Did Isa al-Masih Really Die Like the Holy Scriptures Say? (Part Two)
The physical damage inflicted upon Isa's body strongly points to death:
1. Isa was severely whipped, beaten, and crucified.
2. Soldiers stuck him in the side with a spear.
3. Water and blood came out of the spear hole (itself proof of severe internal damage).
4. Those who buried Isa's body wrapped it in tight cloths.
5. He was put in a cold rock tomb sealed with a great rock and guarded by soldiers.
6. Despite agonizing torture and great loss of bodily fluids, he had nothing to drink for many hours.
Any one of those things could kill a person. Taken together, surviving such treatment would require a miracle. Though Isa had performed many miracles upon others, he never spoke about escaping death. On the contrary, he said he came to die and would certainly be killed. The testimonies about Isa's death are strong, diverse, and consistent:
7. The soldiers who crucified him believed he died. They knew death when they saw it.
8. The Roman governor Pilate was convinced that Isa had died.
9. The historical accounts of observers—Matthew, John, and Mark—state that he died.
10. Luke, a physician and proven historian, interviewed many people and wrote about Isa and his death.
11. Isa's other disciples and followers believed that he had died.
12. First and second century secular writers (e.g., Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian) speak of Isa's death.
You are encouraged to read the Gospel accounts themselves. See Matthew chapters 26-28, Mark chapters 14-16, Luke chapters 22-24 and John chapters 18-21. They tell not only of Isa's death, but also his resurrection. Multiple accounts provide tremendous historical substantiation. Finally, there are also the important words of Isa's emissary Paul:
Now, brothers and sisters, I spell out for you the good news which I proclaimed to you. It's what you accepted, on which you stake your lives, and through which you are saved. (Assuming you firmly hold to the message I proclaimed to you. Otherwise, your faith was not real.) I received what is paramount and passed it on to you. Specifically, the Messiah died for our sins, as the Scriptures foretold. He was buried but on the third day he returned to life, as the Scriptures foretold. After that he appeared to Peter and then to the twelve emissaries. Then he appeared to more than 500 of his disciples at one time. (Most of them are still living, though some have died.) Later, he appeared to Yaqub, and then to all his emissaries. Last of all, as if to someone born unexpectedly, he appeared also to me. (1 Corinthians 15:1-8)
Many people, both from the time of Isa and soon thereafter, have spoken. Their testimony cannot be simply negated by anyone born centuries later.
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