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Did He Really? Pt 4

by | Fri, Jul 15 2022

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During our series on Mashiach, we’ve looked at all the criteria required to qualify to be Him. As Christians, we believe that Jesus is Mashiach – the Messiah prophesied from Genesis and right through to Malachi, but the final, essential and non-negotiable criteria for the Mashiach, is that He had to rise from the Dead. Without His resurrection, death would have won, sin would not have been defeated and Jesus would be just like every other man. Dead in the grave. Paul said that if that was the case our faith is worthless and our hope delusional and all we deserve is pity.

So we’ve been looking at the criticisms of the resurrection of Christ to see if they hold water, and so far they don’t. However, there are some more and that’s what we’re going to continue with.

What if a mistake was made and the disciples, and Mary Magdalene, went to the wrong tomb after the third day? What if they went to a tomb that didn’t have a body in it and they mistakenly claimed that Jesus was alive? Surely that’s a possibility?

Well, sure they could have inadvertently gone to the wrong tomb, but they’d have had egg on their faces because the Roman soldiers standing guard at Jesus tomb would have responded very clearly that they were in fact, still standing in front of the tomb. A tomb with an official seal on it.

The chief priests would have issued a proclamation and sent it all throughout Judea, correcting the claims of the disciples, letting everyone know that the tomb Jesus was buried in was locked, sealed and guarded and that the body was still inside. In fact, they probably would have opened it and pointed to the body wrapped in a shroud inside just to make their point. I bet they would have thought seven days of ritual uncleanness for being too close to a dead body was worth the risk if it crushed the zeal surrounding Jesus.

What about the argument that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross, but rather He fainted because of pain and blood loss. Maybe He just swooned and didn’t really die?

Rabbi Daniel Asor suggested this: “Who’s to say that Jesus didn’t simply experience clinical death, then woke up in the cave or woke up from loss of consciousness? Is it possible to prove otherwise? Maybe in their time, they didn’t know how to determine death properly? And maybe in this case, the death wasn’t properly determined?”

This suggestion was answered really well by a researcher 200 years ago, who’s name was David Strauss and he said, “The notion that a being who had crawled out of his tomb, half-dead, who crept about weak and ill, in need of urgent medical treatment, requiring bandaging and support, could have given his disciples the impression that he was a conqueror of death and the grave, the Prince of Life, an impression which was the basis of their future ministry. This notion is completely unreasonable. Such a resurrection could have only weakened the impression which he had made upon them, sadden them and cause them bitter disappointment. It certainly would not have changed their sorrow into enthusiasm or their fear into worship.”

I’d take that even further. The Romans were known for their brutality. They were feared throughout the Empire because they were experts in doling out death. If there’s one thing the Romans knew how to do, it was execute people. Don’t forget, Jesus execution was an official Roman edict given by Pontius Pilate by official and public decree. If the Roman soldiers, who were tasked with executing Jesus and two criminals that day, didn’t in fact kill them, they would have forfeited their own lives.

Not only that, but to actually make sure Jesus was good and dead, this is what the soldiers did.

John 19:34, ‘One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.’

We mentioned this in a previous program, what came out of Jesus was the result of a medical condition called Haemothorax as a result of the savage flogging He endured. The spear released first the red blood cells, that was followed by the clear water type liquid, the plasma.

I’ve also learned recently about another possibly medical description of what came from Jesus side after the spear was removed. He may have experienced Hypovolemic Shock, also called Pericardial Effusion, where the prolonged rapid heartbeat results in hypovolemic shock causing fluid to gather around the heart.

He’d already experienced anxiety and stress to the point of sweating blood, He’s also been beaten to a pulp by the company of soldiers, had thorns beaten onto His head with rods and had His beard ripped out and was flogged so badly, it looked like a plowed field. He wasn’t just crucified, He was tortured for hours beforehand.

I believe it’s safe to say, with medical certainty that Jesus didn’t swoon on the cross, He died a brutal and very efficient and thorough death on the cross.

Next time we’ll wrap up our examination of whether or not Jesus rose from the dead.