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Did Jesus Survive the Crucifixion?

Updated on October 23, 2012

After Jesus' crucifixion, ten of the apostles were martyred for their faith. Judas committed suicide and John was boiled in oil but survived. Peter was crucified upside down and Thomas was skewered. What made these men, who once scattered in fear from the Romans, turn and stand firm in their faith until death? It could only have been they had seen the risen Christ.

Many skeptics of the Christian faith have invented all sorts of scenarios to explain away any concept Jesus had been resurrected. Do any of them have merit? Let’s look at a few.

What about the empty tomb? Jesus’ body had been placed in a solid rock tomb, wrapped in a burial shroud and a stone weighing over a ton was rolled into place to seal it. Guards, knowing their very lives depended on no one disturbing the tomb, were posted. But, Sunday morning found the tomb open, body gone and no guards. What happened?

Some say Jesus didn’t actually die, but was merely unconscious when he was put into the tomb. However, that theory hardly seems plausible when the facts are examined. Jesus had been whipped and beaten within an inch of his life before even being put on the cross. Medical professionals, after examining the types of punishment Jesus had been subjected to, generally concur he couldn’t have survived the additional torture of a crucifixion.

According to an article in the March 21, 1986 Journal of the American Medical Association, for Jesus to have survived the crucifixion is a monumental leap of the imagination. Jesus was whipped mercilessly, beaten by soldiers, fell under the weight of His own cross, was dehydrated and then crucified. And Consider the fact, Jesus’ hands and feet had been pierced by nails. It seems highly unlikely he could have moved the stone from the tomb even if he had been in sound physical condition with no wounds or injuries.

Guards, who had crucified many others, and knew when a person was dead, were on the scene…one even jabbing a spear into Jesus’ side. The resulting blood and water which flowed from the wound, according to the medical community,was consistent with what would have happened had a corpse been pierced in that location.That Jesus was crucified is a historical fact. The evidence is found in various historical sources.

The Apostles clearly believed Jesus rose from the grave is without dispute. The Apostle Paul states at 1 Cor. 15:3-11, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of who are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also…”.

Did the Apostles, Romans or Jewish religious leaders steal the body? This theory presents many problems. First, if Romans or Jewish religious leaders had the body, they most certainly would have made it known, since that would effectively squelch any claims Jesus was the Messiah. They didn't.

The Apostles believed they saw the resurrected Jesus, evidenced by the fact they were willing to die for their belief. If the Apostles had stolen the body, that would mean they knew Jesus did not rise from the dead. It would also mean they were liars and liars generally are not willing to die for a lie. This is in addition to the fact Paul and James were converted based on their belief of a resurrected Jesus.

The Bible accurately foretold specific events about the life and death of Jesus in detail centuries before they occurred. There are approximately 2,500 prophecies appearing in the Bible, about 2,000 of which have been fulfilled.

In the fifth century B.C. a prophet named Zechariah declared the Messiah would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver and the money would be used to purchase a "potter's field," Zechariah 11:12-13.

Researchers record thirty pieces of silver as the amount paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus and also how the money was used, Matthew 27:3-10.

There are twenty-five Old Testament prophecies surrounding the crucifixion of Christ including His betrayal, trial, death and burial. They were recorded by many different people over a period of 500 years. They were all fulfilled within a twenty-four period the day of the crucifixion. Following are a few:

· Zechariah 11:12: “And I said to them, ‘If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!’ So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages.”

· Isaiah 50:6: “I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.”

Isaiah 53:12: “Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong;Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors."


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    • amer786 profile image


      5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Jon, I found your Hub via suggestions from Hub pages as I wrote one on the opposing view. Not sure if you are still following the comments here but if so can you post any references, Biblical or otherwise, that Jesus was beaten to near-death before the crucifixion. Thanks.

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Just because you didn't see the bear crap in the woods, doesn't mean he didn't either. Oh, they of little faith...

    • profile image


      7 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      Many of the arguements on Jesus life and death are rather silly. One writer said,"If Jesus were seen by 500 after his resurrection what are their names?"

      If we can't name everyone who witnessed the Gettysburg address obviously that did not happen either.

      Also the idea that Jesus and his disciples deliberatly fullfilled prophecies, How did they manage that for things that happened concerning his birth?

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Well Cats, I'll never outdo myself. I'm just too darn keep telling me so. LOL Thanks my dear.

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Well, John, you have outdone yourself. Know why I feel this way? Because I am pretty certain you've written this one, first; from the heart and second, with facts to back up your beliefs and convictions. Beautifully done and written, John. I feel the 'investigative reporter' is working for himself as well as his readers with this amazing article. I don't think I'm misled in this observation which makes this hub that much the better, in my humble opinion. thank you for a great work of art, John. Up Beautiful Awesome, useful and interesting!!

    • tsadjatko profile image

      7 years ago from now on

      Hurry all you want, just keep on telling the truth - I think you'll like this

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Darn, tndrhrt...that's what happens when you get in a hurry. Thanks for the catch.

    • tnderhrt23 profile image


      7 years ago

      The final excerpt from Isaiah 53:12 is cut off...Very interesting write, and convincing...thank you!


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