Roman and Jewish authorities on Saturday face persistent but unverified reports that the crucified 33-year-old man from Galilee who claimed to be God actually survived the brutal experience and escaped late Friday.
“What I heard was that the man didn’t die, what really happened was he swooned, or passed out, and was thought to be dead but he really wasn’t,” Andrew the Mason, a Bethlehem resident visiting in Jerusalem for the Passover Festival this weekend, told HillFaith.
When asked who told him that Jesus was not dead when his body was taken down from the cross a mere nine hours after first being nailed to it, Andrew the Mason said he didn’t get the person’s name.
“But it made sense to me because, you know, these vicious Romans know how to make people suffer on and on and on,” he said. “I’ve seen men go a whole days and nights before they finally die, it’s really an awful way to go. This Jesus character, how could he be dead in just nine hours?”
Similarly, Bartholomew, a money-changer from an affluent neighborhood of Jerusalem who had an unpleasant encounter a week ago with Jesus in the Temple, told HillFaith he has no doubt the man wasn’t dead when he was taken down from the cross.
“Hey, it’s not like Jesus was some sort of 9-stone weakling, you know,” Bartholomew said in an interview Saturday. “He was throwing around heavy tables covered with gold and silver like they were made of papyrus. That guy was strong as an ox, I never saw anything like it before in my life.”
Bartholomew was referring to an incident that occurred a week before Jesus’ trial and execution. He was greeted at the city gates by large crowds of people chanting and praising him as if he was a savior of some kind, but then when he arrived at the Temple, he began overturning tables in the market section of the complex, according to witnesses.
“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers,” Jesus was quoted as yelling as he carried out what he called a “cleansing” of the temple.
“Hey, it’s not like Jesus was some sort of 9-stone weakling, you know. He was throwing around heavy tables covered with gold and silver like they were made of papyrus.”
A third person told HillFaith, however, that she was present at the cross and saw Jesus up close as his body was stretched out on the ground just before being carted away.
“The man barely looked like a human being, it was terrible,” Martha of Bethany, a nearby village, told HillFaith. “I saw my brother Lazarus after he’d been dead a couple of days and I’m telling you, Jesus looked far worse. He was dead all right.”
“You may not like us but you have to admit we know how to kill people and, if our soldiers tell you Jesus was dead when they took his body down, you can take that to the Bank of the Seven Hills.”
Told of the rumors, a spokesman for Pilate, the governor of the Judean province of the Roman Empire, scoffed, telling HillFaith that “you may not like us but you have to admit we know how to kill people and, if our soldiers tell you Jesus was dead when they took his body down, you can take that to the Bank of the Seven Hills.”
The spokesman was referring to a financial institution in the city of Rome.
There is no Valetudinaria as yet in Jerusalem, and Pilate is on record telling local leaders that “a backwater province like Judea can’t expect to see such benefits of our Roman occupation until a lot more taxes have been collected.” As a result, no Roman medical personnel were available to be interviewed by HillFaith.
In addition, none of the local health experts were willing to be interviewed by HillFaith for this article. The editor was able, however, to locate an experienced law enforcement official from a distant time and place.
J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case detective who has become extremely familiar with the Jesus situation. He provided HillFaith with the following video in which he discusses the claims that Jesus was not killed on the cross:
Today: News Alert: Controversy Erupts Amid Claims Man Named Jesus Survived Crucifixion
SUGGESTED READING: “More Than A Carpenter” by Josh and Sean McDowell, a classic, concise and enjoyable presentation of the abundant evidence for the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ. For a free copy, provide a name and snail mail address, either in the comments below, or, if you prefer not to publish your address, via the contact link.