Was Jesus Death Real?

Hello Pastor,

I have heard people say “Jesus didn’t really die on the cross.” They say that Jesus never spoke of dying for people. I have also heard people say that Jesus is not God. I would be really nice if this was clarified.

Thank you!

~ Ben


Dear Ben,

Yes, Jesus death on a cross was real. Yes, Jesus spoke of dying for people. Yes, Jesus is God.

Here are some verses from the Bible that state these facts:

Jesus died on a cross: Matthew 27:32-50; Mark 15:21-37; 23:26-46; John19:16-37.

Jesus spoke of dying for people: Matthew 17:9; Mark 9:9, 31; 10:34; John 12:23-33.

Jesus is God: Matthew 3:16-17; 17:1-5; 26:63-64; 27:43, 54; Mark 1:11; 9:2-7; Luke 2:26-35; 3:22; 9:28-36; 22:70; John 1:1-2, 14; 7:28; 8:58; 10:33; 14:6-7; 14:9-11; 16:28-30; 17:1-26; 20:24-29-31.

You can trust Jesus with your life for now and for all eternity! He speaks truth. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

Pastor Chris

Questioning the Resurrection of Jesus

Pastor Chris,

This time of year is called Easter. I understand that Christians celebrate Easter as a remembrance of Jesus rising from the dead after having been put to death by crucifixion. Is this real? Is this true? It seems impossible to me.

~ A Questioner


Dear Questioner,

You are not alone in your questions. Frank Morison was such a man. He was not a church going man. He was a skeptic, a well-educated British attorney, a man interested in logic and facts. Frank’s thinking had been shaped by intellectuals who denied the possibility of miracles. He was influenced by Oxford Professor Matthew Arnold, biologist Thomas Huxley, and the German critics of his day. By-the-way, Huxley was a disciple of Charles Darwin.

Morison decided to prove the resurrection of Jesus did not happen. His plan was to use archeology, the documents of history, and the Bible to make his case. So he applied his prodigious talents to the task.

After considerable research, Frank Morison ended up writing a book titled Who Moved the Stone? That book turned out to be a defense of the resurrection of Christ. In the preface of his book Morison wrote about the intellectual struggles he went through:

“This study is in some ways so unusual and provocative that the writer thinks it desirable to state here very briefly how the book came to take its present form.

In one sense it could have taken no other, for it is essentially a confession, the inner story of a man who originally set out to write one kind of book and found himself compelled by the sheer force of circumstances to write quite another.

It is not that the facts themselves altered, for they are recorded imperishably in the monuments and in the pages of human history. But the interpretation to be put upon the facts underwent a change. Somehow the perspective shifted—not suddenly, as in a flash of insight or inspiration, but slowly, almost imperceptibly, by the very stubbornness of the facts them-selves.

The book as it was originally planned was left high and dry… The writer discovered one day that not only could he no longer write the book as he had once conceived it, but that he would not if he could.” – Frank Morison, Who Moved the Stone? (London, Faber and Faber Ltd., 1944).

If you find yourself like Frank Morison, skeptical of the miracles of the Bible, not sure what to believe, then I urge you to consider the facts of Easter. First is the fact of Jesus’ death. This is important because there are some people who say that Jesus didn’t actually die on the cross. Some say that He simply passed out and went into a coma. Then, when He was placed in the tomb, that cool, dark place revived Him. What is the evidence showing that Jesus literally died?

For one thing, the executioner and his death squad said so. Look at Matt. 27:54, “When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely He was the Son of God!’” Notice the word “was.” It is past tense; a completed fact. These men had seen death many times. When they said that a man was dead, it was so.

Then we know from the Gospel of John that the Roman executioners broke the legs of the other two men that were crucified that day to speed up their deaths. “But when they came to Jesus and found that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water” (John 19:33-34). There was an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and blood from the heart itself. Some believe that if Jesus wasn’t killed by the crucifixion, then He was killed by the spear when it went through the rib cage into His heart.

Also, the body of Jesus was carefully entombed. Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Matt. 27:59-60 tells us that, “Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.” Jewish burial customs were such that the body would be washed and straightened. It would then be wrapped in strips of cloth (called swaddlings) and spices of a gummy consistency would be placed in the folds. The arms would be crossed on chest like a mummy. The spices served as a preservative and as glue to hold the strips of linen together. A square piece of cloth was wrapped around the head and tied under the chin to keep the lower jaw from sagging. If His friends had found one sign of life they would not have buried Him.

