It is believed by Muslims and others that Jesus didn't die on the cross. It has also been said that Jesus was substituted by Simon of Cyrene who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere and just happens to be "passing by" after a walk in the countryside;
A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.
It is only assumed that it was the Romans who pressed poor old Simon into carrying the burden of he Christ yet Jesus strangely had this to say about baring ones own cross.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple.
Anyway, the crucifixion; was it staged in order for him to "rise from the dead"?
It all seems a dam risky business if this was indeed the case, but not as far fetched as it may seem.
We have to start with the crucifixion party arriving at "Golgotha. Here Jesus is offered his first drink::
"And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink." Matthew 27:33-34 KJV.
This seems a curious drink to offer a man on the verge of death after an extremely prolonged "scourging". Surly water would have been the first and obvious option and who offered it to him isn't made clear either. But we have to keep in mind that by all accounts it was the Romans who had sent Jesus to his death, so why would they care to offer him anything at all.
Jesus then is hosted into position on the cross. There is then some mocking and challenges to save himself but Jesus is still alive and talking, giving instructions to one person to look after his mother whilst hanging there. But of all the things one would have expected a dying son of god to say one couldn't have ever expected to hear this ;!
Matthew 27: 46 Eli, Eli,..... My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? !!!!
Yes, astonishingly here we have the son of god himself, doubting own his father, and his own god. It is as if he didn't have a clue as to what was happening yet he clearly spoke these words of doubt. Why? Hadn't he read all the script? Hadn't he just promised two robbers that they would "TRUELY" be with him in paradise?Luke 23:43 NIV
We then get to :
47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
John 19 states that:
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar [ and hyssop], he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
We are to assume that to "give up the ghost" means dead? And before we go further lets look at Hyssop.
What are the medical uses of hyssop? As a medicinal herb, hyssop has soothing, expectorant, and cough suppressant properties. The plant also includes the chemicals Thujone and Phenol, which give it antiseptic properties. Its high concentrations of Thujone and chemicals that stimulate the central nervous system can provoke epileptic reactions when taken in high-enough doses.
Van Wyk, Ben-Erik; Wink, Michael (2004). Medicinal Plants of the World (1 ed.). Timber Press, Incorporated. p 177.
We can only assume that this sponge soaked with the sleep (if not stupor) inducing narcotic drug Hyssop and vinegar was administered on a pole by one of those said to be standing at the foot of the cross. The soldiers it is said were too busy - “casting lots and gambling of the royal robes - as it is written”- to be interested.
Then this happened;
“Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs”.
So Jesus was believed by these soldiers to be dead and just for good measure ;
34 one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
Does a corpse bleed? Whatever happened? His “death” came about unexpectedly quick even to the wide eyed amazement of Pontius Pilate;
“ And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead”.
And this is where this whole saga becomes even more suspicious.
Out of nowhere;
“ When the evening was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre”.
Joseph of Aremathea is not mentioned at all to us before the crucifixion. Pilate simply hands over the supposed dead Jesus to Joseph Arimathaea without a single question. It is as if he knew him already. Pilate didn't ask what are you to this man? Are you family, Is he related to you, or how do you know him? Why hadn't any of Jesus' brothers claimed their dead relative. Or anyone of the Mary's who "gave to him of their substance"? Or the "risen Lazarus" who Jesus "loved" or his own mother.!!!?
We only know that Joseph Arimathaea was a rich member of the council of the Sanhedrin (judges) and a "secret disciple " of Jesus who "feared the Jews may wanted to kill him", and ..... who just happened to own the last know resting place of Jesus. Well, Well, Well.
So here we have a member of the council of Judges (Sanhedrin) who is rich and owns his own plot and his own hewn out tomb that appears to be enclosed in private grounds prepared and ready to accept a corpse, and not just any corpse, but the supposedly dead body of king Jesus who was condemned by the council of judges that Joseph of Aramethaea sat on and had sent before Pontius Pilate for sentencing. all very convenient to the inquiring mind, one would think.
There is also yet another very cautious character that it seems is afraid to even to be seen with Jesus and only came to him under the cover of darkness;
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. The same came to Jesus by night.
And John’s gospel also tells us that he attended the burial the evening before;
“And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight”
And notice what the glittery night owl Nicodemus the Pharisee brought with him. These were not simple cheap burial perfumes. Both have medicinal use especially myrrh that has properties that stops bleeding and neither of these drugs are known to have an embalming role of dead bodies. Both Luke and Mark touch on this matter by telling us that Mary Magdalene and Mary "Jesus' mother" brought spices and ointments with them to the tomb.
Let us just rewind some. Back to Joseph of Arimathaea and his request for the body of Jesus..
The original Greek text shows an important point being made. The word "body" is soma. In Greek this would denote a living body.
When Pilate agrees that Joseph can take the body down from the cross the word he uses for " body" is ptoma this means a corpse, a dead body. In other words, the Greek text of Mark's gospel is making it clear that while Joseph asked for the living (soma) body of Jesus, Pilate grants him what he believes to be the corpse, ptoma.