How many times did Jesus die?

Joseph brought his family to Egypt and pharaoh gave them the land of Goshen.  Some years later, another pharaoh made the Hebrews his slaves and used them as cheap workforce.  Some more years later have passed and God introduced  himself to Moses as Yahweh and instructed him to rescue Israel from Egyptian slavery.  Moses approached pharaoh on several occasions and performed miracles to acquaint pharaoh with the invisible, true God.

The first miracle with a staff was scoffed at because pharaoh had magicians who could do a trick which looked the same.[1]  But when pharaoh brought his magicians who demonstrated their trick, the staff of Moses who became a serpent ate up the serpents of magicians.[2]  Pharaoh became angry because he thought that Moses’s serpent was trained better, and did not recognized the miracle that could only be performed by God.

The second miracle was performed on a global scale because all water in the Nile, including water in streams and reservoirs, became blood.[3]  Pharaoh’s magicians cheated him and could not bring clear water because underground water also turned to blood[4] and even water already collected in the various vessels in houses was also turned to blood.[5]  Instead they brought a liquid that looked like water and they did something that looked like an intentional action who turned the liquid red (not to blood).[6]  Again pharaoh went angry but this time the whole nations suffered the effect of God’s miraculous power because all fish in the Nile (support of Egyptians’ sustenance) was destroyed and the Nile itself, regarded as a god who provided for all their needs, stunk with rotten fish.[7]  Yet pharaoh, who proclaimed himself a god on earth, neither his learned man nor his army or his gods could not reverse the miracle or rescue them from the loss of food and drinking water.

Other miracles announced by Moses and performed by God aimed to convince all Egyptians that Yahweh, to God of the Hebrews, was the only true God, and all gods of Egyptians were powerless, because they were false, imagination of a human mind.  Yet pharaoh was stubbornly defending his position of a god, he never recognized the superiority of Yahweh, and refused to let the Hebrews go.

God performed more and more miracles to convince everyone that He has the power that false gods cannot even touch it and people may only dream about.  The last miracle was different than all previous ones in that it involved the death of the firstborn (among both people and cattle[8]) which was to portray God’s firstborn,[9] the Hebrew nation, Israel.  The miracle ended a series of attempts of God to show Egyptians that He loved them and intended to rescue them from the slavery of false god are mocked, cannot defend themselves, and certainly cannot help anyone, not to mention giving anyone freedom.  God Yahweh rescued Israel from the slavery to Egyptians and became a metaphor of God rescuing people from the slavery to sin.

The tenth miracle showed to both Egyptians and Israel that the only way to rescue the firstborns from death is to put one’s trust in the hand of God who will guarantee eternal life to those who will demonstrate their trust by a rather silly act of obedience: marking their lintels and doorposts[10] with the blood of a lamb or a goat[11] who saw obviously to represent the “Christ our Passover”[12] as expressed by Paul.  He was called a Passover offering because Passover sacrifice was to mean that those who put their trust in the hands of God will not perish, while those who refuse to trust God will perish for eternity.

We need to note that the Passover lamb,[13] as referred to by Bible writers centuries later,  was to be without blemish and at the best age[14] (the youngest yet mature, 1 year old lamb) to be slain and eaten during the night of receiving freedom (exodus).[15]  No sins have4 been confessed on the lambs or goats who were slain at the Passover night, because the freedom from slavery to sin is offered independently of our sins, and is received only on the bases of our complete trust in God.

When Jesus died on the Calvary hill He died not only as the Lamb of God[16] to rescue us from the consequences of our sins,[17] not only as a goat kid known to us from the Day of Atonement (Lv16) without sins being confessed on his head, but also as the Passover lamb (or goat) who guarantees freedom from the slavery to Satan to all those who put their trust in Him.

When Jesus died on the cross he in fact fulfilled three separate metaphors who represent three distinct roles of God in restoring absolute happiness in the universe of spirits:

1.      the Lamb of God who died (the second death) in place of anyone who ever broke God’s law

2.      the Goat for the Lord who died for those whom he loved so that Satan has no right to hold them guilty until at the end of time Satan is recognized as guilty of all evil that infected angels (demons) and people,

3.      the Passover lamb who guarantees eternal freedom to all those who trust Him end demonstrate it by marking their houses with the Lamb’s blood.

So, in one event that took place on Calvary’s hill 2000 years ago Jesus has died three deaths, eternal deaths.  Each death had a different meaning, each was symbolised in a different way, and each portrays distinct aspect of our God, Yahweh.


[1]      Ex7:11nasb  “Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts.”

[2]      Ex7:12nasb  “For each one threw down his staff and they turned into serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.”

[3]      Ex7:19nasb  “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, and over their pools, and over all their reservoirs of water, that they may become blood; and there will be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’””

[4]      Ex7:24nasb  “So all the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink of the water of the Nile.”

[5]      Ex7:19nasb  “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, and over their pools, and over all their reservoirs of water, that they may become blood; and there will be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’””

[6]      Ex7:22nasb  “But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.”

[7]      Ex7:21mkjv  “And the fish in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river.”

[8]      Ex11:5nasb  “and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well.”

[9]      Ex4:22,23nasb  “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn.’ • So I said to you, ‘Let My son go that he may serve Me’; but you have refused to let him go.’”

[10]     Ex12:23nasb  “For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.”

[11]     Ex12:5nasb  “Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.”

[12]     1Co5:7nasb  “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.”

[13]     Lk22:7nasb  “Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.”

[14]     Ex12:5nasb  “Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.”

[15]     Ex12:12nasb  “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the LORD.”

[16]     Jn1:29nasb  “The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”

[17]     Rm6:23nasb  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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