Q. I have a question about the Trinity. What do you think happened to the Trinity at the crucifixion – if Jesus was separated from His father by bearing the sins of mankind? Also if Jesus took everyone’s sin does that mean he descended into Hell before being resurrected and if so was that as Triune?
A. While I can’t offer conclusive proof, I believe that the trinity was forever changed at the cross. I base this on several pieces of evidence.
First, the only time that Jesus offered any objection to the incredibly brutal treatment He received on the day of His crucifixion was when God had to turn away from Him and the sun went dark. According to Habakkuk 1:13 God’s eyes are too pure to look upon sin. When Jesus became sin, (2 Cor 5:21) God couldn’t stand to look at Him and had to turn away. In all of eternity, this had never happened before. The pain was too much and Jesus cried out, ” My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” Matthew, Mark and Luke all record this cry in the original Aramaic. I’m told, though I haven’t been able to confirm it, that it’s to show us that the word translated God is in the dual form. He was crying out to the remaining two members of the Trinity.
In Revelation 5:6 John, standing before the throne of God at the End of the Age, reports seeing the Lamb “as it had been slain.” John used a special word for Lamb. He used it a total of 30 times, and only he used it. It appears 29 times in Revelation. 28 of those times it refers to Jesus, and once it describes the the false prophet who “had two horns like a lamb” indicating that he claimed the authority of Jesus. The only other time is in John 21:15 referring to the Church as His lambs.
The point is that the word is always used symbolically. It never described a real lamb, but someone in Human form. When Jesus became a man, He became a man forever. He was in Human form when He was slain, He’s in human form in heaven today. Of course He’s in His resurrection body, but it’s a human body none-the-less. Man will never become a god, but God has become a man. He became like us so that we could become like Him.
As far as descending into Hell, it’s a view based on our misunderstanding of the word. The English word Hell comes from the Greek word Hades, which means abode of the dead. Before the resurrection everyone who died went there. It consisted of two parts, a place of comfort called Paradise where the faithful went, and a place of discomfort called Torments where unbelievers went. As He told the thief beside Him they were both going to Paradise.
Some incorrectly believe that Jesus went to Torments where His punishment continued for three more days. Not only is it impossible to support that view with Scripture but His own words deny it. Just before He died He said a Greek word that was translated, “It is finished.” It was a legal term in those days that meant “Paid in Full.” With His death, the penalty was paid, and the debt was satisfied. No more was required of Him.