If Adam's death was Spiritual why was Jesus's death Physical?

Just thinking … if Jesus didn’t die physically, he couldn’t have been resurrected.
Romans 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

I also think that the resurrection is key. I am not sure how exactly it all fits together though. I do think that physical death being a part of the equation makes the narrative make much more sense:

Traditional (pre-modern biology) view:

Sin = Death(Physical) + Loss of eternal life(Spiritual)
Jesus’s death and resurrection(Physical/Spiritual) = Sins forgiven + eternal life

Yet the evidence for evolution seems to make the equation more complicated, and dare I say less impressive, and maybe incomplete:

Sin = Loss of eternal life (Spiritual)
Jesus’s death and resurrection(Physical/Spiritual) = Sins forgiven + eternal life

Would Adam have been immortal if he had not sinned?

Only if he had access to the tree of life. Otherwise what would be the purpose of the tree? After all God did say “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever”

The punishment for eating of the forbidden fruit was “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”. Not the day you eat you will die 900 years in the future.

You could propose that Adam was immortal, lost that upon eating the fruit, and then regaining it when eating of the other fruit, but that would imply eating the fruit would forgive his sin.

Jesus had to die physically because he had a physical body and all physical bodies are perishable. So says Paul in 1 Cor 15. Physical bodies die because they are made of stuff of the Earth, i.e. matter or dust, subject to the laws of nature by which they exist.

Likewise, because Adam had a physical body he also would have to die physically but there was no connection to the fall in the garden since he did not die physically on the day he ate the fruit but only a long time later.

The logic here is not that because Adam died physically or spiritually then Jesus had to die physically (unavoidable) or spiritually (impossible), but that because Adam died spiritually and all mankind through him also, Jesus had to be resurrected to a spiritual body (1 Cor 15) in order to forge the way as the first of many.

Vampire? Highlander? Amsterdam detective? Forever ME?

But in the sense that he would have eternal life from a relationship with God in a spiritual body? Yes.

Dear Oren,
Most of this is answered in my comment in another thread:

The spiritual death of Adam and all the fallen could not have been reconciled with a mere physical death. Yes, Jesus died physically on the cross, but He lived a perfect life to reconcile humanity with God, and believing in Him is the only way to escape spiritual death.

Best Wishes, Shawn

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Do you think that the physical death would have been the same tragic experience it is currently for a sinless Adam?

Would it be possible for Abel to have been crushed to death (physical) by a falling tree, or catch a virus as a toddler? If so would Adam and Eve have felt sorrow or joy because their child was now in his Spiritual body because Abel was in the presence (or had eaten of the Tree of Life)? When something tragic happens to someone today it seems the Christian response is “it wasn’t supposed to be this way.” Yet, it seems like it is true (and you agree) that it was always in the cards that physical death exists. It seems difficult to uncouple physical death from sin.

No. Not the same at all. It would be a second birth into the life of the spirit with God.

Yes, but with the guidance of God in their lives, this wouldn’t be very likely.

Parents tend to have mixed feelings at the major transitions in the lives of their children. There are reasons for both sadness and joy.

The balance is not quite the same because the added difficulty with sin throws a wrench into things. It requires a little more faith that our loved one will get through the difficulties.

Adam did die physically, no? If he didn’t, then you could presumably find him somewhere on the planet and ask him this question directly…! :wink:

Jesus was a sacrifice. Sacrifices under the old law were physical deaths. Jesus was a better sacrifice - one that could actually take our sin away. The blood of bulls and goats couldn’t do that.

Adam died spiritually because of his sin, and we do too without Jesus’s sacrifice.

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Dear @Boscopup,
I suggest you look into the source of blood sacrifice in the Bible. We know the OT went through two major rewrites after its original penning in the 10th century BCE. The first major rewrite came after spending two generations in the city of the devil - Babylon - where it they learned the pagan blood sacrifice rituals (and were executed if they did not practice them). Read Ezekiel with this in mind.

The original author of the OT shared the spiritual meaning with that of Jesus, looking for mankind to give spiritual sacrifice to the Father - forgiving our enemies and resisting our vices - not killing animals or people to overcome our own sins.
Best Wishes, Shawn

@Shawn_Murphy, I’m not a subscriber to the JEDP Documentary Hypothesis stuff. That’s actually what caused me to ultimately fall into atheism. Not going back there, thank you.


