(Joh 19:33) But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
(Joh 19:34) But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
(Joh 19:35) He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe.
Are Jesus’ death and rising from death actual historical events? Some people deny the first, while a lot of people deny the second. If we doubt Jesus’ death, we can look at John’s eyewitness account in his gospel quoted above. We know by another gospel that John was present at Jesus’ cross during his suffering and death. But his description of the Roman soldier’s stabbing of Jesus’ side is clear proof of Jesus’ death. Why?
Medically I’m told that the separation of water from blood clearly shows that the person is dead. It also might show that the deceased died from a literally-broken heart.
Then, people take Jesus’ body down from the cross, bury him in a new tomb, and put a large stone in place.
People can’t accept John’s account as historical because they can’t accept Jesus’ coming back to permanent life. However, no people writing accounts of their religious leaders’ lives would’ve included Peter balling Jesus out when he predicts his death, his three denials of Jesus, and the other followers’ running away because of Jesus’ arrest. These events’ inclusion lend clear authenticity to all four of the historical accounts.
However, parts of three days later, a major revolution begins on Easter morning when the disciples report that they learn about and then experience Jesus’ resurrection. He is indeed alive, as reported by over 500 eyewitnesses who are willing to suffer and die for their stories. Such eyewitnesses are the best ones.
Not only is Jesus clearly seen by his followers, but their outlook on life changes completely that first Easter. They had expected to be Jesus’ high advisors in his administration of the country after he took over from the Romans (their expectation, not his). Instead, they become discouraged and depressed when he dies. However, three days later, their discouragement turns to courage in telling their story to three kinds of persecutors.
I welcome your comments for a friendly conversation.