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For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. BSB ESV NKJ

death no longer is master over Him. NASB, NIV, (has mastery) NET

death no longer rules over Him. Holman BLB

Death would seem to be inert consequence of sin. It is not a conscious entity. Who or what then held the power of death over Jesus?

On what basis was the power, dominion, mastery exercised?

A related Q What does 'master' signify in Rom 6:9? 'death no longer is master over Him'

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The Greek word in the text is variously rendered 'dominion over', 'masters', 'rules', but it literally translates as 'is lording over'. So, death has lorded it over the Lord Jesus Christ, at one particular point in time, but no longer does.

When you ask "who, (or what) held dominion over Jesus?" you know that death is not a 'who' and that there is someone behind death. The Bible identifies that someone as Satan the devil. With regard to death in the flesh, we are told that Jesus partook of flesh and blood,

"that through death he might destroy him having the power of death - that is, the devil - and might deliver those, whoever, with fear of death, throughout all their life, were subjects of bondage" (Hebrews 2:14-15 YLT).

The Bible explains that in his pre-human state, Christ agreed to be sent to earth by the Father, to lower himself and to become subject to all that it means to live in the flesh, though without sin. This was a willing subjection, a willing humiliation to be unjustly put to death, in order to take away the devil's power of death. We know that was the outcome of Jesus' resurrection, for the risen Christ tells the apostle John,

"Be not afraid; I am the First and the Last., and he who is living, and I did become dead, and lo, I am living to the ages of the ages. Amen! And I have the keys of the hades and of the death" (Revelation 1:17-18 YLT).

That answers the 'who', and also deals with the basis of the exercise of the power of death. Further to that, Jesus said to Pilate, "You could have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above" (John 19:11 KJV). Pilate was allowed by God to put the Son of God to death. Pilate was a pawn in Satan's hand, Satan also being allowed by God to manipulate events, thinking he could crush the Son of God. But he only succeeded in bruising Christ's 'heel', not realising that Christ would then crush him, the serpent, in the head.

That was because the unlawful usurpation of God's sovereignty over the earth was proven to be unlawful at Golgotha. The righteousness of God was manifested there, and the vindication of the sinless Son of God was shown by his resurrection. Christ has lawful rights over the creation, being heir to all that he has made. And when the now installed King on heavenly Mount Sion asks the Father to inherit the nations (Psalm 2), that is what will happen.

In the meantime, Satan has been cast down, and confined to, earth, and Christ has the keys of death and hades. Not Satan. Christ holds them lawfully by allowing himself to be put to death unjustly. But as death can only claim sinners, it had no lawful hold over Christ. So we are told that "death came to all men because all sinned" and that "the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life... that through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:12, 18-21 NIV).

The tables have been totally turned on Satan. He has been lording it over sinners since he deceived the first couple into sin, using the power of death thereafter. He then thought to unlawfully use it over Christ, who allowed that to happen so that the legal rights of God be demonstrated once and for all. Now all power in heaven and on earth belongs to Christ the Lord, who holds the keys of death and hades (Matthew 28:18).

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Who (or what) held dominion over Jesus? Rom 6:9

The answer to you question is . "DEATH".

The first one described in the Bible as rewarded with the gift of immortality is Jesus Christ. That he did not possess immortality before his resurrection by God is seen from the inspired apostle’s words at,

Romans 6:9-10 NET

9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all time; but [c]the life that He lives, He lives to God.

“Christ, now that he has been raised up from the dead, dies no more; death has no dominion over him no more.” ( Read Rev. 1:17, 18.)

Revelation 1:17-18 NET

17 When[a] I saw him I fell down at his feet as though I were dead, but[b] he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last, 18 and the one who lives! I[c] was dead, but look, now I am alive—forever and ever—and I hold the keys of death and of Hades![d]

God appointed Jesus as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. "He continues to live forever", "has an indestructible life."

Hebrews 7:15-17 NET

15 And this is even clearer if another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest not by a legal regulation about physical descent[a] but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For here is the testimony about him:[b] “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”[c]

Hebrews 7:23-25 NASB

23 [a]The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing; 24 [b]Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is also able to save [c]forever those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them

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It would seem at first that if death no longer has dominion, mastery, and rule over Christ, that it must have had that before. That is not quite correct though.

First of all, death never had any sway at all over Christ’s divine nature. As for His human nature, it would he very hard to argue that death had mastery when God and Christ, God as Christ, used the human Jesus to conquer death, all the while knowing and pre-ordaining from the start that He would die and when and where and how and why. Regardless of one’s theology, is clear that the human Jesus Christ knew the plan of His sacrifice and conquest of death long before it happened.

So why write that death “no longer” has dominion, mastery, and rule? For one thing, he cannot die bodily again, so in that sense He is not “subject to” death. More importantly, He removed the dominion death had over men too. And that is the sense in which it is being used. This was done in His role as “the last Adam”, the last man subject to death, when he defeated death, in His role as “the second man”, the first man to experience the resurrection won by Jesus Christ over death. So to declare that death does not having dominion over the last Adam anymore is a big deal. Similarly for the second man, because that transfers to us if we get it and see it and are drawn to Him and accept Him.

1 Cor 15:45-48

45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.

