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

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In Christian theology, “patripassianism” is the view that God the Father suffers (Latin patri- “father” and passio “suffering”). “Patripassianism” asserts that God the Father—rather than God the Son—became incarnate and suffered on the Cross for humanity’s redemption. From the standpoint of the doctrine of the Godhead—one Divine Being existing in three Persons—“patripassianism” is considered heretical because it denies the three distinct persons of the Godhead.

The three divine persons at the baptism

The Bible clearly shows the 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).

The Father witnesses to the Son

The Bible rejects Patripassianism as it shows in John 3:16 two distinct figures of the Father and the Son, “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.” Also, we read that the Father in heaven witnessed for the Son on earth at the transfiguration. “And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Luke 9:7).

The great commission and the Godhead

Also, we read about the shared authority of the three persons of the Godhead in the great commission: When Jesus said to the disciples, “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).

Paul and the divine persons of the Godhead

Patripassianism not only denies the person-hood 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).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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