Did Jesus really die on the cross? If He did not, this would deflate His claim to be God and also make Him a liar. Some claim that He did not die in the cross. Perhaps He was simply in a coma or drug induced state and later awoke inside the tomb. Others allege that He faked his death, as is stated in the Koran. Could there be any merit to these claims?
Let’s take a look at what Jesus endured in his crucifixion. Before He was ever hung on a cross he went through a severe flogging. A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded the following effects of Roman flogging on an individual: “The usual instrument was a short whip…with several single or braided leather thongs of variable lengths, in which small iron balls or sharp pieces of sheep bones were tied at intervals…the man was stripped of his clothing, and his hands were tied to an upright post….The back, buttocks, and legs were flogged…The scourging…was intended to weaken the victim to a state just short of death…As the Roman soldiers repeatedly struck the victim’s back with full force, the iron balls would cause deep contusions, and the leather thongs and sheep bones would cut into the skin and subcutaneous tissues. Then, as the flogging continued, the lacerations would tear into the underlying skeletal muscles.” It is also important to remember that He had thorns pressed into his skull. He was more than likely in dire condition before he was ever hung to die. It makes sense that He had to have someone else carry His cross for Him.
You know the pain that occurs when you hit your funny bone? The spikes that went through Jesus’ wrist crushed the nerve that causes the pain when you hit your funny bone. So He was nailed to the cross through his hands and through overlapping feet. At this point, He has already lost a massive amount of blood. Yet, this is not what usually caused death on the cross. Not being able to relieve the lungs of the accumulating Carbon Dioxide was the usual cause of death. The hanging position on the cross made it extremely difficult to breathe. One would have to repeatedly push up on the pierced feet, which was excruciating, in order to relieve the lungs of oxygen. As the process wore on, the person being crucified would die of asphyxiation.
When the Romans desired to expedite the process, they would break the legs of the victim, making it impossible for them to breathe. This was the standard procedure. This could be seen as a merciful act due to the fact that breathing by placing pressure on the feet was extremely painful. The Roman executioners did not break the legs of Jesus, because they already believed Him dead.
The spear that is reported to have been inflicted through Jesus side produced a mixture of blood and water. This was due to the sac that surrounds the heart being punctured, as well as the heart itself. Evidence suggests that this was performed by Roman soldiers to ensure death.
Next, tradition states that Jesus’ was embalmed with around 75-100 pounds of linens and spices and placed within a guarded tomb.
It is important to remember that he did not accept the analgesics offered to him as the crucifixion.
In regards to the death of Jesus, the Journal of the American Medical Society attests, “Clearly, the weight of the historical and medical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead before the wound to His side was inflicted and supports the traditional view that the spear, thrust between His right ribs, probably perforated not only the right lung but also the pericardium and heart and thereby ensured his death. Accordingly, interpretations based on the assumption that he did not die on the cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge.”
For the sake of argument, let us just suppose that he did not die. Would a limping, bloody, badly beaten, half dead Jesus be able to convince anyone that he had been resurrected from the dead? I hardly think this would be convincing. The facts indicate that He did die.
Share your thoughts. Upon reading about Jesus’ death and the evidence for it, what thoughts or emotions surface?
Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.