When Jesus died on the cross, did the trinity suffer?

In Christian theology, “patripassianism” is the view that God the Father suffers (Latin patri- “father” and passio “suffering”). Its adherents believe that God the Father became incarnate and suffered on the cross.

From the standpoint of the doctrine of the Trinity or Godhead—one Divine Being existing in three Persons—“patripassianism” is considered heretical because it denies the distinct personhood of the Members of the Trinity. In this vein, “patripassianism” asserts that God the Father—rather than God the Son—became incarnate and suffered on the Cross for humanity’s redemption.

This not only denies the personhood of God-the-Son (Jesus Christ), but also distorts the spiritual transaction that was taking place at the Cross, which the Apostle Paul described as follows: “God [the Father] was reconciling the world to himself in Christ [the Son], not counting people’s sins against them. . . . God [the Father] made him who had no sin [God-the-Son] to be sin for us, so that in him [the Son] we might become the righteousness of God [the Father]” (2 Corinthians 5:19, 21).

The Bible shows in John 3:16 two distinct figures, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

And, we clearly see three distinct persons at the baptism of Jesus. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16,17).

Finally, we see the shared authority of the trinity in the great commission “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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