If you an atheist, then why are writing about Jesus?

I returned to Christ a year ago. I’m no longer an atheist.

Edit: Hence why I’m “not going back there.” :slight_smile:

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I’m not certain Adam’s death was spiritual ,
He did in fact die a physical death .
I’ve mentioned this before :
There were 2 trees mentioned , 1 the forbidden tree of knowledge , the other the tree of life …
They were not forbidden to eat of the tree of life , not until they were cast out of the garden .
By the account itself , the garden was a specific location and separated from outside the garden .
It is arguable that death began to take it’s toll the moment they were cut off from the tree of life .

Shawn, since the discussion of blood sacrifice is still continuing, I remain very interested in your thoughts re the question I posted over in the other thread…

I’m almost scared to ask, but what Bible are you reading that doesn’t describe Jesus being offered as a blood sacrifice?

  • This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.(Matt 26:28 NIV)

  • God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—(Rom 3:25 NIV)

  • Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!(Rom 5:9 NIV)

  • In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace(Eph 1:7 NIV)

  • just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.(Eph 5:2 NIV)

  • and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.(Col 1:20 NIV)

  • Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.(Heb 7:27 NIV)

  • Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,(Heb 10:19 NIV)

  • But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.(Heb 9:26 NIV)

  • And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.(Heb 10:10 NIV)

  • For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.(1 Pet 1:18–19 NIV)

  • But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.(1 John 1:7 NIV)

  • He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.(1 John 2:2 NIV)

  • To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,(Rev 1:5 NIV)

  • And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Rev 5:9 NIV)

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Dear Daniel,
Sorry for the confusion. When I type quickly I forget some important words. I should have said that Jesus did not say He was a sacrifice. You quoted only one direct quote from Jesus above in Matt 26:28. My bible says that Jesus is referring to the wine as a symbol of His blood, for us to remember how far He was willing to go to spread the Good News. He knew that each of His apostles would face the same fate in spreading His Word. He was reminding them of the physical cost they would have to pay to achieve eternal life.
Best Wishes, Shawn

Yes, he was referring to the wine as a symbol of his blood… his blood that was poured out for the forgiveness of sins… if Jesus was trying to avoid giving the impression that his death was a blood sacrifice that accomplishes forgiveness, we can certainly accuse him of being a most inept communicator.

Finally, just so I understand… in reference to all the other passages I referenced… do you simply reject the rest of the New Testament as erroneous that does describe Jesus as a sacrifice?

In the writings of Paul, it is clear that Paul is writing about spiritual life and death. Jesus is the antithesis of Adam, through one man all have sinned and have death, then through one man all have life in Jesus Christ.

The Old and New Testaments are clear, a blood sacrifice is required for the remission of sin. The purpose of the Law in the Old Testament was to show man could not keep it. Jesus died physically as our sacrifice to fulfill the law that we could not do ourselves. I feel this is completely separate from Adam’s physical death.

The Garden created an environment for man under perfect conditions to show that even under perfect conditions, man will revolt against God (again, Adam is the contrast of Jesus where Jesus was tempted under very difficult conditions for 40 days). Some speculate that Adam and Eve were created immortal and they point to the genealogies in Genesis that emphasize over and over again with each person in the genealogy “…and they died” to demonstrate that the death in the line of Adam was brought about by their sin. Some I respect very much have suggested that Adam and Eve had “glorified” bodies, such as described in the “tranfiguration” and this was lost with their sin, which is why they didn’t know they were naked.

This all makes much more sense to me if you take Genesis 1 and 2 as sequential narratives. There was death outside the Garden long before the Garden was created and the Garden creation was a local event (there is no text that indicates otherwise)

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Here are a couple:
Mark 10:45 , Matthew 20:28
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
John 1:29
“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” - the lamb without blemish refers to the Passover Sacrifice
John 15:13
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Matthew 18:20
“See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

I tried just to keep with Jesus words (+ 1 by John the Baptist), the epistles and the Old Testament has many, many more references.

In Revelation, Jesus is portrayed as the slain lamb, who is the only one who is “worthy”.

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