Q Did Jesus die on the cross before the foundation of the world in body and soul? How did he die? Thanks Chris.
A We know that Christ bore the sins of His people, and made payment for them at the foundation of the world. And we also know that when Jesus entered into the world and went to the cross in 33 AD, He was NOT bearing sins (Pilate said, “I find no fault in Him”). So, as we read this verse:
1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
We see that it is speaking of bearing sins and therefore must be referring to the foundation of the world (the only time Christ bore sins). And we also learn that Jesus had a body because we’re told “He bare our sins in His own body”. And furthermore, we’re told that He died on the tree (cross).
We’ve discussed before, that Melchizedek had a body some 2000+ before Christ was born of the virgin Mary, and that Melchizedek was Christ. We understand that Jesus had a body to bear sins. But how could it be possible for Him to have died on a tree (cross) at the foundation of the world? Obviously, there were no trees available. God hadn’t made them, or any other part of the creation as yet. There’s no possible way that Jesus could have died on the tree at the foundation of the world.
Well, yes, literally, that’s correct. There were no trees as yet. But we have to always keep in mind that this is the Bible. And in the Bible God speaks in parables, and without a parable He did not speak.
Since we understand that all important principle, let’s ask the question: what does hanging upon a tree signify (as Jesus did when He hung upon the cross)? We find the answer in:
Deuteronomy 21:22-23 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;)
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Through the offering up of Himself at the foundation of the world, Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law and in the process became a curse for us.The spiritual implication of hanging on a tree (cross) is to indicate that someone has become accursed of God. Was Christ accursed of God at the point of the world’s foundation? The answer is, yes, absolutely! He took our place and therefore our curse upon Himself and died for us.
And since Christ became accursed on our behalf, God can rightly say, He bear our sins in His own body upon the tree (that is, the curse He experienced was the equivalent of hanging on a tree/cross).