The Following was posted in a facebook group in response to objections made by a Muslim:
(My response has also been posted in that location but I thought I’d post it here as well, for the sake of information)
1 . JESUS WAS RELUCTANT TO DIE!
He had worked out a strategy of defense to repel the Jews,
because he wanted to remain ALIVE!
Answer: There is nothing in scripture to tell us that Jesus was reluctant to die. In Matthew 16:21 Jesus, Himself tells the disciples that he will die and raise from the dead. Peter, I imagine believing he was being supportive of the Lord and showing his love said, said “This will never happen to you!.” How did Jesus respond to someone even trying to comfort Him by claiming that He would not die? Jesus rebuked him, even going so far as to compare him to Satan for the meme suggestion that it wouldn’t be so. If Jesus compares a beloved disciples to Satan for saying that He would not die, how much more so do you think He would rebuke you for your suggestion. Furthermore, in the garden it was not the physical pain that Jesus feared but the separation from the Father that would be part of it. Jesus had always been in totally unity with the Father but He knew in the moment of His sufferings and His death, the Father would have to turn away. Nowhere in the Gospels do we hear of any such plan to defend Himself against the Jews or even the charges they brought against Him. All we see is He freely giving up His life, like a sheep led to the slaughter.
2. HE BESEECHED GOD FOR HELP.
With strong crying and tears for God Almighty to keep him
With strong crying and tears, yes but not for His life. As I have said before, it was not the physical death that Jesus cried out about when He said “If it be your will, let this cup pass from me,” but the spiritual separation He’d never encountered that He feared.
3. GOD "HEARD" HIS PRAYERS
Which means that God accepted his prayers to keep him
God always hears our prayers and He surely heard the prayers of His only begotten Son. In my life I have prayed about many things and God has heard each and every prayer but many times I did not receive that which I prayed for. Why? Because God heard my prayers but, and here is something that we all need to learn, sometimes His answer is NO! God knows His plans for our lives and the lives of others and He desires to give us all we need. However, He will only give us that which is in line with His Word and with the plans He has for our lives. Furthermore, after Jesus prayed for the cup to pass from Him, He said “Nevertheless, not my will but thy will be done.” Jesus acknowledged the Fathers original plan and while, in His humanity he feared what must happen, He sacrificed those fears for the plan of the Father.
4. AN ANGEL OF GOD CAME TO STRENGTHEN HIM
in the hope and belief that God will save him ALIVE!
The only reference to angels coming to minister to Jesus was in Matthew 4:11, after Satan was foolish enough to think He could tempt the Son with what already belonged to Him. What we see in the resurrection accounts are angels standing guard over the tomb, where His body had been laid. No where does this say He was saved from death. The angels were there to be witnesses to the resurrection of our Savior and their God.
5. PILATE FINDS JESUS NOT GUILTY!
Good reason to keep Jesus ALIVE!
It was a very good reason to keep Jesus alive, however it wasn’t good enough. Pilate did find that Jesus was not guilt of any crime however we read that following that Pilate asked the crowd “But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this ‘King of the Jews’?” (John 18:38)
The crowd shouted back that they wanted Barabbas released instead (John 18:39). If we read further we see that Pilate has Jesus, the man he declared to be innocent flogged and brought before the people again (John 19:1-3). Once again Pilate tells the people that he finds the man innocent but the temple priests and guards shout “Crucify him!” (John 19:6)
In verse 8 we see that Pilate was frightened by the reaction of the people. He was afraid he was about to have a riot on his hands. The people even use Cesar, Pilate’s boss to scare him, saying “If you release him you are no friend of Cesar.”(John 19:12)
Finally, in verse 16 we find that Pilate turned Him over to be crucified and they took Him away.
6. PILATE'S WIFE SHOWN A DREAM IN WHICH SHE WAS
TOLD THAT -
"No harm should come to this just man." In other words, he
should be saved ALIVE!
Pilate’s wife was not the ruler of that area. She may have had a dream telling her just that but how many times have men ignored the sound advice of their wives? Based on the account given in my answer to point number 5 we can see that this was also the case with Pilate. His wife may have recognized the innocence of Jesus, as did Pilate but Pilate was responding to a near riot and acquiesced to the demands of the crowd.
7. SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE CROSS FOR ONLY THREE
According to the system in vogue, no man could die by
crucifixion in so short a time which means that even if he was
fastened to the cross - he was ALIVE!
Nails in his feet and his hands, badly beaten with whips and a cat-of-nine-tails and with a crown of thorns on His head, Jesus hang on the cross. The shock alone would’ve been enough to kill an individual. However, even if we were to leave that out, the spear pierced into his side would’ve been enough. The scriptures say water and blood flowed out. According to medical science, this is explainable. The spear would have went through His side and punctured the pericardial sack surrounding the heart and the heart itself. Inside the pericardial sack is a clear fluid that serves to lubricate the heart. Extreme stress and the rapid heart beat can cause even more fluid to gather in the sack, making it harder for the heart to beat. This is what is called congestive heart failure. When the spear went into his side the clear fluid (water) was the liquid of the pericardial sack and the flow of blood came from the piercing of the heart.
Jesus was dead before any of this happened however, if He’d not been dead this would’ve done the trick. It’s also worth noting that the Romans were not novice when it came to the death penalty. They had perfected it nearly to an art form. It was the Centurion’s job to make sure that those individuals on the cross were dead. The Centurion even testified to the fact that Jesus was dead to no less than Pilate himself (Mark 15:44-45)
8. THE OTHER TWO - HIS "CROSSMATES" ON THEIR
RESPECTIVE CROSSES WERE ALIVE.
So Jesus too, For the same period of time, must have been ALIVE!
First of all, you logic is flawed. If three individuals have a heart attack does and two survive does logic demand that the other must have also survived? If three people have a car accident and two are still alive does it necessarily mean that the other is also alive? Of Course not! The “cross mates” being alive does not demand that Jesus also be alive any more than the scenarios given above. Furthermore, the same Centurion who made sure that His “cross mates” were dead also verified that Jesus had died.
9. ENCYCLOPEDIA BIBLICA UNDER ARTICLE "CROSS" -
COLUMN 960, says:
"When the spear was thrust - Jesus was ALIVE!"
I would disagree with that, based on the scriptures but even if that were the case Jesus would have been dead after the incident with the spear (see answer to point number 7)
10. "FORTHWITH" CAME THERE OUT BLOOD AND WATER:
"Forthwith" means straightaway, immediately, which was a
sure sign that Jesus was ALIVE!
First of all, with the angle at which the spear would have been thrust (up and under the rib cage) gravity would have made sure that the water and blood would’ve poured our “forthwith.” (also see answer to number 7 and 9)
11. LEGS NOT BROKEN - AS A FULFILMENT OF PROPHECY
"Legs" can be of any use only if Jesus was ALIVE!
In John 19:32 we see the reason that Jesus’ legs need not be broken is because the Centurion (an executioner by trade and an expert in the Roman crucifixion) saw that Jesus was already dead. Furthermore, that Centurion pierced His side to verify that fact.
12. THUNDERSTORM, EARTHQUAKE, AND DARKENING OF
THE SUN ALL WlTHIN 3 HOURS!
To disperse the sadistic mob to enable his "secret disciples" to
help keep him ALIVE!
Absurd conspiracy theory which is no where attested to in the Bible. The earthquake and darkening of the sun happened however the Centurion also verified the death of Jesus. Furthermore, it was not until after Joseph received permission from Pilate that the body was taken down. No earthquake was need to disperse the crowd. He can see from John 19:31 that the Jewish authorities had already had the Centurion’s hasten the death of those crucified so that they could go home to prepare for the Sabbath. They were already leaving. They didn’t need a disaster to get them to move on. Furthermore, John 19:30 says that even this took place after Jesus’ death.
13. JEWS DOUBTED HIS DEATH
They suspected that he had escaped death on the cross - that
he was ALIVEI
This is blatantly false. While the Jews may have doubted the resurrection they never doubted the death. In Matthew 28:11-15 we find that the guards ran to the leading Jewish authorities to tell them of what happened. The authorities told the guards, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.” They could have just as easily concocted the lie that Jesus had actually survived the crucifixion but they, Jesus’ most intelligent foes, knew it to be absurd. Instead they told others that the disciples had stolen His body. They could have told the Governor and searched until they found Him (after all, how far could a man so mutilated have traveled or much less went about unnoticed) but they didn’t because they knew He had died.
