18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,” (I Peter 3:18).
How do we know that Jesus actually died on the cross? Aside from what the Bible says in I Peter 3:18, and elsewhere, what evidence do we have for Jesus’ death? Or to put it another way, what are the alternative arguments for Jesus “not” dying on the cross and are they at all plausible?
First of all, there is the Swoon Theory. Second is the Stolen Body Theory. Third is the Hallucination Theory. Fourth is the Wrong Tomb Theory. Finally, there is the Body was Moved Theory. Perhaps, as some speculate, Jewish or Roman authorities moved the body. This is refuted by…
- The Lack of Reasoning behind it. Having place guards at the tomb to insure no one would tamper with the body of Jesus, what would be the reason for moving the body? Certainly, it could be argued that the Jewish and/or Roman authorities did so to prevent the disciples from doing the very thing they suspected they would do; steal the body of Jesus. Therefore, by moving the body they would hide Christ’s body and therefore prevent the disciples from achieving their intended goal. But this leads us to a second point, which is…
- The Apostles Preaching. In the face of such boldness on the part of the disciples, as documented in the Book of Acts, why wouldn’t the authorities simply produce the body of Jesus if it indeed had only been moved? The Jewish leaders were enraged at Peter and John in Acts 4 &5 but did nothing to neither prevent the message of the gospel nor suppress it. They also did nothing to produce the body of Jesus if indeed it had only been moved by the religious leaders.
I submit that it is beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus Christ did in fact die on the cross. This is especially important for us today in light of Islam’s flagrant rejection of the crucifixion of Jesus.
Joined to the reality of Jesus’s death is also the reality of His resurrection. What evidences to we have concerning the resurrection of Christ? We will begin to examine these next time.
Soli deo Gloria!