Jesus Didn't Die on the Cross

Thanks to the Turin Shroud, in the last few decades scientists have been able to prove that Jesus survived the crucifixion. If this fact were finally fully recognised, two religions would have to change their doctrine—with far-reaching consequences for all mankind.

In the middle of noisy downtown Srinagar there lies a stone grave in which two very special people are buried. One is Syed Nasîr-ud-Dîn, an Islamic saint, who was buried here in the 15th century; the other grave is almost 1,500 years older. Therein lie the earthly remains of the man we know as Jesus the Christ. For Jesus did not die on the cross, but rather many decades after the hellish experience of Golgatha in a land where milk and honey flow—a paradise teeming with forests and lakes at the foot of the Himalayas: Kashmir.

This is no bold, ludicrous assertion—no, it is a fact. And the grounds, even the proof, that Jesus survived the crucifixion in his normal, physical body are many and irrefutable.

In this painting from Lorenzo Monaco (1370-1423) we can see, as it says in the Bible, that blood and water flowed from the lance wound on Jesus’ side. Even though Jesus had ‘given up the ghost’, he must have still been alive—for a dead body can no longer bleed.

Our article relies predominantly on two works: the convincing research of Holgar Kersten’s Jesus Lived in India: His Unknown Life Before and After the Crucifixionand the decades-long research that John Reban, alias Kurt Reban, alias Hans Neber conducted on the ‘Turin’ shroud and which is summarised in the two-volume work: Christ Was Buried Alive (out of print). We of course also take into account the Bible and Michael Baigent/Richard Leigh’s book, The Dead Sea Scrolls Deceptionabout the Qumran scrolls that were discovered in 1947 in a cave near the Dead Sea.

A Vision With Consequences

In the same year (1947), the 26-year-old German Hans Naber had a totally unexpected visitation that lasted several days. Almost 65 years ago, between the 16th and 23rd of February, he had several spiritual visions, the first of which began in the early morning hours of the 16th and continued over the next few days, in which the experience of Golgatha played out before him like a film. From which sphere these images came, we don’t know, nor whether the vision was true. A text that he then wrote down was dictated to Naber in the early hours of the final days of the ‘revelation’, which he spent in a condition that vacillated between half-enraptured intoxication and hightened awareness. We wish to emphasise that we do not endorse the view that it was Jesus dictating to him (although Naber was convinced that it was when he saw the previously unknown shroud with Jesus’ face for the first time). We know all too well the many thousands of deceiving “spirits” that try again and again to guide credulous people literally ‘behind the light’, in other words, into the labyrinth of darkness by communicating false messages camouflaged in light. The choppy style of the announcement also seems suspect to us. But because it inspired Naber to dedicate his entire life to the study of the events at Golgatha we nevertheless reproduce it here:

“Ye Christians of all lands! Hear my confession: in that time I lived as a man among you. I taught you the Truth. You did not want to believe. You nailed me to the cross. I suffered. The Beast wanted to kill me. It was blind. Hear my secret: I did not die on the cross. The wounds on my hands and feet took my power from me. The pain was burning in my body. I asked for water. The Beast gave me vinegar. It burned like fire in my body. It robbed me of my senses. The Beast opened my side. It was blind. From below, his lance pierced my chest. He did not strike my heart. My side bled. It became blood and water. Joseph of Arimathea, who believed in me, took my body from the cross. My body was as if lifeless, but was not dead. My heart still beat. My wounds were anointed with balm, my body wrapped in cloths. He laid me in a rock-cut tomb. He rolled a stone before the opening. My body could rest. My heart regained strength. On the third day my spirit returned and I arose from the dead. They did not know me; my clothes were changed. My face was thin. Only my voice was the same. I fulfilled my calling. Ye Christians of Truth—Hear the word of your Lord: I have conquered the world spirit. My kingdom will be established. There is only one Lord! I do away with all the borders of the earth; in my kingdom there are no borders. I do away with all the parties of the world; in my kingdom there are no parties. All governments are without authority; in my kingdom there are only servants. All property is mine; in my kingdom there is no property. All gold and all money is without value; in my kingdom there is no Mammon. All laws are powerless; in my kingdom there is only my law. You know all of my words. Do penance. Thank your Father, who is also my Father. The morning of the first resurrection is near. Woe to the disbeliever who then has more than he needs! My Angel is among you; He will announce the resurrection. Work and pray! The Truth has set you free. At the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God—the Word became Flesh.”

