Jesus is our sustainer (Colossians 1:17) so why didn't we fall apart when he died?

Jesus is our sustainer (Colossians 1:17) so why didn’t we/universe fall apart when he died?

Tim Keller rightly uses this verse all the time, yet my sceptical mind says what about the three days when Jesus was dead? Shouldn’t everything in the world/universe including the people’s bodies living at that time come apart?

Hi @ash. That’s an interesting perspective. I was once asked something slightly similar. I was asked ‘If Jesus is God, who was running the universe when he was dead for three days?’
My answer at the time probably wasn’t great but I heard Nabeel Quareshi answer a similar question.

He pointed out that as Christians we don’t believe that we cease to exist when we die. We continue beyond our physical bodies until the final ressurection. If that’s the case, Jesus continued beyond His physical body in those three days - He didn’t simply cease to exist. Plus, He is God and couldn’t cease to exist. He was therefore, able to continue sustaining us, even though His physical human body was dead.

I hope that makes sense!

1 Like

That is such an interesting question Ash that I’ve never thought of. I think Keith’s answer was very good and I agree in saying that while Jesus’s body died, HE remained alive in Spirit and His power as the son of God is great. Jesus conquered death and even while doing so the universe and everything in it continued business as usual while He was doing that amazing work. :blush:

1 Like

Hello Ash thanks for the inquiry about who was sustaining things. I would like to add to Keith’s comments. While Jesus was still on the cross Scripture states in
John 19:30
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. Since we know that God is spirit and Paul says to be absent from the body is to present with the Lord in Heaven. To me this means His spirit was not in the grave.
Thanks again

1 Like

I would also like to add the thought that he upholds all things by the word of his power. While I believe that God is active in the universe, I believe it is his commandment which continues the universe in its course and not necessarily his constant winding of the clock, so to speak.


Hi @ash. I think the Christian understanding of God as Trinity may also help to answer your question. We know that God is Father, Son and Spirit and when Jesus was crucified, God the Son died. God the Father and God the Spirit remained, which speaks to Keith’s point that God did not cease to exist upon Christ’s death.

Besides this, Jesus emphasized that he and the Father are always working and that “whatever he (the Father) does, the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19). If the Father and Son are one in their work, and both are always working, then I think we can reasonably believe that the Father also is active in sustaining the creation and continued this work even while Christ was in the grave.

1 Like