
our well deserved 2nd death upon Himself ,He gives us a chance to have eternal
life with All of God and the rest of creation by his examples of what is life,
love and wisdom.His ressurection proves that He has the power to parent us all
the way to and through eternal life.
Conversations About God

Now in the past I have always pointed out to such people that first the Bible says nothing about Jesus suffering the Second Death and that the Second Death according to the book of Revelation which is the only place Second Death is mentioned says there is no resurrection from the Second Death. So there is pretty much no way Jesus could suffer the Second Death.

But recently I thought of something that is so obvious I don't know why I never used it before. To die the second death one must have lived the second life. Elementary isn't it. So let's review the standard Christ Judgment scenerio. A person lives their life here on earth. They die. According to several Bible verses there is a resurrection of the dead as the book of Daniel says some to everlasting life and some to everlasting destruction. Now if someone is resurrected by God that in itself is a supernatural event. As such it is also a second time of life. Hence the name second death which as Revelation points out is only for the wicked and from which there is no resurrection. So if Jesus died the Second Death...when did he live the second life?

Let's see em squirm out of that one!

6 comments:

Red Hawk I said...

It's an interesting idea, but fundamentally mistaken, I think.

The "second death" is not about the order, but about the quality, the nature of that death. Perhaps better terms would be "mortal death" and "separation death." "Morta death" is the death that naturally comes to all living things on this planet. "Separation death" is separation from the Father.

We know Christ suffered the separation, because of His quotation of Ps. 22. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me. . ."

No human has yet suffered that death, because if they had they could not be resurrected, for in God "we live, and move, and have our being." Only Jesus, who had life in himself, could survive that separation.

Asking about the "second life" is a natural mistake, because of the use of the number.

A similar mistake is made by some, for example, when scripture calls Christ, the "firstborn of creation." Some reasonably assume 1) that he was born-- not eternally co-existent with God, and 2) he was part of creation. But in context, it's clear that Paul is talking about rank, or authority, rather than origin. Christ is the ruler, is pre-eminent over creation, not the first created being.

Ron Corson said...

Red Hawk said:"We know Christ suffered the separation, because of His quotation of Ps. 22. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me. . ."

Actually using the beginning of Ps. 22 says nothing about seperation from God. It is a psalm of tribulation to triumph. Surely no one assumes that when David used those words My God why have you forsaken me, that he had died the second death or that he was in separation death from God.

Acutally I would say the death that comes to all living things is the separation death from God the source of all life. It is the natural result of sin. There would be no hope were it not for God's willingness to recreate us and give us eternal life. That is why the resurrection of Christ is the key to Christianity. It is the proof of God's power to do what He says.

Red Hawk I said...

"Surely no one assumes that when David used those words My God why have you forsaken me, that he had died the second death or that he was in separation death from God."

Well, I thought this was going to be a serious discussion.

Using your reasoning, no one seriously believes that the woman in Isaiah 7 was a virgin who gave birth.

These OT prophecies and events prefigured what Christ would go through. But, as H.K. La Rondelle wrote, there is an acceleration in the antitype.

So the child in Isaiah 8 is born of a young woman, and is named Immanuel because he is evidence that God is with Israel.

But the Christ is born of a true virgin, and literally is God with us.

If you don't understand that, you don't understand Christology whatsoever, and it's futile to discuss anything as subtle as the second death.

Ron Corson said...

red Hawk wrote:

"If you don't understand that, you don't understand Christology whatsoever, and it's futile to discuss anything as subtle as the second death."

Maybe you have pointed out the problem. Is the subject of the second death of Jesus on the cross some type of subtle information. Should not the message of the cross be more then just subtle information? If the Bible spends the time to tell us of the death caused by men, 5 times alone in the book of Acts. Should we assume there is a subtle message hidden in the words "My God My God why have you forsaken me." It would seem far more likely that instead of some subtle notion of a second death, Christ's words remind people of the message of the Ps 22. For further information on that read the following:
http://www.progressiveadventist.com/Psalm.htm

Anonymous said...

Jesus suffered the ETERNAL death - the one that is our right to receive, and that we can escape only thru believing in Jesus Christ to the salvation of our souls.

Praise God!

Explorer said...

The second death, as Adventist so often use the term, is a death after which there is no further life. Christ rose from the dead so obviously His death was not eternal. This of course does not fit most Christian’s paradigm thus the irrational explanations and frustration when pressed on what is the reason and meaning of the cross.