The man who inspired me is Dr. Michael Shermer who in his column for the April 2017 issue of Scientific American had a few things to say about claims and proof. In particular about the claimed resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
That got me to thinking about the claim — not for the first time — and led me to ask once again, did he actually die?
Consider the situation. Jesus was not in the best of shape. He had been beaten, physically and emotionally abused. The night before he really hadn’t got much sleep. He had been whipped, and the Romans did not slack off when they whipped somebody. And getting shunted off to Herod and back to Pilate surely didn’t help matters any. In short he was a mess. Men in better shape than he have passed out before, so I see no reason why he may not have passed out himself.
Now add in the fact he had been crucified. Crucifixion is a bitch. You have to stand on this tiny platform or you asphyxiate. But that means you get tired and you need to rest. But relaxing in order to rest means you can’t breathe so you asphyxiate. Eventually, you wear out and you suffocate. Now considering that he was already worn out when they nailed him to the cross I won’t be surprised if he just passed out.
So this is occurring on a Friday. For the Jews Saturday — the Jewish Sabbath — starts on Friday evening. As far as the Romans could tell the man was done for, he was as good as dead. Pierce him with a spear to see what happens— nothing apparently — and let his family have the body. Luke being a doctor — according to the standards of the time — agrees to declare him dead, which makes things simpler for everybody concerned and Jesus is hauled away to be put into a borrowed tomb.
Then comes Sunday, the day after the Sabbath when the three Maries go to the tomb to prepare the corpse for entombment where they find that the corpse is gone. Now keep in mind that it’s rather unlikely the stone would have been rolled to block the entrance after all the ladies would need access to the corpse in order to bath in and anoint it with oil. So they hurry off to find Peter and the rest of the crew to tell them what has just happened. And while they’re all gabbling about this guess who shows up.
In later times the claim would be spread around that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead. For my part I doubt it. As far as I can see he awoke from a coma, a coma brought about by exhaustion, suffocation, and a massive spear wound. As for Luke declaring him dead, the doctor may have thought Jesus was dead or he may have been lying. even if the Apostle had lied he may have thought it of no real issue because Jesus was obviously not going to survive what he had just been through. You just don’t survive a crucifixion.
But Jesus did, at least for a few hours. He wandered around, talked to folks, then met up with his people again where he affirmed that it was indeed he, and with the aid of the apostle Thomas confirmed it was indeed he who had been nailed to the cross. And all this while he’s still gravely injured and very likely bleeding to death.
A few hours later as they are discussing what they are to do next he collapses and dies. Hell with modern medical care he may well have survived to live to a ripe old age.
All that folderol about resurrection came about because people convinced themselves he had risen from the dead, and because certain parties need him to return to life. They decided that Jesus had to be more important than what he said, so they came up with what amounted to a load of malarky. That’s my take and you can take it as you will
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