The resurrection of Jesus is one of the most provable events of all of history. The resurrection of Christ is the foundational truth of a biblical belief system. Everything we believe as followers of Christ is based on the truth of that single event.
At the same time, for the atheist, agnostics, skeptics, believers in other religions, or those searching for truth, the resurrection is the event they most deal with if they want to hold their opinion in clear conscious. To ignore the resurrection of Christ, by not determining whether it is true or myth, would be short-sighted and a version of denial.
Over the next month, I will be writing about the historical evidence of the resurrection of Christ as a supplement to our March series at CrossChurch, “Love Ran Red”. Part 2 is following.
A. Seven Security Precautions
Roman and Jewish leaders went to great lengths, with seven security precautions to not only kill Jesus, but to be sure he stayed dead. Following are seven security precautions the Roman and Jewish leaders had in place;
- The Trials – Jesus was rushed through 6 distinct trials in about 12 hours
- Annas, the High Priest (John 18:13)
- Caiaphas (Matt 26:57)
- Sanhedrin (Matt 26:59)
- Pilate (Matt 27:2)
- Herod (Luke 23:7)
- Pilate (Luke 23:11-25)
After three Jewish trials, and three Roman trials, the Jewish authorities, in conjunction with the Romans authorities, delivered Jesus to be crucified. (Matt 27:26) There were three basic motives for the crucifixion of Jesus;
- Political – Jesus was being hailed as “King of the Jews”. This was seen as divisive and rebellious. Rome had control of the entire region, so the Jewish leaders feared that Rome would make life hard for them if they did not deal with Jesus and his followers harshly.
- Economic – Jesus affected the commercial side of temple life.
- Religious – Jesus was seen as a demon-possessed fanatic, mentally ill, and in defiance to God. He was causing personal embarrassment to the Jewish leaders as he made them look foolish over and over again by questioning their teachings.
- Death by Crucifixion (Matt 27:26-50, Mark 15:15-41, Luke 23:24-49, John 19:16-37)
- Cruel Death
Death by crucifixion was developed to be one of the world’s more gruesome and disgraceful forms of torture.
- Custom of Whipping
After the verdict was pronounced it was customary to tie the accused to a post, stripped of their clothing, to be severely whipped by a form of whip called a “cat of nine tails”.
- From a medical or forensics perspective, and from a historical account perspective, the skin would be shredded, exposing muscle and even the internal organs of the victim.
- Crown of Thorns (Matt 27:28)
- A Crossbar to Carry (Matt 27:32) Weighed about 110 pounds
- Nails through the Wrist and Feet (Acts 2:23)
- Purpose on Breaking Legs (John 19:31-34)
- Blood and Water Flowed (John 19:34)
- Make Sure of Death (Mark 15:44-45)
- Solid Rock Tomb (Matt 27:57-61)
- Usually 4-5 feet tall entrance
- Jewish Burial (Matt 27:59, Luke 23:56)
- 80-120 pounds of spices along with wrapping that encased the body
- A Very Large Stone (Matt 27:60)
- 5 – 2 Ton Rock (3,000-4,000 pounds)
- Roman Security Guards (Matt 27:62-66)
- 4-16 man security unit. Each man was trained to be the best fighting force in the world. They were trained to protect 6 feet of ground.
- The Roman Seal (Matt 27:66)
- The Roman Seal stood for all the authority of Rome. Breaking it would have meant severe punishment, torture, and death