Second, the body of Jesus was buried. Tombs in those days were carved out of limestone on the side of a hill. The circular stone that was rolled in front of the tomb to keep out grave robbers and wild animals weighed 1 ton or more. The grave was also sealed. Matt. 27:62-66, “The next day…the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, “After three days I will rise again.” So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.’ ‘Take a guard,’ Pilate answered. ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.’ So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.”

The tomb was sealed by stretching a cord across the stone. Both ends of the cord were anchored with clay that was imprinted by the signet ring of Rome. The Jews wanted Jesus’ body to stay buried. A Roman guard unit was 4 to 16 fighting men motivated and highly trained. If one of them fell asleep the others would set his clothes on fire. So, friend or enemy could not come and take Jesus’ body out of that grave.

And then, the tomb was empty. Arnold Toynbee said, “You find the body of that Jew and Christianity crumbles.”

Several explanations for the empty tomb have been offered:

  • Jesus passed out and revived. The problem with this is the evidence of certain death through execution. Besides, how could a man who had gone through scourging and crucifixion move a stone that weighed at least a ton?
  • Kidnappers took the body. There are two problems with this. For one thing, Jesus’ enemies didn’t want this to happen. Later, the silence of the critic was as eloquent as the testimony of the disciples. Also, Jesus’ friends could not have taken the body. How would they have gotten past the guards? Later, why did they die for a lie?

The story that Jesus’ disciples came and stole His body was told, however. Look at Matt. 28:11-15, “…some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, ‘You are to say, “His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.” If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.”

  • Gas theory. Proponents of the gas theory say that the body disintegrated through normal processes and evaporated into gases. An unknown person wisely commented, “Decay would have begun in three days’ time but would certainly not have reached the stage of complete chemical dissolution. To assume that the body of Jesus evaporated into gases within three days after death is to project a miracle as great as the resurrection itself.”
  • Resurrection. The Bible records several occasions when Jesus met with His followers after He had been raised from the dead.

• Women – Matt. 28:8-10
• Peter – 1 Cor. 15:5; Luke 24:34
• Two on the road to Emmaeus – Luke 24:13-35
• Apostles assembled – Luke 24:36-43
• Thomas – John 20:24-29
• 500 followers – 1 Cor. 15:6
• James – 1 Cor. 15:7
• Paul – 1 Cor. 15:7
• Disciples on the sea shore – John 21:1-14
• Ascension – Acts 1:7-9

Let’s consider one of those resurrection appearances for a moment. One of Jesus’ closest followers was Thomas. He was one of the 12 disciples. Thomas was skeptical of the resurrection. The Gospel of John 20:25-29 records Thomas’ story. Speaking to the other disciples he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The resurrection of Christ really happened. May you find the peace that comes following Jesus as millions have done through the centuries.

~ Pastor Chris

How do I receive Jesus into my life?


Dear Pastor Chris,

I’m very happy for affording us this opportunity to ask you questions. I
want to know the process of receiving Jesus into lives because to me I
started by receiving the Holy Spirit before a prayer of salvation. Again I
don’t really believe my salvation because the one who led me to receive
salvation used to practise magic ( removing living insects from my body)
but he preached like all other relevant ministers. Again I didn’t receive
Correct baptism because I was immensed 7 times in water.

Yours sincerely Edson from Zimbabwe


Edson, your salvation depends only on knowing Jesus (John 14:6). The messenger is not important (Philippians 1:15-18).

~ Pastor Chris

I have some tough questions about my faith that have brought me anxiety and sadness

Hi, My name is Eric, I am 19. I have been a Christian for 3 years now and just recently I have started asking my self some very tough questions which in turn has left me very doubtful of my faith and left me often times in despair. Such as couldn’t God have saved us another way, why is there evil, did God create evil. These question have left me paralyzed and in despair. I question my faith, and that leads to anxiety and deep sadness. I don’t want to fall into indifference and give up. I even wonder if I am even elect because I am even asking these questions. I fear that through these thoughts I may lose my faith completely but I keep asking for grace and understanding. I don’t expect these questions to be answered but it would be nice to know if anyone else has gone through this and what I should do to get through this. Is it wrong to ask these questions? It has produced tons of apathy in my spiritual life…

~ Eric



Yes, others have asked similar questions, myself included. One of those questioners was John the Baptist. You will remember that John the Baptist had the assignment of preparing the way for the Messiah. He was busy doing that when he got thrown into prison because he spoke out against King Herod who had taken his brother’s wife and married her (Mark 6:17-18). You can readily see how difficult prison life would be for anyone, especially someone like John who was an outdoors-man. He preached in the open air and baptized people in the Jordan River. John ate locusts and wild honey (Mark 1:6).

