In the Bible we read about the cruel death of Jesus on the cross. I recently heard some people doubt that he actually died on the cross. There are speculations that he might have survived and lived on as a preacher. When I heard this the first time, I was quite astonished. Why would someone want to doubt the death of Jesus on the cross? Well, those that do not believe that Jesus is God have a vested interest in that theory. Only God himself would be so powerful to die and resurrect himself from death – to overcome death. No human we are aware of can do that. If Jesus did that – he is God – or at least very close to God. Those that do not believe that Jesus is God need to prove otherwise. Theoretically everything is possible. But I am not so much interested in theories here – let’s talk about practice:
If someone believes in the Bible – the records are clear. Jesus died on the cross and rose thereafter.
If someone does not believe in the Bible, there are records about the death of Jesus outside the Bible. For example the Roman historian Tacitus references it. There are no credible records of Jesus not dying on the cross – all claims about that are just wild speculations – and as said theories.
If we believe in the Bible, we know that the Romans killed Jesus. The Romans were very well trained soldiers that executed commandments. Not following commandments meant their own death. And the commandment was clear: Kill Jesus and the two others rebels with him. Roman soldiers further were trained killers in a foreign country. They had no interest in acting against orders. As soldiers, they knew very well how to kill and how to ensure that someone is dead. As they noticed that the two rebels next to Jesus were still alive, they broke their legs so that they die faster. It seemed Jesus was in much worse conditions as they thought he might be dead already. One took a spear and pierced into the side, most likely the heart, of Jesus. Water and blood ran out which was proof enough for the trained killers of the Romans empire that he was ideed dead already.
In my view, a much more important proof of his death is his resurrection. We know that Christianity spread all over the world in a time where cruel treatment was common. The apostles and those who followed Jesus were regular men – fishers, tax collectors, craftsmen. They had families and loved ones. Still, after what happened they went out into the unknown world to spread the word and bear testimony to Jesus. They were 100% ready to give their life for Jesus as they had seen his wonders, his death and his resurrection first hand. I firmly believe that if they would not have seen that with their own eyes – if Jesus would have lived on as a preacher, they would not have had the courage to do what they did. However, they experienced first hand that death is not the end, that God is beyond life and death. They saw with their own eyes that as the doors were closed – Jesus, despite being dead, appeared right in front of them. They were enlightened by the holy spirit that gave them the inner power and the words to conquer the hearts of listeners and thus the world.
All except one of them were cruelly killed. They accepted this risk and followed their path until the very end. They knew – as they had seen – there is life after death. With their own eyes they had witnessed that once the physical body ceases to exist our soul – our spirit lives on. And if this soul and spirit is linked and close to God – it will be in a beautiful place. They will see Jesus again – and I am sure they were actually looking forward to their death once their mission on earth was accomplished.
The message of resurrection at Easter – after all the darkness – is the most beautiful one and the one that offers utmost hope for all of us. Same as Jesus – same as his followers – you and me – our soul and our spirit can also live forever in eternal peace and happiness. All we need to do is to change our mindset, our behaviors – to be good, do good and follow the commandments.
Interested to hear about the causes of death from Jesus himself? In the visions of Maria Valtorta we read the following statements explaining what happened with and in his body:
“My organs were not exempted from suffering. Not one of them. Suffocation and cough for My lungs, contused by the cruel scourging, and suffering from oedema because of the position on the cross. Breathlessness and heart trouble as My heart was out of its place and had been injured by the merciless flagellation, by the moral grief that had preceded it, by the ascent under the heavy weight of the cross, by anaemia, the consequence of all the blood shed. Liver congested, spleen congested, kidneys bruised and congested.
You have seen the crown of bruises round My kidneys. Your scientists, to give proof to your incredulity with regard to that evidence of My suffering, which is the Shroud, explain how the blood, the cadaveric perspiration and the urea of an overfatigued body, when mixed with the spices, can have produced that natural drawing of My dead tortured Body.
It would be better to believe without the need of so many proofs to believe. It would be better to say: “That is the work of God” and bless God, Who has granted you an indisputable proof of My Crucifixion and of the tortures preceding it!
But as now you are no longer able to believe with the simplicity of children, but you need scientific proofs – how poor is your faith, that without the support and the spur of science cannot stand up straight and walk – you must know that the cruel bruises of My kidneys have been the most powerful chemical agent in the miracle of the Shroud. My kidneys, almost crushed by the scourges, were no longer able to work. Like those of people burnt by fire, they were unable to filter, and urea accumulated and spread in My blood, in My body, bringing about the sufferings of uraemic intoxication and the reagent that oozed out of My corpse and fixed the impression on the cloth. But any doctor among you, or anyone suffering from uraemia, will realise what sufferings the uraemic toxins caused to Me, as they were so plentiful as to produce an indelible impression.
Thirst. What a torture thirst! And yet you have seen it. Among so many, there was not one who gave Me a drop of water. From the Supper onwards, I had no refreshment. And fever, sunshine, heat, dust, loss of blood, made your Saviour so thirsty.
You have seen that I refused the wine mixed with myrrh. I did not want any lenitive for My suffering. When we offer ourselves as victims, we must be victims without pitiful arrangements, compromises, mitigations. It is necessary to drink the chalice as it is. We must relish the vinegar and gall to the very end. Not the spiced wine that deadens pain.
Oh! the destiny of a victim is really severe. But blessed are those who chose it as their fate.”The poem of the Man God by Maria Valtorta, chapter 609. “The Redeeming Value of Jesus’ and Mary’s Sufferings. John Is the Head of Lovers.”