After Christ’s sacrifice, we can access God through Christ, in a very real, experiential way, and attain eternal life. If death no long has dominion, mastery, and rule over the second man, it no longer has to have it over us, which is the point of using such wording even when it clearly doesn’t apply to Jesus Christ in and of Himself. He knew and planned to use death to conquer sin and death, including for us:

2 Timothy 1:10 ESV

And which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel

1 Peter 3:18 ESV

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit

1 Corinthians 15:55 ESV

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

Romans 6:23 ESV

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Peter 3:18 ESV

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit

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  • soz, wasn't finished... We are asking about before he was not mastered by death He was (b/c we are told he was) and then he wasn't.
    – steveowen
    Aug 7 at 9:00
  • I didnt realize you have been on here awhile. I saw user and thought you were a newbie. Youre intested in a real discussion. I see now. In fairly new but already had a brand new guy ask a fake question just to debate \\ We are told he was mastered by death?? Or just that he “no longer” was?
    – Al Brown
    Aug 7 at 9:06
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In all other cases, death crept into human existence as a consequence of sin, but in the Lord's case death was adopted voluntarily and not as a consequence of sin, for He had none. Since he allowed dominion of death over Himself voluntarily, it means that even this dominion was under His sovereign divine dominion and control, but after rising from dead, He is not dying any more, so this voluntary subjection of His own body to death is finished.

Now, death is not person, it is a phenomenon; subjection to and dominion over can be said both of persons and phenomena; for instance, alcohol has dominion over a drunkard and vice versa a drunkard is subjected to alcohol, and neither alcohol is a conscious entity, so what's a problem?

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  • Heb 5:7 tells us that it wasn't, 'under his control'.
    – steveowen
    Aug 7 at 8:54
  • @user48152 Father could not resurrect Him without Him, for Father does all with His co-eternal Logos and Logos does not nay cannot die, and Logos is the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose body died, but who, as Logos was alive and after three days rises His own human body, which, after His incarnation has become awaysly part and aspect of the personality of the Logos - the uncreated Person, Hypostasis of God-the Son. Aug 7 at 9:14
  • Im not sure it’s a fair reading of heb 5:7 to say that it says Jesus’ death was not under His control. He begged the father for another way, but definitely accepted the answer, saying “regardless Your will be done here”. Maybe “in his control” is too strong but “not in his control” too far other direction. (Yes sheer logic would say one must be true, but the two are english expressions, one used to denote a lot of control and one used to denote no control; is poss that neither wording fits)
    – Al Brown
    Aug 7 at 9:16
  • @AlBrown pls don't think Heb 5:7 has anything to do with J's crucifixion. It does not. hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/377/…
    – steveowen
    Aug 7 at 10:25
  • @AlBrown Sorry but this intentional ambiguity you try to introduce will create a "rotten compromise" with heretics; logic is to be followed to the utmost if one wants to have a chance to arrive at truth. Logos controls and subjects under His divine sovereignty everything, even the voluntary mortality of His own adopted body; if He can resurrect other dead bodies, how wrong, to say the least, would be to suppose that He could not make His body not die physically? God forbid this absurdity! He voluntarily subjected His human body to human-pertaining death having no sin and no necessity of dying Aug 7 at 12:15
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Personification of Death, Greek god Thanatos θάνατος

When he talks about the death from sin, it refers to the spiritual separation, or even eternal destruction. We do not die due to sin, for even innocent children die without having committing any sin. Death is natural and comes to all, not all death represent hell. By the trespass of the one, the many died, (not all died) Rom 5:15. Death is a metaphor for the punishment of sin. After resurrecting and having a glorified body, death has no power of Christ, when it had in his mortal body. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh (Rom 8:3)

[1Cor 15:53-55 ESV] 53For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55​“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

Obviously, Paul doesn't believe in the mythological Greek gods like Thanatos, the god of death, but he uses the metaphor of death, for his Greek audience, like Satan who is the ultimate personification of evil in the Jewish theology. We can see in the monotheistic religion of the Jews, the ultimate sovereign is God alone, and Satan cannot torment anyone without God's permission. The context shows that by giving the gracious sacrifice of Christ, God has weakened the power of sin by saving souls from sin and consequently from Death and Hades. Christ has purchased or redeemed sinners to save them from lawlessness (1Peter 1:18; Titus 2:14). These are obviously metaphorical language describing the process of how sinners turn to repentance and righteousness, from death to life by the power of God.

[Heb 2:14-15 ESV] 14Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

Wisdom of Solomon 2:21–3:8 (KJV Apoc) 21 Such things they did imagine, and were deceived: for their own wickedness hath blinded them. 22 As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not: neither hoped they for the wages of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for blameless souls. 23 For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. 24 Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it. 3:1 But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. 2 In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, 3 And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. 4 For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. 5 And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. 6 As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. 7 And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. 8 They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.

Craig Keener writes in his IVP Bible background commentary on Rev 1:18 "I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades."

1:18 In the Old Testament (Ps 9:13; 107:18) and Jewish literature, “the gates of Hades” referred to the realm of the dead and thus to the power of death; one who held the keys to these realms thus ruled over them. (Whoever held the keys in a royal house held a position of great authority in that house, as in Is 22:21-22; keys symbolized authority to control whatever they opened, and Jewish texts spoke of God dispensing keys to rain, etc.) *Gentiles spoke of netherworld deities, such as Hades or Anubis, holding the keys of death. Jewish literature said that God had authority over death and the gates of Hades (Wisdom of Solomon 16:13), a role here held by Jesus. Christ’s power over death, as the one who had risen, would encourage his followers now facing possible death.

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