Matthew records John sending his followers to Jesus to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:3, NIV). This question was put to Jesus while John was in Herod’s dungeon. It must have been a dismal time for John. He wasn’t where he wanted to be and he wasn’t doing what he felt he was called to do. Negative thoughts no doubt plagued him. John, like all of us, had to battle the flesh, the devil, and the world. His incarceration made those battles all the more difficult.

So, what did John do? He took his doubt to Jesus. He went ahead and asked the question burning in his mind. In the process John also asked the right person, Jesus Himself, and Jesus answered him (Matthew 11:2-5).

For you and me, Jesus is still the right person to ask for answers. He gives us answers to life’s questions in the text of the Bible. The Bible is “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). Therefore, we prepare our hearts and minds for Jesus’ answers by gaining a thorough understanding of the scriptures. So, prayerfully read the Bible. Ask the holy Spirit to illumine its words to your heart and mind (John 16:13-14).

As to your question concerning salvation, remember that God is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). Since all of us are unholy (Romans 3:23) and cannot make ourselves holy, we need help because “without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14b). God solved this problem at the cross. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV). “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV). When we place our trust in Christ alone for salvation, His righteousness is transferred to us and we become children of God (John 1:12). “…if Christ is in you…your spirit is alive because of righteousness” (Romans 8:10, NIV). We are justified (made right before God) by faith in Christ. This salvation is available to everyone (John 3:16).

As to your question about evil, God did not create it. Lucifer chose to rebel against God, which is sin. Lucifer then became Satan and tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve listened to Satan who was disguised as a serpent. They chose to disobey God and sin entered this world.

God did not create evil, but He does permit it…for a time. It will not always be so. Evil will be put away forever in eternity (Revelation 20:10; 21:3-4; 22:14-15). The triumph of Jesus at the cross reveals God’s love and justice. God’s love for us was on full display as Jesus laid down His life for us and sin was judged.

What an amazing God! What an amazing plan! And now, “to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ!” (Romans 16:27, NIV).

~ Pastor Chris

How do I become saved and know for sure I'm saved?



Pastor Chris,

How do I become saved and know for sure I’m saved?

~ Sabrina





Jesus said that we must be born again (John 3:3). There is a physical birth and there is a spiritual birth when we receive Jesus as our Savior. John 1:12-13, NIV says, “to all who received him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” We are born of the Spirit the instant we place our trust in Jesus alone for salvation.

How do we know that we are saved? Read the book of 1 John. It was written to give believers assurance of their salvation. Several additional thoughts come to mind.

Look for the fruit of the Spirit in your life (Galatians 5:22-23). You cannot produce fruit on your own. This is the Holy Spirit’s work and is therefore an evidence that you belong to Him.

Trust what God says. Your emotions can lie to you. Satan will lie to you. Believe the Bible and hold on to what it says. The Bible says that if you trust Christ you are saved and that God will never let go of you (John 3:16-18; 3:36; 5:24; 10:27-29).

Just as you cannot become unborn physically after you have been born; so you cannot become unborn spiritually after you have been Spirit-born.

See also 1 Peter 1:3-9 and Romans 8:16.

God bless you as you follow Jesus! Stay close to Jesus and remain in His Word. Jesus said that the words of God are food for us (Matthew 4:4). We need them to be spiritually strong and secure.

~ Pastor Chris

How did Jesus become God if he was born from mankind?

Pastor Chris, 

Shollom alaikum, my name is Sadam and I am Muslim. I am asking you about Jesus. My question is, I read a bible and I found ,”God is not man and isn’t the son of man”. Then how to Jesus become God because he was born from mankind and is man? Thanks!

~ Sadam






Excellent question! Thank you.


The Bible verse you refer to is Numbers 23:19 which reads, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.” This verse uses a metaphor. The online dictionary (dictionary.com) defines a metaphor this way: “a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in ‘A Mighty fortress is our God.'” We would say that God is strong like a fortress; however, He is not a literal fortress in the sense that He is not a building.


Numbers 23:19 uses the negative sense of a metaphor. The verse means that God does not do things like men do things. God does not lie. Men often tell lies. God does not change His mind. Men regularly change their opinions. God is not like a man.


Numbers 23:19 is not a statement about the deity of Jesus. Jesus claimed to be God and others said the same thing about Him. For instance, Jesus referred to Himself with the same words God used to declare His name (“I am”) when He spoke with Moses at the burning bush (see John 8:58 and Exodus 3:14). Jesus also declared, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).


