Absolute biblical recordings reveal witnesses to this extreme historic event. Jesus did die on the cross. There are so many witnesses to His death, it becomes unfathomable how doubters could make claims against documented facts.
Thankfully, it was only Jesus’ temporary human body that died. The spirt of Jesus lives! And that miracle, the miracle of Jesus raised to life from death is central in Christianity. There is no one else who walked this earth that man slaughtered, then came back to life!
The killing of His innocent blood took place outside the city walls of Jerusalem in a place called Golgotha; a hill resembling a skullcap, also called Calvary (from Latin calva: “bald head,” or “skull”).
The exact number of those present at the cruxifixction of Jesus is unknown, however, here is a list of the many people mentioned in the books Matthew, Mark, Luke and John:
- A whole company of Roman soldiers (60-100 men)
- Simon from Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus
- A large number of people who followed from Jerusalem
- Two rebels crucified on either side of Jesus
- Jewish chief priests
- Jewish teachers of the law
- Jewish elders
- The Roman centurion
- Men with the Roman centurion guarding Jesus
- Mary Magdalene
- Mary the mother of Jesus, James and Joseph
- The sister of Jesus’ mother
- The mother of Zebedee’s sons
- Mary the wife of Clops
- Many women followers from Galilee
- John the apostle
All the people listed bear witness to the gruesome historical event that occurred some two thousand years ago; the death on a cross of a man names Jesus:
Matthew 27:35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Mark 15:24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.
Luke 23:33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left
John 19:18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
Those eye witnesses saw a slapped, flogged (flogging was so brutal, victims often died from it before they could be crucified), beaten, and pierced man. Jesus was already swollen, muscles and tissues torn and covered in blood, before getting nailed to a cross.
It was the job of Roman soldiers to carry out crucifixions and they did their job well. If the man being hung was not dying fast enough, a soldier would break their legs. This procedure assured the impossibility of the man pushing himself up so his lungs could expand and breath in more air, thus prolonging life.
But when they came to Jesus, they found that He was already dead, and did not break His legs.
John 19:34-35 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.
In regards to flow of blood and water from Jesus’ side, from the combination of Jesus’ extreme torture he would have developed pericardial effusion – fluid gathering around the heart. And/or pleural effusion, the gathering of fluid around the lungs. This diagnosis accounts for the combination of blood and water that flowed from His body when pierced with the soldier’s spear.
There can be no doubt the body of Jesus died at Calvary. No human could have survived this well thought out torture. And, we know that all of those Roman soldiers who were present would have made sure their appointed job was carried out. Each soldier took an oath to fulfill his orders. Failure to do so could mean punishable by death.
Yes, it was a human body that gave out and died outside the walls of Jerusalem, in the month of Nissan (March-April by Jewish Calendars), approximately two thousand years ago.
But, praise God, it was the the Son of God, the first born of every creature, the Prince of Peace, Jesus our Lord who avoided death and still reigns supreme. Only Jesus can leave a tomb empty, thus confirming His claim of life eternal for us.
Christ the Lord has risen!
Hallelujah! He has risen indeed!
I pray you are a believer in Jesus as your Lord and savior and not a doubter. If not, invite Him into your heart right now, confessing your sin and unworthiness. His love for you outweighs the confines of this earth, and with Him you too will have eternal life.
Next week, I’ll share with you the list of people who walked, talked, and ate with Jesus after He resurrected. Blessings!
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