Much in this message might seem mysterious and of course such revelations offer absolutely no proof of what they contain. For Hans Naber, alias Kurt Reban (nom de plume), it changed his life. None of this had interested him one jot before. And it was only when he heard of the holy shroud for the first time and could see a photograph of it that he realised that at least one of these pronouncements touched on a true fact. It was, by the way, very important for Reban to clarify that the “angel” referred to in the text, who is supposed to be among us and who will announce the resurrection, has nothing to do with his person. He himself did not know who this “angel” (in human form) is supposed to be. Or is it a metaphor for the Christ consciousness sooner or later awakening in every human heart, since “The Christ” is the “only begotten Son of God” and the true “Lord of All” (see FaF No. 6 “The Second Coming of Christ—The Saviour Lives in Us”)?

The Papacy and the Shroud

From 1865 it became tradition to show Jesus’ holy shroud to the faithful every 33 years. Until Umberto’s death in 1984, it belonged to the Savoyard royal family and was stored in Turin. (Hence the name ‘Shroud of Turin’) Shortly before Umberto’s demise, Pope John Paul II visited him in his Lisbon exile and convinced him to bequeath the ‘holy linen’ to the Vatican. Three popes, Leo XIII, Pius X and Pius XI, officially stated that they believed the shroud to be authentic. Even Pope Pius XII acknowledged the cloth’s authenticity. During Italy’s Eucharistic Conference in Turin in September 1953, he mentioned the “great and sacred relic of the holy shroud (…) on which, moved and comforted, we revere the image of the lifeless body and the suffering-filled divine face of Jesus.”

Note: In 1953, people were still convinced that a dead body had lain in the cloth. The proof that Jesus was still alive when they wrapped him in the valuable Damascus linen (Joseph of Arimathea spared no expense and had purchased a cloth that is only produced in Damascus with a complicated fish-bone weaving pattern) was first made public in 1956 and naturally sparked a fierce debate that could have decisive consequences for Christianity and Judaism alike.

Blood Does Not Flow From a Dead Body

Based on the cloth, science was able to prove that Jesus did not die on the cross! Possibly the most powerful proof is the many bloodstains on the cloth—a dead body no longer bleeds, after all. As we know, Jesus was crucified on the Friday before the Passover Feast at, according to the Evangelist, the sixth hour (12 pm). At the ninth hour (3 pm) he ‘gave up the Ghost’. After sundown the supposedly dead body of Christ was taken down from the cross. So, in total, Jesus hung not even six hours on the cross—an unusually short time. The crucifixion was much less a method of execution than a terrible torture and a crucified person still hanging on the ‘tree’ (according to Moses, Deut. 21:23) at the beginning of the Sabbath would have defiled the holy day, which begins on the evening before, on the Day of Preparation (Friday evening). The Jewish leaders wanted Jesus not to be stoned but crucified (“hanged on a tree”) because only through this death penalty would also his soul be “accursed of God”, as it states in the aforementioned quote in Deuteronomy. That’s why the Jewish crowd forced the unwilling Roman governor Pilate to have Jesus nailed on a cross (which had the form of a “T” or Tao, as the Franciscans call it), since cruxifiction was the Roman way of execution, stoning being the Jewish capital punishment.

When Pilate was asked if they could remove the body from the cross, he was surprised that Jesus had died so quickly and asked the centurion if this was true. (Mark 15:44) Usually, a person would hang on the cross for two or more days and if the guards wanted to hasten the death, they would usually break the legs of the person to be executed. The crucified actually stood on a small crossbeam (always depicted in Byzantine images of the cross). With their legs broken, the condemned would sink forward, leading to a quick death by suffocation. The Gospel of John, however, reports that only the two other men crucified with Jesus had their legs broken, whereas Jesus did not (John 19:33). “But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” (John 19:33-34) Therewith is actual proof of Jesus’ aliveness contained in the Bible, even after He officially ‘gave up the Ghost’. Dr. W. B. Primrose (former Chief of Anesthesiology at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary) wrote to author Reban: “… the circumstance of death does not permit bleeding.” For him, John’s account is proof that “there was still blood circulation after the piercing with the spear, since active bleeding ends with the heartbeat—which can only mean death.”

Death in Antiquity

Yet, in Jesus’ time, a person was declared dead when he stopped breathing. It was only many hundreds of years later that blood circulation was discovered and the time of death was connected with the suspension of the heartbeat. Today, however, a person is clinically dead when brain death has occurred—even if his heart is still beating. In the gospels, it is reported that Jesus ‘gave up his spirit’ after he drank the vinegar. In more modern translations of the Bible, it reads, “he passed away”, which already presents a mistranslation of the original texts.

