Does the swoon theory explain the Resurrection? (Part 2)

Some don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead because He didn’t die on the cross in the first place. Does the swoon theory, that Jesus didn’t die but passed out on the cross, explain the Resurrection?

The biggest objection to the swoon theory is the fact that Jesus had been pierced in the heart and was indeed dead. The Apostle John, as an eyewitness to the crucifixion, records this important, yet gruesome detail, in John 19:33-35 “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. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.”

Dr. Alexander Metherell, professor, writer, and consultant for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health explains the physical process of crucifixion. It is essentially an agonizingly slow death by asphyxiation. The reason is that the stresses on the muscles and diaphragm put the chest into the inhaled position; basically, in order to exhale, the individual must push up on his feet so the tension on the muscles would be eased for a moment…After managing to exhale, the person would then be able to relax down and take another breath in…This would go on and on until complete exhaustion would take over, and the person wouldn’t be able to push up and breathe anymore.

Dr. Metherell continues to explain that slowed breathing and carbon dioxide in the blood leads to irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrest. But what explains the flow of blood and water from Jesus side when He was pierced with the spear? Dr. Metherell says, “Hypovolemic shock (effects from massive loss of blood) would have caused a sustained rapid heart rate that could have contributed to heart failure, resulting in the collection of fluid in the membrane around the heart, called a pericardial effusion, as well as the lungs, which is called a pleural effusion…The spear apparently went through the right lung and into the heart, so when the spear was pulled out, some fluid—the pericardial effusion and the pleural effusion—came out. This would have the appearance of a clear fluid, like water, followed by a large volume of blood, as the eyewitness John described in his gospel.”

Piercing through the heart and lung was meant to insure Jesus’ death. He didn’t swoon or pass out on the cross. If Jesus had fainted, the spear thrust would have killed Him instantly. In the 1800’s the swoon theory was once a favorite explanation to dismiss the resurrection, but the historical writings by unbelievers recording Jesus’ death, archaeological knowledge of Jewish burial customs, and the medical information of crucifixion victims render it now obsolete.

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