Many Muslims say “How can God die if he is God?” Before I answer the question, my first question would be “What do you mean by death?” When a Muslim tells me “how can God die?”, that usually follows up with “who was running the universe if he died? If God dies, who is sustaining the universe?” Notice the assumption in the question. By telling me “How can God die? Who would be sustaining the universe if he died?”, they’re defining death as the cessation of life, that you cease to exist. So understand my response. To say that God can’t die because if he dies, who would be sustaining creation, that assumes death means ceasing to be conscious, ceasing to exist, ceasing to live. So my response is: Who told you that’s the definition of death? Not only is that definition of death contrary to the Bible, it’s contrary to the Quran. Chapter 2:154 of the Quran. Neither the Bible nor the Quran define death as ceasing to exist, ceasing to be conscious, ceasing to be alive. Let’s see what the Quran says about the martyrs, those are killed in the way of Allah, chapter 2:54 – And call not those who are slain in the way of Allah “dead.” Nay, they are living, only ye perceive not.
Those who were killed, they are physically killed, so they’re physically dead. They are not dead; they’re alive even though you don’t perceive. So the Quran defines that not as ceasing to exist. The body dies but your spirit continues to consciously exist.
Surah 3:169-170 – Count not those who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead but rather living with their Lord by him provided, rejoicing in the bounty that God has given them.
How can they rejoice if they have been killed? So they are alive. They are conscious and they can still experience emotions and sensations apart from the body. Does the bible agree that when a person physically dies, he still continues to exist consciously as a disembodied spirit? Of course. But for the sake of time, I’m just going to use the words of Jesus himself to prove that though physically put the death, he was still alive by virtue of being God. As God he’s ever living and even as a man with a human soul ad human spirit, his human soul and human Spirit would still be conscious and alive, united to his divine person. John 2:19-22 Jesus answered and said unto them “Destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up.” Who’s going to raise up the temple that was destroyed? Jesus says destroy this temple and in 3 days “I” will raise it up in 3 days. Then said the Jews “40 and 6 years was this temple building and you will raise it up?” But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remember that he had said this unto them and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus said to them. Jesus said you would destroy this temple, I personally will raise it up and the Jews were thinking he’s talking about the temple in Jerusalem. It took 46 years to finish this temple, you will raise it up? So they understood that he was claiming to raise up the temple. John says he was talking about his body. How could Jesus raise his body, his physical body back to life in 3 days if Jesus was no longer consciously alive? For Jesus to raise his physical body to life, he must still be consciously alive, he hasn’t ceased to exist, he’s alive, he’s alert, he’s conscious. What’s the problem with Jesus the God-man dying?
Not only that but Jesus was conscious to the point that he also gave up his own life. He gave up his own life and received it back and raised it up. In other words, Jesus dying doesn’t mean he stopped existing. Physically his body returned to the grave, to the dust, but as God and as a human being with a human spirit, his human spirit, his human soul, still attached to that divine person, he was still conscious and alive as a disembodied spirit, still sustaining creation, still sustaining his body and then raising his body back to life. What’s the problem with the God-man dying?
And I want to really show what John reported in John 19. For instance John 19:30 says “and having bowed his head, he yielded up the spirit. He was in control of the whole process. I was going to mention Luke 23:46 says “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” And he gave up the spirit.