Even in recent times there were many cases of ‘apparent death’ in people who then suddenly came back to life. Thus originated the tradition of only burying a person after waiting three days, since apparent death doesn’t usually last longer than that. Dr. Primrose explains that a person can still be alive even when there is no discernable breath: “In the case of Jesus the Christ, the life functions were so drastically reduced that there was no discernable breath. This is a sign that metabolism is continuing in a different way after the collapse. Pulmonary respiration had not yet stopped, as it clearly seemed to have by the absence of breathing movement of the chest, because sufficient breath was entering the lungs due to the beating of the heart, which is almost completely surrounded by the lungs. We have here the practical experience of observing intermittent breath under full anaesthesia. The bellows of a conventional machine show the heart beat with a slight breathing movement although the chest and diaphragm are totally still.”

Dr. J. G. Bourne, head of the Department of Anaesthesia and Resuscitation at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London also emphasised in 1965: “Jesus survived in a death-like condition, awoke and revived in the sepulchre.”

The nature of the bloodstains on the shroud is further proof that Jesus was still alive: visible around the edges of the stains is a kind of border caused by the blood serum, which occurs only in living blood. As Joseph of Arimathea, who sympathised with the Essenes to which Jesus belonged, took down Jesus’ body from the cross, he removed the Crown of Thorns—the scabbed wounds were re-opened and the blood began again to flow and was absorbed by the linen cloth. The traces of the thorn wounds are undeniably visible on the linen. Blood coagulates in air in ten to twenty minutes. So these stains could not be from old blood, since at least two hours must have passed between the time Jesus ‘gave up the ghost’ on the cross (after drinking the vinegar) and when he was wrapped in the cloth. Blood cannot flow from a dead body without a heartbeat and without blood pressure because, among other reasons, blood exists in a vacuum and immediately begins to pool in the centre of the body after the heart has stopped beating. You can see this for yourself by taking a glass straw, placing it in water, and closing your finger over the upper end. If you now pull the straw from the water so that the lower end is in the air, no water flows out but remains in the straw.

The lance stroke of the Roman centurion Longinus did not wound Jesus’ heart. In the Bible, nowhere is it written that the lance struck Jesus’ heart; besides, at that time the heart was not recognised as the centre of life. In antiquity, a person was still alive as long as he had ‘pneuma’ (breath) and the seat of life was the whole chest area. They knew that a stab to the chest would force the ‘pneuma’ to leave the body; to ancient minds meaning that death would occur. (Today medicine calls the condition in which the movement of the lungs is stopped because air has entered the chest cavity ‘pneumothorax’.) This condition is life threatening, but not necessarily fatal. In Jesus’ case, the lungs had obviously ceased to visibly function. But the fact that blood and water flowed from the wound after the lance stroke, as John writes, proves without a doubt that there was still circulation. The ‘water’ indicates a significant amount of serum in the body cavity as a result of the torture, which also directly led to the collapse, analyses anaesthesia specialist Dr. Primrose.

Longinus: a Follower of Jesus?

By means of the shroud, we can see that the lance did not strike Jesus’ heart. It entered between the fifth and sixth ribs on the right side of the chest and exited under the left shoulder blade at an angle of about 29 degrees. Holger Kersten suggests that the Roman centurion Longinus could have been, like Joseph of Arimathea, a secret supporter of Jesus and, through his lance stroke—which ‘proved’ the victim’s death—prevented Jesus’ legs from being broken, ultimately preventing his inevitable death. According to a tradition handed down from Gregory of Nyssa, Longinus later became the bishop of his Cappadocian native land! Kersten writes: “Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and Centurion Longinus belonged to Jesus’ secret followers. Because they occupied influential positions, they knew early on where Jesus’ revolutionary presence would lead. Joseph, as a member of the Sanhedrin, enjoyed great respect, and also Nicodemus, who was initiated by Jesus in nocturnal secrecy, (John 3:1-22), was a Jewish Pharisee. Through these positions, Joseph and Nicodemus surely knew of the place and time of Jesus’ execution and could thusly plan their Master’s rescue. (…) Joseph and Nicodemus knew that the crucifixion itself could not be avoided. But if they could manage to get Jesus down from the cross in time, and everything was well planned, they could perhaps save his life. It is especially meaningful that the disciples played no role in any of these activities. They remained in secrecy for fear of persecution. But no suspicion could be cast on council-members Joseph and Nicodemus and the Roman centurion.”