Christ’s death – what was it?

Christ was not overcome by death. He did not give in to death. And he was not subdued by death as if it was something he could not avoid. He was not brought to death by him that had the power of death. Rather than being subdued by death, Christ “has borne the wrath. He has broken the strong bond of the curse. He has made an end of sin. He has vanquished Satan. He has spoiled principalities and powers. He has torn the handwriting of indictment that was against His people, and nailed it to the cross.” (Hugh Martin, The Abiding Presence 136-7)

These things are not a result of the death of Christ, as if his dying made them possible. Rather they are things he has done in dying. Someone other than Christ does not do these actions of bearing, breaking, ending, vanquishing, spoiling, and tearing. Christ performs these actions in dying.

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