THE DEATH OF JESUS

HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

Death of Jesus – Did Jesus really die as the Bible says?

Yes, the biblical account of the death of Jesus is accurate. God often allows people the great honour of being martyred for their faith. But Jesus is far greater than a typical martyr. Not only was He killed for teaching the truth, but death was also His mission in life. On this, the Bible is very clear. Jesus said about Himself:

    • “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

26 

    • But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

27 

    • And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

28 

    • Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28).

And just before His death, He also said:

        • “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

      25 

        • He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

      26 

        • If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

      27 

        Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.” (John 12:24-27).

The great prophet Isaiah, inspired by God hundreds of years before Jesus lived on earth, wrote this profound prophecy about the Messiah, Jesus, who would come:

       Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. 53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

        • ” (

      Isaiah 52:13-53:12

        ).

As the prophet said, “After he has suffered, he will see the light of life.” The Gospels clearly tell us that three days after Jesus died, He came back to life. That seems impossible, but nothing is impossible with God. Even Jesus’ followers did not believe it had happened. But He showed Himself to them alive. Then they believed, they travelled about and preached the good news of forgiveness through Jesus, and they were killed like their master.

No one but God could imagine a person like Jesus. He is the ultimate sacrifice for all people. Animals are not good enough. Jesus was sinless, and for that reason, he was the perfect sacrifice.

      Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

        ” (Hebrews 4:14-15).
        • “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

      18 

        • And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

      19 

        • To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

      20 

        • Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

      21 

        • For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

With or without faith, we will experience difficulty in life. No difficulty is so great that it should keep us from seeking and believing the truth. When you think about truth, consider Jesus.

Death of Jesus – Where’s the proof?

The physical damage inflicted upon Jesus’ body strongly points to death:

  1. Jesus 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 Jesus’ body wrapped it in tight clothes.
  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 Jesus 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 Jesus’ death are strong, diverse, and consistent:

  1. The soldiers who crucified Him believed He died. They knew death when they saw it.
  2. Pilate was convinced that Jesus had died.
  3. The historical accounts of observers—Mathew, John, and Mark—state that He died.
  4. Luke, a physician and proven historian, interviewed many people and wrote about Jesus and His death.
  5. Jesus’ other disciples and followers believed that He had died.
  6. First and second-century secular writers (e.g., Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian) speak of Jesus’ death.

You are encouraged to read the Gospel accounts themselves. See Mathew chapters 26-28, Mark chapters 14-16, Luke chapters 22-24 and John chapters 18-21. They tell not only of Jesus’ death but also His resurrection. Multiple accounts provide tremendous historical substantiation. Finally, there are also the important words of the apostle Paul:

  • Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).

Many people, both from the time of Christ and soon thereafter, have spoken. Their testimony cannot be simply negated by anyone born centuries later.

Author: Godfrey Gregg