Saturday, August 8, 2015

Evidence of Jesus’ Resurrection #4: "Blood and Water” Flowed Out of Jesus’ Side

The Passion movie. Jesus was flogged with Roman flagrum
One of the most prevalent skepticism about the Crucifixion and the Resurrection was that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross but fainted or swooned and was revived in the coolness of the tomb (as most Muslim apologetic speakers try to explained. And they also speculate that Jesus was taken into heaven just before he was about to be crucified and Allah replaced another man who “looked like Jesus” to die on his behalf). In other words, Jesus wasn’t resurrected because he didn’t really die. Modern medical science has now refuted the claim, that Jesus could have survived the cross and preceding beatings resulting in massive blood loss.

What is so significant about this account? Alexander Metherell, MD, PhD, University of California at Irvine, is a medical doctor proficient in medical diagnoses. He asserts that the flogging Jesus received with a Roman flagrum was a significant factor in his death. The Roman flagrum, an instrument of torture, was a whip that had pieces of metal or bone attached to the ends of the lashes. In some cases, a flogging with a flagrum alone was enough to cause death. The metal-studded whip dug into the skin and muscles of the victim and pulled out pieces of flesh until they were shredded and quivering. The flogging induced heavy blood loss. As was seen depicted in the Crucifixion story, Jesus was already suffering heavily as he walked to Golgotha. On the way to Calvary, he was unable to carry his cross, so the Roman guards forced a bystander to carry it for him. At this time, says, Dr. Metherell, Jesus was already in serious to critical condition medically.

One symptom of the massive loss of blood from flogging was that the victim became very thirsty, a condition of hypovolemic shock. John 19:28 tells of how Jesus cried out from the cross that he was thirsty, and the soldiers lifted up a sponge soaked in wine vinegar to his lips.

Victims of Crucifixion normally died of asphyxiation. As they were hanging, arms extended, wrists nailed, from the crossbeam, they had to strenuously push themselves up by their feel nailed to a crossbeam in order to exhale. In time, they became too fatigued to push themselves up and could no longer breathe.

Since the Sabbath began at sundown and the Jewish leaders didn’t want to leave the bodies on the cross during the Sabbath, the soldiers broke the legs of the Crucified thieves on either side of Jesus to cause them to asphyxiate quickly. But when they came to Jesus, he was already dead. The only disciple brave enough to watch the execution of Jesus was the apostle John. He gives an eyewitness account of what happened to Jesus on the cross: “One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out. This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account; it is presented so that you also can believe” (John 19:34-35, NLT).

This outflow of blood and water was most likely because Jesus died of congestive heart failure secondary to asphyxia, according to Dr, Metherell: “When the spear penetrated Jesus’ side, it probably went through the lung and into the heart. When the spear was pulled out, blood flowed out and then the clear fluid that had gathered around the heart, which would have looked like water. What John wrote in the Bible is consistent with medical fact.”

Evidence of Jesus’ Resurrection #4:
“Blood and Water” flowed out of Jesus’ side.

Reference: Gary R. Habermas, The Case for Christ’s Resurrection, DVD, David W. Balsiger, senior producer, Grizzly Adams Productions, Inc., 2007.
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