Perhaps Jesus was able to return from the dead because he was not really nailed to the cross? Was the crucifixion a conjuring trick – we watch more impressive and difficult ones on television every week.

The gospels say the Romans, specifically Pilate, had Jesus publicly put to death on the cross with the people mocking him. The Christians claim that they could have killed him less publicly. Instead they wanted to make an example of him to deter others from saying and teaching things they didn't like. But there is no evidence that Jesus' death really was that public. And at that time, Jesus' following had abandoned him. He did not seem to be a problem anymore.

The gospels only give their interpretation of what happened at Calvary. They only assume that the nails went in. They do not state that there was no way the crucifixion could have been faked – Jesus showing the hand marks after his death proves nothing for they could have been faked and the gospel is not clear if these were crucifixion nail marks. If Pilate was anxious to risk his own head for Jesus and his men were corrupt then anything could have happened.

Jesus stressed that all his actions and his words were in concord with the will and plans of God (John 11:42; 5:19). Let us then take his prayer to God in the Garden of Gethsemane to save him from enduring the agony of crucifixion as advising us that he would not really be crucified. The gospels name nobody who saw the nails going in. We have no evidence but gossip that Jesus was really nailed. Even the gospel of John which claims to have been written by a witness of Jesus’ death does not clearly say he was nailed. Many crucifixion victims were just tied to the cross to die of suffocation.

On his way to Calvary, Jesus told some women not to weep for him but for themselves inferring that there were more important things to weep for. He said terrible trouble would come to the people. If he intended to rise from the dead he could not have meant that for death is terrible even if people do rise again. And the death of the precious Son of God even more so and he would be worth more than a million lives. Jesus was hinting that he would not die at all as well as well as that he was not God.

Jesus could have been replaced with a real corpse when Joseph was asking Pilate if he could have the body. We are not told that a close eye was kept on the cross after Jesus died.

The new body would have had the face messed up so nobody would know and maybe it was stolen from the tomb. Perhaps, it was thought that he was buried with or after Jesus and when the tomb was said to be found empty that it was Jesus’ niche was meant. In that case, nobody would have been stolen and Jesus being stolen would have been a case of mistaken identity. Maybe Jesus robbed the tomb himself and scared the guards who thought he was a ghost? Remember, Matthew only assumes that they told the Jews they saw an angel. Maybe they said they saw Jesus meaning that Jesus was an angel or thought that the angel was Jesus.

The John Gospel never says that Thomas put his finger in the nail wounds and his hand in the side wound though he said he would and Jesus asked him to. Thomas would probably have regarded seeing them as enough. Thomas might have settled for just touching the marks for penetration would seem cruel and callous. We don’t know if the wounds were self-inflicted or deep or real. We don’t know the circumstances so Thomas could have been duped by a magic trick or an illusion. He may have been a sceptic but we have all seen sceptics being convinced by clever fortune-tellers.

If Luke is telling the truth when he says the resurrection was not mentioned for forty days then maybe it was to give Jesus time to be away and hidden and settled first far away.
The gospels cannot even prove the crucifixion for the first three gospellers were not even there and the author of John was not watching everything and has no authority anyway for that belonged to the apostles and he was not a member. We are to believe on the apostles’ word and that’s that.

The crucifixion of Jesus could have been engineered to make it look worse than it did. The intention could have been to prevent it from killing Jesus.

Jesus was crucified by very corrupt and deceitful men who were callous to the decree that they could play games for his clothes as he hung on the cross. Can you believe that somebody as rich as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who was even more rich (The Turin Shroud is Genuine, page 122) would have stood by and let Jesus die when they disapproved of the crucifixion when they could have bribed the Romans to save Jesus and fake his death? Matthew says the soldiers loved bribes and Josephus tells us that Pilate was as bad. The Talmud implies that rich people could give soldiers a backhander to rescue people from their crosses (The Turin Shroud is Genuine, page 78). If that happened with Jesus who would know about it? Nobody!

How can you be sure Jesus was really executed when there were nothing but frauds dealing with him?

It gets more suspicious when you read that Pilate was kind enough to try and save Jesus at the risk of his own job and life. And Matthew says that the centurion and his men acclaimed Jesus as the Son of God when they saw the earthquake that coincided with his death (27). An earthquake alone could not convert them so they must have been believers before they nailed Jesus and the quake increased their faith.

Why did the centurion say Jesus was the Son of God using the past tense meaning Jesus was dead just because he thought he saw him breathing no more? Obviously there was not much of an effort made to make sure Jesus was dead. It was known that pulses were not taken for nobody knew how reliable they were for you could think you felt no pulse for a person who was really alive.

Jesus prayed for the Romans saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. Or so Luke says. Some scholars say he meant the Jews and the Romans but the gospels are clear the Jews knew fine well what they were doing and as Jesus was on the cross naturally it would have to refer to those who hammered the nails in. There would be no point in Jesus praying for people who never repent. The Son of God who is perfect would only pray when he can be answered or for people there is hope for, for he always does what is best. Jesus said at the tomb of Lazarus that his father in Heaven always hears him. So Jesus is prophesying the conversion of the men who nailed him. He uses the present tense too when he could have said, “Father, I ask that you will forgive them for they know not what they do”. He wants them pardoned now indicating that though they did not know they were doing wrong they were good men. They may have believed in Jesus but believed that it was Jesus’ will that they crucify him. Jesus said that only true believers could be forgiven so he is saying they are true believers. For Jesus to pray forgiveness on men for crucifying him while he arranged for himself to be captured and crucified is hypocrisy at its worst.

