Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God, the Lord. Whatever you call him, he was undoubtedly one of the most important and controversial men in the recent history of the world. And at the basis of his importance was his crucifixion and resurrection. But what if this had never happened? What if he wasn’t crucified? If Jesus of Nazareth had died of natural causes instead of crucifixion; then world religious, political, and social structure would be entirely different. But why?
Jesus was born approximately on April 17, 6 BCE, to Mary, a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee. Christians believe that she conceived Jesus miraculously in union with God; which is also why many people refer to Jesus as the Son of God. She married Joseph, a shepherd, and accompanied him to Nazareth, where Jesus was born. So, as prophesied by Isaiah, Jesus was born to a descendant of King David.
Jesus grew up to become a carpenter in Bethlehem. He continued to do this until the age of 30; at which he started his ministry, approximately at 24 BCE. He gathered 12 apostles (Peter, James the Greater, James the Lesser, Andrew, Bartholomew, Judas Iscariot, John, Simon, Phillip, Jude, Matthew, Thomas), who were his innermost circle of supporters, and hundreds of disciples, who followed him and agreed with his views on religion. As Jesus proliferated his message all over Judea, he also performed many miracles, such as turning water into wine and walking on water. About a week before his death, Jesus returned triumphantly to Jerusalem, a day that is still celebrated by Christians all over the world as Palm Sunday. However, just as soon as Jesus gained popularity, everything suddenly changed.
According to Scriptures, on a Friday in April, in the year 27 CE, Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate, a Roman prefect of Judea. Jesus was wanted by Jews and Romans because the chief priests and pharisees saw him as a threat to their self-proclaimed authority. Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, after being sold out by his apostle Judas Iscariot, who subsequently hanged himself because of guilt. He was arrested by the men of Pontius Pilate, and tried six times by two different juries, three by Jewish leaders and three by Roman leaders.
Jesus was sentenced to die by crucifixion by the courts. In the days leading to his death, he was flogged and subject to public humiliation in the streets of Jerusalem, even carrying his own 40 pound cross to the gallows. There, he was crucified alongside two other men, a pair of common thieves. This happened on Good Friday, yet another modern-day Christian holiday. An interesting fact here is that while Pontius Pilate ordered the arrest and death of Jesus, he never wanted Jesus to die. Pilate knew that Jesus had not done anything wrong and was being falsely...