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How Jesus Died

Jesus Christ is the most well-known figure in history. Nearly every culture has a God or God-like figure that is compared to Jesus.

He is also one of the most talked about topics in modern day society. News channels devote hours of coverage to his statue removal campaigns, protests about his legitimacy as a religious figure, and even talks about how he will return someday.

But how much do we really know about Jesus? How did he die? And why did he die? These are interesting questions to ponder while learning more about the historical Jesus.

Many people are unaware of the details surrounding Jesus’ death. For one, he was nailed to a cross instead of being shot by a bullet like many famous figures today. He also didn’t die immediately due to his extensive suffering before dying of blood loss.

This article will go into detail about how Jesus died and discuss some theories surrounding his death.


Several accounts of the death of Jesus describe him dying by suffocation. The most common account is that he died by crucifixion, which is described as him dying by suffocation.

Crucifixion was a method of execution where the condemned was punished through torture and humiliation, typically by being hung on a tree or on a cross.

The victim would be beaten and sometimes had their limbs broken before being hung up to hang for several hours or even days until they died. Due to this, many victims drowned in their own blood or eventually asphyxiated.

Since it is such a common description of his death, many theologians now believe that Jesus did not die on the cross but was taken down and given an injection that killed him. This theory is known as the “medical hypothesis”.

Slow decapitation

how jesus died

One of the most common methods of crucifixion was a fast decapitation via a sharp blade. The Roman soldiers were very skilled with their gladiuses, so it was not uncommon for them to quickly and efficiently cut the neck through the bones and nerves.

The problem with this method is that it can take hours for the person to die. With all the blood flow stopped to his body, the victim would begin to experience hypovolemic shock. This means that there is less blood flowing to his body due to lack of circulation.

With no food or water for several days, he would also suffer from dehydration. Both of these put additional stress on his body which could take longer to kill him. Because of this, some soldiers would choose to hit him in the head with a spear to ensure he died quickly.

Heart rupture

how jesus died

During the Roman era, crucifixion was the most popular form of execution. This gruesome method of death involved hanging a person on a tree or cross to die.

Typically, a person being crucified would be left to die until their body was no longer functioning. At this point, they would be taken down and thrown in a common grave with other corpses.

Because it took so long for a body to die after being crucified, corpses were often eaten by birds or dogs as they were left on the cross. This fact is where the term “picked clean” came from- only the bones were left by the animals.

However, due to Jesus’s divine status, things went differently for him. After he died, his soul departed from his body and went to meet God in heaven. His divine soul was unaffected by death because he was sinless.

Heart failure

how jesus died

Jesus’ death by heart failure is a significant part of the Easter story. As Jesus was being crucified, he experienced tremendous pain and suffering.

He was physically exhausted from the torture he endured, and emotionally drained from all of the insults and accusations he heard.

This is demonstrated in the scriptures when it says that he was silent as his accusers spoke. He had no more words or strength to reply.

The weight of the cross he carried also took a toll on his body. The Bible mentions how it was made of heavy stone, which would have been heavy on its own, but then added onto that the weight of Jesus himself plus the additional blood and sweat washed onto it- it would have been quite heavy!

Heart failure can be diagnosed with a medical exam and test results. A doctor would look at things like your blood pressure, heart rate, symptoms, and past medical history to determine this.

Brain shutdown

how jesus died

The second way Jesus died was by having his brain shutdown. This happened when he suffered on the cross. The pain and exhaustion he felt as he hung on the cross for several hours and then when he died of asphyxiation caused his brain to stop functioning properly.

The physical trauma Jesus experienced while on the cross caused him to experience a drop in blood pressure, which is also known as hypovolemia. This is when too much blood has been lost and the body can no longer maintain a normal level of fluid in the body.

When this happens, the body shuts down some of its functions in order to preserve vital ones. This is what happened to Jesus- his body shut down some of its functions in order to preserve his life.

The third way that Jesus died was spiritually. When we think about spiritual death, we think about the separation of God and man due to sin (1 Thessalonians 5:23). When Jesus took on sin, it was like a poison that killed him spiritually.


how jesus died

While many believe Jesus was crucified, that isn’t the only way he died. According to The Logos, or the word of God, Jesus also died of poisoning.

The Bible says that Jesus ate the last supper with his disciples, where he gave them wine to drink and himself to be consecrated in his death. However, according to Toxicology Direct, he may have also consumed opium poppy seeds.

While this may seem strange, it was a common food at the time. It could have been used to enhance the experience of the meal or as a reminder of mortality.

The effects of opium poppy seeds include nausea and vomiting. Since there is no specific amount mentioned in the Bible about whether or not Jesus consumed them or how much he ate, it is hard to tell if this played a part in his death.

Heart stabbing

how jesus died

A common way Jesus died was through a stab to the heart. This is often referred to as the traditional crucifixion. Many popular culture references make fun of this form of crucifixion, but it was a real and common way that people died this way.

Many myths surround this form of crucifixion due to its popularity in entertainment. One such myth is that people survived this by staying alive until help arrived. This is not true, this form of crucifixion was a guaranteed death sentence.

Another myth is that people were nailed to the crossbeam, not the wood of the cross. Again, this is not true, all victims were nailed directly to the wood.

One thing that may have contributed to death was loss of blood. This could have led to unconsciousness and eventual death, but not necessarily due to being stuck on a cross.

Medical conditions

how jesus died

Medical conditions can also cause death. Diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes can lead to death if left untreated.

People with treatable diseases may go to a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. However, there are cases when people do not have access to doctors or adequate health care which can lead to death.

This is a problem in low-income countries where health care is not well-organized or funded. People who could be saved by medical care may die because they do not have access to it.

Healers can also lead people asthetically to believe they are healed when they are not. This is called healing faith syndrome and it can also lead to death if the person withdraws medical treatment that would actually work.

These are important things to recognize in order to help prevent death due to medical conditions.

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