Pilate knew that Jesus should have lasted longer on the cross and was astonished that he died so fast (Mark 15:44).  It was a centurion who was probably the one who had come to support Jesus who told Pilate that he was dead (Mark 15:45). This is important for he would have been keen to get Jesus off the cross before he really died if he was comatose. There is no proof that the spear in the side would have dispatched Jesus if he was still alive after being certified dead and the water emerging from the wound perhaps indicates that Jesus was not stabbed in any vital organs but in the large intestine which was holding the water and the blood came from the wound.

The events surrounding Jesus’ passion and death coincided with his superstitious misreading of the Old Testament texts which he surmised were about him. This points to some collaboration between Jesus or his friends and the soldiers so it is reasonable to suppose that they would have helped him to live.

The gospels say that Jesus got away with attracting large crowds, claiming to be the Son of God and superior to the state and to be the Messiah for about three years while Rome was merciless with anybody who could be a rival. I don’t believe that he did but if he did then it shows he had the Romans in his back pocket and could have gotten away with anything and used them to fake his death. The death had to be faked for Pilate was behaving illegally by letting him go about which shows that Pilate would have stooped to any level to save him.

Jesus asks for wine in John and seems dead afterwards. It could have been laced with opium which was readily obtainable in his country (page 183, Jesus Lived in India) and it would have induced him into a coma that made him look dead. If the soldiers wanted to save him they had to help him play dead and time was running out for he had to be dead before the Sabbath for they did not want to break his legs to hasten death. Jesus who reportedly went out of his way to suffer might not have refused the wine he was offered before he was crucified if it was like smelling salts and would make him suffer more by making him more alert. The Romans would have forced it on him for they were cruel and did not have it around for nothing unless they wanted to save him. It was no ordinary wine for it was offered for a reason and not out of friendship. He refused it and was allowed to for it was too early to knock himself out. It is important that two others were crucified with Jesus it is not said that they were offered the wine.

The problem with the opium is that Jesus was in very bad shape physically and for it to make his body seem dead would mean he would slip into a coma from which he would have been very unlikely to recover (page 70, The Jesus Inquest). Perhaps he didn't recover but the believers thought he would and only pretended they buried him while they had taken him to a safe place to pretend they had revived him. Perhaps if he died they thought it was necessary to prevent shame by getting somebody to pretend to be the resurrected Jesus. Perhaps between some seeing this "Jesus" and the desperate need to believe some actually hallucinated other appearances of Jesus. But there is a chance that Jesus could have come out of the coma.

Another possibility is that Jesus was knocked out by a dose of mandrake. Mandrake was used as an anaesthetic and was put in vinegar as we know from a doctor’s journal of the time. Jesus drank vinegar before he “died”.

http://www.forteantimes.com/articles/146%20mandrake.schtml gives us the research of Gloria Moss that there would be morphine in the opium that would increase the breathing rate of Jesus while the gospels say he gave up the ghost or stopped breathing on the cross. She said that morphine is absorbed slowly and Jesus went out like a light rapidly. She says the vinegar would have reduced the power of the morphine. She prefers the view that the sponge was laced with mandrake which works as a general anaesthetic when mixed with the alcohol in the vinegar and that could have knocked Jesus out. She states that the power of the mandrake root was known in those times and before.

Now, the sponge could have contained only a small amount of vinegar with the bulk of the liquid being made up of opium. Plus it is possible to breath rapidly but very lightly so that nobody knows you are breathing. Remember, Jesus would have been very sick and weakened. Furthermore, the gospels only say that Jesus gave up the ghost and are not being scientific but assuming on the basis of what was seen that Jesus died. That does not mean they were right. Nobody held a piece of glass to his mouth to see if it would steam. The gospel may say Jesus took the vinegar and then died but there could have been an interval between both events giving time for him to absorb the morphine. He would have absorbed it faster through hunger and thirst and it would have affected him easily for he was exhausted and feeling faint. There is absolutely no evidence against the view that Jesus was drugged. It is more possible that he was than that he wasn’t when he got the drink.

Perhaps Jesus called out that God had forsaken him probably meaning that God was going to let him die, to avert suspicion or perhaps Jesus thought that he was dying and forsaken in the sense that God was not going to let his plot succeed. He would have been asphyxiating if the crucifixion killed him and a dying saint is more likely to shout in surrender to God than to say something like that when shouting takes a huge effort.

The Mishna decreed that for Jews, the proof of death was when animals would start eating the body (The Turin Shroud is Genuine, page 78). If Jesus had been executed for the Jews then it would have been done in such a way as to satisfy all the Jews that he was dead but it wasn’t. Unless something was up Jesus would have been thrown to animals.

Jesus was crucified on the Sabbath Eve as an excuse for taking him off the cross fast for bodies were not left up over the Sabbath. If they had waited to Sunday to crucify him he would have had to stay on the cross until he was eaten.

There is no evidence that Jesus was on the cross long after he “died” though Mark says he was there until evening. But if you read the gospels they never say what hour Jesus died though they say what happened at the ninth hour. Those who say that Jesus died about three and was removed about six (eg. The Turin Shroud is Genuine, page 123) are just guessing. He could and would have been taken down quick so that the Sabbath rest would be prepared for in time.

Perhaps the burial of Jesus was a hoax. If Jesus had been taken to the tomb alive by mistake the Romans would have had to rescue him and spirit him away to safety and keep him away permanently and blame the disciples before it was too late and certainly before the women would come to finish the anointing of the body.

Jesus' burial may have been a hoax in order to get him to safety.

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