Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened
Jesus’ final days included his demise, burial as well as resurrection. These are true events that cannot be doubted by any historian regardless of their non-religious or religious background. During Jesus’ execution, Pontius Pilate was in power governing Samaria and Judea. Undoubtedly, Jesus died and he rose from death. Not only do the New Testament writings affirm this, but the early Roman and Jewish writers too. For instance, Tacitus, a Roman historian notes that Jesus suffered until His death when Tiberius was in power and Pontius Pilate prosecuted and sentenced Him. As such, it is impossible to consider Jesus’ death as a fiction story since it really happened. To his followers, this event was demoralizing. The major question that people ask is why Jesus died by being hanged on the cross. There is a major reason why Jesus was prosecuted by Roman rulers. To them, Jesus posed a serious political threat because His message about the rule of God was a threat to the status of the priests who were ruling the people. Several major historical facts and events occurred at the time when Jesus died, when he was buried and when he resurrected (Evans & Wright 56).
Just like anybody can put it, Jesus’ death was dramatic and sudden. First, darkness filled the earth for approximately three hours before the death of Jesus. This was during an afternoon when Jesus cried, “Elo-I, Elo-I, lama sabach-Thani”. These words are derived from Psalms 22:1. They are of Aramaic origin and they mean, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Amazingly, Jesus knew these words and the question that one may ask is whether he had Psalms in His mind. They show that He felt abandoned although he did not lose faith in his Heavenly Father. Jesus endured mockery from bystanders some of whom soaked a sponge in sour wine which they tried to offer him. On crying out, people thought Jesus was calling Elijah so that he could come to His rescue. Before dying, Jesus cried out loud after which he breathed the last breath. This was an indication of His power which showed that he had released his spirit. This stunned the people around Him and a centurion declared that truly, Jesus was God’s son (Evans & Wright 67).
Jesus’ burial is explained using several theories. According to some theories, there was no actual burial of Jesus. This is because people found an empty tomb when his resurrection was announced. Thus, Jesus was not in the tomb. There are people who say that His body was eaten by the dogs, thrown to a ditch or left on a cross hanging. Nevertheless, the proposals of these theories are not supported by proper evidence. According to the New Testament, three women saw where His body was buried. On returning to the tomb in the early morning of a Sunday, they found the stone that was placed at the entrance removed and Jesus’ body was not in the tomb. The Gospels state that Jesus’ body was buried in a tomb that belonged to a council called Arimathea or Joseph. Joseph wrapped Jesus’ body in a linen cloth and laid it in the tomb. He then rolled a large stone to block the tomb’s entrance (Evans & Wright 80).
Jesus’ resurrection shocked everyone who heard about it because such a case had not been witnessed before. Nobody had resurrected after dying. The report of Jesus’ resurrection was received by three women. These went to perform mourning rituals every morning in the tomb. Salome, Mary or James’ mother and Mary Magdalene had brought spices for anointing Jesus’ body. On their way, they were wondering about who would help them in rolling away the large stone at the entrance to the tomb. However, they were amazed when they reached where the tomb was after finding out that the stone had already been rolled away (Mark 16:4). They did not expect this and it surprised them. While still in amazement, two men in dazzling clothes appeared to them. These told them about Jesus’ resurrection and that He was no longer among the dead (Evans & Wright 102).
The New Testament books serve as sufficient proof that the demise, burial as well as resurrection of Jesus are real. On His resurrection, three women act as the witnesses and they spread information regarding Jesus’ resurrection. The women were aware about the tomb in which Jesus’ body was laid. Therefore, claiming that they might have visited the wrong tomb is wrong. On resurrecting, Jesus went to Heaven and He seats on the right side of His Father. This is according to the Creed of Apostles which serves as the confession of faith that Christians have in Jesus.
Evans Cring A. and Nicholas T. Wright. Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened. United States: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009. Print.