Did Jesus Die on the Cross?



How can we respond to the so-called “swoon theory” of the Resurrection?


This is a very common response by various Jewish and other sceptics, when in discussion re. the Resurrection of Jesus!

When considering the torture that Jesus had endured just prior to His Roman crucifixion (which is sanitized by the commentators), He was suffering great loss of blood and His body was in a state of shock!

To ensure that Jesus was dead, prior to removal from the execution cross, it was Ordered that the legs of the “malefactors” and Jesus be broken. When it was seen that Jesus was already dead, the order was given to “pierce” Him through (Isa. 53:5-8), which meant in Roman terms, to push the spear at an angle from below right through His heart!

The variations on the "swoon theory" include the story of Jesus' disciples revived Him prior to His incarceration in the tomb.  However, Roman soldiers were always the last to do a check on the bodies prior to closing the tomb, and finally Sealed it with a Roman Seal!!

As an extra precaution against any interference by a third party, a Roman guard was mounted as soon as the tomb was Sealed, at the request of the Jewish Sanhedrin! 

Proof of death in the East, is that due to the ambient temperatures, by 3 days corpses rot quickly, and smell very strong!  This was emphasized by Jesus when he delayed traveling to the death of Lazarus deliberately (see: Lazarus Raised). That was to prove beyond doubt Jesus’ power from His Father, to raise to life a dead person, who as Martha said “stinketh”!  This was one of Jesus’ evidential miracles and should have been taken as proof positive by the Sanhedrin and the High Priest, that He was/is their Messiah.

The same point regarding the “third day”; is made strongly by Dr. Bullinger in his Companion Bible Appendix 148.

There is clearly a wrong understanding and teaching, that Jesus was crucified on “Good Friday”; and Resurrected on Easter Sunday!  Jesus said that the “Sign of Jonah” was all that would be given to the Jewish Authorities when they demanded a sign of His Messiahship (Matt. 12:40).

When remembering that the Jews have a weekly Sabbath (Saturday), and various Ceremonial Sabbaths (or High Holy Days); when reading all references to the crucifixion accounts in the Gospels; it is clear that Jesus was Crucified on Wednesday, as it was the Preparation Day for the Passover (John 19:31), and to satisfy Jewish Law, bodies were not to be left out on Holy Days (Lev. 23:5-7).

Jesus was laid in the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea on “Preparation day” which was Wednesday afternoon (Luke 23:50-54), and remained there until the start of the “first day of the week” (Saturday after dusk; or until 3 stars were visible)!

So; Jesus was “in the bowels of the Earth” (Matt. 12:40), on Thursday (Passover and High Day or Ceremonial Sabbath); also on Friday; and He Rose at the end of the ‘weekly Sabbath’ (as the Jewish Calendar day starts at sunset).  Therefore, Jesus was in the “heart of the Earth”, for 3 nights and 3 days; by Jewish, and therefore correct Biblical reckoning!

That Jesus rose from the dead, is only disputed by sceptics who will not be convinced by any "proof" or argument.  Many Scholars, and many lay people who have delved into the Bible accounts, and also the historic record, have been left with the unshakable conviction of the reality of the Risen Christ Jesus; even though they set out to “disprove” the Bible accounts, and we’re left with no doubt as to the authenticity of the claims of Jesus! 

Josephus: His Ref. to Jesus, "The Wonder Worker":

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