For the Feast of First Fruits to foreshadow the cross of Jesus Christ, Jesus had to have died and had a true resurrection. If Jesus wasn’t really risen from the dead, then he couldn’t be the first fruits of the dead.
Swoon Theory Against the Resurrection
The swoon theory states that Jesus did not die on the cross but simply passed out and the cool of the tomb revived Him. Jesus was declared dead by professional Roman executioners. It was their job to make sure that their “clients” died, or it would be their lives on the line.
The Jews didn’t want dead bodies displayed over the Sabbath. So they had ordered those on the cross to have their legs broken to hasten death. John 19: 34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also may continue to believe. Jesus was already dead and so there was no reason to break His legs.
John’s testimony here counters those who thought Jesus was only in a coma. The piercing itself would have killed Jesus. It showed He was already dead as the separation of blood and water revealed. Jesus did indeed die a human death.
Jesus’ Body was Stolen and Not Resurrected
The Pharisees did not want news of a missing body to add drama to an event that they wanted to forget. Matthew 28: 11 As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. 12 A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. 13 They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ 14 If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” 15 So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today.
Evidence for Resurrection from the Tomb
If someone had attempted to steal the body of Jesus, they would have had to first open the tomb. Then they had to remove heavy grave clothes and try to sneak the body away. Yet, when Peter and John enter the grave, John gives this information. John 20: 6 Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, 7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. 8 Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— 9 for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. 10 Then they went home.
When God raised Jesus from the dead, the grave clothes were folded just as if Jesus simply vanished out of them. They were not torn nor in disarray. Later that day Jesus would simply walk through locked doors (Luke 24:36). Jesus had no need to open the tomb as He could simply appear and disappear. The tomb was supernaturally opened to reveal that Jesus was no longer there.
Jesus Christ died a very human death and experienced a true resurrection of His body. To find out more, listen here: