II. Did Christ suffer according to both natures?
Christ suffered, not according to both natures, nor according to the Divinity, but according to the human nature only, both in body and soul; for the divine nature is immutable, impassible, immortal, and life itself, and so cannot die. But he suffered in such a manner, according to his humanity, that by his passion and death, he satisfied for the sins of men. The divine nature sustained the humanity, in the sorrows and pains which were endured, and raised it when dead unto life. “Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” “Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh.” “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” “I am he that liveth, and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore.” “have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it up again.” (1 Pet. 2:18; 4:1. John 2:19. Rev. 1:18. John 10:18.) These declarations testify that there was in Christ another nature, besides his flesh, which did not suffer and die. Irensaeus says, “ As Christ was man, that he might be tempted, so he was the Word, that he might be glorified; the Word resting in him truly, that it might be possible for him to be tempted, crucified, and to die, and yet united to his humanity, that he might thus overcome temptation,”.
Obj. But it is said that God purchased the church with his own blood; and hence the Deity must have suffered. Ans. This does not follow, because the form of speech is changed. When it is said God died, this is spoken figuratively by a synecdoche, or by the communication of proper ties, as we have already explained. But when it is said, the Deity suffered, this is spoken without a figure, because the subject is taken in the abstract. Again, no consequence from the concrete to the abstract is of any force. The concrete (which is God) signifies the subject having a form; the abstract (which is Deity) signifies the naked form, or the nature only. In this doctrine, therefore, the concrete is the name of the person, and the abstract the name of the nature. Hence, as this consequence does not follow: Man is composed of the elements, and is corporeal; therefore, the soul is composed of the elements, and is corporeal; so also it does not follow, Christ who is God died; therefore, the Deity of Christ died.