14. PILATE "MARVELS" TO HEAR THAT JESUS WAS DEAD
He knew from experience that no man can die so soon by
crucifixion. He suspected that jesus was ALIVE!
As seen in the answer to point number 7 that Pilate called the guard to testify of the death of Jesus. If Pilate had any doubts to the death of Jesus he would not have allowed Joseph to take the body.
15. BIG ROOMY CHAMBER
Close at hand, big and airy for willing hands to come to
the rescue. Providence was out to keep jesus ALIVE!
Following that logic King Tut must have also been alive when put into his crypt because no tomb is larger than the pyramids. The size of the tomb is related to the man who gave it. Joseph, who owned the tomb was a rich man and could afford the best.
16. STONE AND "WINDING SHEETS" HAD TO BE REMOVED
Necessary only if Jesus was ALIVE!
Equally necessary if He arose from the dead.
17. REPORT ON WINDING SHEETS
German scientists who carried out experiments on the Shroud
of Turin said that the heart of Jesus had not stopped
Independent tests in 1988 at the University of Oxford, University of Arizona and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology radiocarbon date the material of the Shroud to be from 1260 to 1390 AD. Even if that were not the case, granted that is pretty damning evidence, there is nothing to attest that the shroud ever belonged to Jesus or was used in His burial.
18. EVER IN DISGUISE!
Disguise not necessary if Jesus was "resurrected." Only necessary
if he was ALIVEI
Who says he was in a disguise? Ask yourself, how many of you have seen a resurrected body to tell me what it looks like? Anyone? I didn’t think so. None of us have any idea what a resurrected and glorified body would look like, therefore calling it a disguise is silly. Sillier still is the idea that a man who just a few days prior had nails driven through His hands and feet, a crown of thorns on His head, beaten with whips and a cat-of-nine-tails, hung on a cross for three hours and had a spear pierced through His side would be up walking around in disguise. A simple heart surgery, with modern medicine, knowledge of the human body and sterilized instruments requires months of rehabilitation and healing. Yet you have Jesus up, in disguise walking all the way to Galilee less than a week from His crucifixion. The infections that would have set up in such wounds alone would have killed an individual. After all, the Romans weren’t exactly sterilizing the nails and spears they used.
19. FORBADE MARY MAGDALENE TO TOUCH HIM
"Touch me not" for this reason that it would hurt; because he
Are you putting words into the mouth of a prophet? No where in the scriptures did Jesus say He said that to avoid pain. Furthermore, He allowed Thomas to put his fingers in the holes of His hands and in His side. That would surly negate the idea that He was afraid to be touched because of pain. Furthermore, were He is so much pain He would not have been able to walk the distances He walked after the resurrection. The word for touch, used in John 20:17 is haptomai, which means “to attach oneself to.” Literally, Jesus told Mary not to attach herself to Him. We can see why is the same verse when Jesus tells her, But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” To put it in basic, modern English Jesus was telling Mary to get a move on. He didn’t want her wasting time hugging Him because He had a job for her.
20. "NOT YET ASCENDED UNTO MY FATHER"
In the language of the Jews, in the idiom of the Jews, he was
saying, '7 am not dead yet," in other words, "I am ALIVE!"
This was not, in fact an idiom of the Jews. If it were, the disciples (all of whom were Jews) would have understood it. In stead they believed Jesus had risen from the dead and all but one Apostle (John) died a martyrs death because he refused to recant this very fact. We can clearly see what Jesus meant when He said He hadn’t yet ascended when we look further into scripture and see the ascension (40 days later) that He was speaking about (Luke 24:50-53).
21. MARY MAGDALENE NOT AFRAID ON RECOGNISING JESUS
Because she had seen signs of life before. She was looking for
a Jesus who was ALIVE!
Mary was not afraid upon recognizing Jesus because she understood that He had rise from the dead just as He said He would (Matthew 16:21).
22. DISCIPLES PETRIFIED ON SEEING JESUS IN THE UPPERROOM
All their knowledge about the "crucifxion" was from hearsay,
therefore, they could not believe that Jesus was ALIVE!
The Disciples were petrified because they had seen Jesus die on the cross and be buried. They though a ghost had entered their house until the risen Jesus revealed His that it was He. They are shocked that their Master is risen because they were witnesses to His death.
23. ATE FOOD AGAIN AND AGAIN IN HIS "POST CRUCIFIXION"
Food only necessary if he was ALIVE!
