The Swoon Theory
For reading & meditation: Acts 2:29-41
"God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact." (v. 32)
Let us pursue the question we asked yesterday: What exactly do we mean by resurrection? Some try to explain the resurrection as resuscitation - the return to life from apparent death. Those holding this view subscribe to what is called "The Swoon Theory." There are two forms of this theory. One maintains that Jesus did not die but fainted on the cross and returned to consciousness when He was laid on the cold rock of the tomb. The other claims that after drinking the wine vinegar that was given to Him when He cried "I am thirsty," He fell into a stupor so deep that it was mistaken for death. But clearly our Lord actually died. The Gospels provide us with medical evidence for the fact. One of the soldiers pierced His side and there came forth "blood and water" (John 19:34
). A doctor commenting on this says: "The pericardium (the sac around the heart) was punctured and the colorless fluid flowing from the wound proves that life would have been extinct." Was it really a convalescent Christ the disciples encountered on that first Easter
Day? Could such a pathetic and powerless figure have convinced them that He had conquered death and was alive forevermore? No, the Master, as it were, had flung from His face the mask of death, and laid down in the hearts and minds of His disciples an impression that stayed with them throughout the whole of their ministry. He who had been dead was now alive - gloriously and resplendently.
O Father, You whose very nature is truth, would You foist upon us a lie and have us believe Your Son rose from the dead when He did not? I cannot believe it. The life by which I live is resurrection life. I cannot be alive in someone who is dead. Amen.
1. What did the disciples invite Jesus to do?
2. What did Jesus invite the disciples to do?