Thomas said he would not believe that Jesus rose from the dead unless he saw the nail marks in Jesus’ hands and put his finger in them. After Jesus died on the cross He came and stood among the disciples several days later. Thomas was there and cried out, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28) Paul wrote about the deity of Jesus in Philippians 2:5-11 and Colossians 2:9. Even Jesus’ enemies said that He claimed to be God (John 10:33).


Consider John 1:1-2, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” Bible scholar Herschel Hobbs says that these verses tell us that Christ is “coeternal, coequal, and coexistent with God.” He goes on to explain that the expression “the Word was with God” means “face-to-face with, equal to.” Hobbs also helps us to understand that the form of the verb “was” carries the meaning “always was.” He then concludes his analysis of the deity of Jesus contained in these two verses by writing, “There never was a time when this was not true.” (see Herschel Hobbs, The Baptist Faith and Message, Nashville: Convention Press, 1971; p.40)


After reading John 1:1-2 be sure to look at John 1:14, 18 which tells us that the eternal Word became flesh at a point in time. That is what happened when the virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus. This is referred to as the incarnation. The angel Gabriel told Mary what was going to happen, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). It is fascinating to realize that the virgin birth of Christ was prophesied centuries earlier. Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” The name Immanuel means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). This virgin born child was called “Mighty God” in Isaiah 9:6.


Jesus is fully God and fully man. There is no one else like Him! “He is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).


The Bible tells us about God’s love for everyone (John 3:16). It also tells us how God expresses His love to sinful people. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:8-10)


~ Pastor Chris


NOTE: All Bible references in this article are from the New International Version (NIV).

What are the two greatest commands/instructions that Jesus gave us and in what order would you place them as to importance?

Pastor Chris,
What are the two greatest commands/instructions that Jesus gave us and in what order would you place them as to importance? Thanx!
~ Dan

Jesus was asked this very question by one of the teachers of the law as recorded in Mark 12:28-31. “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

As you can see, Jesus said that loving God is the number one commandment or instruction. Loving your neighbor is number two. Certainly Jesus has the order correct. If we love God with all that we have and all that we are, then loving our neighbor will naturally follow.

~ Pastor Chris

Jesus tells his followers to buy a sword. Why does Jesus say that? I thought Jesus was the Prince of Peace.

Pastor Chris,
In Luke 22:35-38, Jesus tells his followers to buy a sword. Why does Jesus say that? I thought Jesus was the Prince of Peace.
~ Don

Thank you for your question. This is a passage that is easily misunderstood because we have such a different culture than first century Israel. A look at the Jewish cultural background is helpful to interpret these verses. It is also useful to study the “sword” that Jesus is referring to.

To put The Pulpit Commentary (an old standard, scholarly, multi-volume set, with somewhat archaic English) into my own words, Jesus was focused on the fact that He would soon be leaving this earth and the disciples would now be facing intense trials in the form of persecution. Whereas, before, when Jesus was physically with them, they were favorably received by the populace. After He (Jesus) leaves, they would need to be prepared for tough times. This commentary also says, “Of course, the advice as to the sword was not meant to be taken literally. It is one of those metaphors the Lord used so often in his teaching. For a similar metaphor still more elaborately developed, see Eph. vi. 17, and following verses” (Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 16, Luke, p. 201).

The MacArthur Study Bible says on a footnote on page 1527, “When Christ sent them out before, He had sovereignly arranged for their
needs to be met. Henceforth they were to use normal means to provide for their own support and protection. The money bag, knapsack, and sword were figurative expressions for such means (the sword being emblematic of protection, not aggression). But they mistakenly took
His words literally” (v. 38).

The disciples misunderstood Jesus. They took His words literally when He meant them figuratively. Jesus’ use of the word “sword” should not be taken literally because the Greek word used here means a short, dagger like instrument that was like an everyday knife. It would not be much of an offensive weapon. It was not the long battle sword we usually think of that conjures up pictures of knights going at each other during the Middle Ages. This small “sword” would be used more for practical purposes like slicing bread or even applying a condiment to your slice of bread. There was nothing unusual about carrying such knives in that culture. I remember my Grandfather always carried a small pocketknife. It was a useful tool for him, not really a weapon, although it could be used that way if needed. Also, Jesus Himself spoke out against Peter when he used his small knife to cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant in the Garden of Gethsemane. You find it in this same chapter of Luke in verses 49-51. Therefore Jesus was not thinking about swords for offensive purposes. Jesus was thinking of the practical things the disciples would need when He was gone. The disciples missed the point, so Jesus says in effect “Enough of this” because they were not getting His intended meaning.

I wonder how much we continue to misunderstand Jesus today.

~ Pastor Chris