Resurrected body. Christianity doesn’t teach that Jesus rose from the dead as a ghost or spirit. We teach that Jesus arose bodily. The concept of the resurrection is that through Jesus were once dead, yet He lives. Therefore, yes He was very much so alive.
24. NEVER SHOWED HIMSELF TO HIS ENEMIES
Because he had escaped death by the "skin of his teeth". He
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:6 that at least 500 people saw the resurrected Jesus at one time. The people had the ability to test Paul’s claim because Paul asserts that most of them are still alive at the time of his writing. That’s a pretty extreme statement to make, one that the people could have easily debunked had it not been true. Furthermore, the testimony of the Apostles is credible. While many will die for a belief, dying for something one knows to be a lie is greatly different. All of the Apostles (save John) had the opportunity to deny the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to save their own lives. None of them had anything to gain from telling this if it were a lie (all of them died poor, so their was no financial motivation and they were under constant threat) but each and everyone of them was killed while the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ remained on their lips. From a legal standpoint, what we see here is that each gave a consistent testimony and lacked motive.
25. TOOK ONLY SHORT TRIPS
Because he was not resurrected, not spiritualised, but ALIVE!
Shortly after He was seen in Jerusalem, Jesus met the disciples on a mountain in Galilee. The distance from Jerusalem to the Sea of Galilee is 155.35 kilometers or 96.53 miles ON FOOT. I don’t know about you but I would have difficulty walking 96 if I were a healthy teenager. However, this was a man who had been beaten, had nails drive through His hands and feet and a spear pierced through His side. I don’t know about you but to me, 96 miles on foot is not a short distance. In the U.S. the average road speed limit is 55 miles per hour. To put that in perspective, think of how far you could drive in one hour and forty-five minutes. That’s how far He walked.
26. TESTIMONY OF MEN AROUND THE TOMB
"Why seek ye the living among the dead?" - (Luke 24:4-5).
Interesting that you left out verse six, which reads “He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!”
27. TESTIMONY OF ANGELS
'1 . . angels who had said that he was ALIVE!" - Luke 24:23.
Did not say, "resurrected but the actual word uttered by the
angels was b4ALIVE*'l
Look at the context. Cleopas is repeating the testimony of the women who were at the tomb. The very event that He is telling about is the one that took place in Luke 24:4-6 where the Angles told women “He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!”
28. MARY MAGDALENE TESTIFIES -
". . . they heard that he was ALIVE, and had been seen by her,
they believed not " - (Mark 1 6: 1 1 ): Mary did not vouch for a
None So Blind. . . 233
spook, or ghost or spirit of Jesus but a LIVE Jesus. What they
could not believe was that the Master was ALIVE!
When Mary speaks of Jesus being alive, the shocking part is that He has risen from the dead. That is what the disciples can’t believe. Mary was not telling them that Jesus didn’t die on the cross. She was telling them that even though He was dead, yet He lives.
29. DR PRlMlROSE TESTIFIES
That the "water and the blood," when Jesus was lanced on the
side, was on account of an upset in the nervous vessels
because of the scourging by staves. This was a sure sign
that Jesus was ALIVE1
Jesus was not lanced on the side. The spear pierced His side, according to scriptures.
“Modern medical interpretation of the of the historical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead when taken down from the cross.” The Journal of the American Medical Association (The Journal of the American Medical Association (March 21, 1986), 1463, in Geisler and Saleeb, 236)
30. JESUS HAD HIMSELF FORETOLD THAT HIS MlRACLE
WILL BE THE MlRACLE OF JONAH!
According to the Book of Jonah, Jonah was ALIVE, when we
expected him to be DEAD; similarly when we expect Jesus to '
be DEAD, he should be ALIVE!
False. The miracle that Jesus was speaking of was that Jonah exiting the belly of the beast after three days. If we want to see what Jesus throught of the crucifixion we need only look to His words. In Matthew 16:21 Jesus says He will be killed. In Matthew 17:22-23 Jesus says He will be killed. In Luke 9:22 Jesus says He will be killed. In Luke 24:46-47 Jesus says He will be killed. I think its pretty clear that Jesus taught it disciples that He would, in fact be killed. To say that Jesus believed otherwise is the call Him a liar.
Best of luck to you as you search for the truth, my friend.