“For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you” (2 Corinthians 13:4).
In what sense was Jesus “crucified in weakness” as we’re told in the passage quoted above? Well, the New Testament book of Philippians provides us with an answer to that question…
“Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Although he was in the form of God and equal with God, he did not take advantage of this equality. Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, death on a cross. This is why God has given him an exceptional honor— the name honored above all other names—” (Philippians 2:5-9 GW).
So we can understand this concept of “Christ’s weakness” as a reference to the frailty of human existence. That human frailty found its ultimate expression in Jesus’ crucifixion and death. However, others may consider Jesus as weak in another sense because He failed to exercise the power to resist, prevent, or circumvent His death. That concept of weakness is typified by the following question: “What kind of ‘god’ allows himself to be crucified?”
The answer is that there was more to Jesus’ crucifixion than just His physical death. Remember that Jesus atoned for our sins through His death on the cross and His sacrificial death enables us to establish a relationship with our Creator (see 1 Peter 2:21-24). That’s the first part. The second part involves Jesus’ resurrection from the dead as referenced here in 2 Corinthians 13:4: “…we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.”
While Jesus may have appeared to be weak in a limited sense, the immense nature of His actual power was demonstrated through His resurrection. One commentator ties these aspects of weakness and power together with the following observation…
“…the literal, historical, actual, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead proved all his claims to divine power, proved all his claims to moral perfection, proved all his claims to supernatural revelation, and proved that he did not die in ‘weakness’ but in the power of God… He proved by his resurrection that he had overcome the ultimate enemies of the human race – sin and death. That is power! No other being has ever had that power!” (1)
(1) Paul T. Butler, The Bible Study Textbook Series, Studies In First Corinthians (College Press) [p. 439] Copyright © 1985 College Press Publishing Company https://archive.org/stream/FirstCorinthians/131Corinthians-Butler_djvu.txt