There are a thousand ways to die, but for Jesus Christ, it was by crucifixion. Did you ever imagine that things could have been a little different?
Accidents do happen, and a king who is careless enough to make a triumphant entry into Jerusalem while riding on an untrained donkey was just setting himself up for a bad end.
What if he had a fatal fall from the donkey? Imagine if a Roman chariot ran him over? What if the donkey got into a fight with another donkey and he was trampled underfoot? The donkey would have cut the budding career of a young savior.
Donkeys would be to Christians what pigs are to Muslims.
Jesus was a fan of food. A party here, some fishing there, turning water into wine, feeding a crowd, last supper and endless banquets. Even his parables have a lot to do with food.
What if Jesus had been poisoned during one of those feeding episodes? What would have become of Christianity?
Instead of a crucifix, Catholics would prominently don a skull symbol to symbolize the risk of food poisoning. Fasting would take a different meaning, where people would fast as a reminder that food poisoning is real. The sin of gluttony would be more called out in the society.
No more eating in church.
Murder in Jerusalem
Murder is not new. Cain murdered Abel very near the front cover of the bible. Putin is busy doing a few murders in Ukraine.
What if Jesus got murdered in Jerusalem? You know the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head, making him an easy victim of accidental homicide. His love for weird people could have easily landed him in the hands of a serial killer. He also had enough enemies, including the powerful one. His own disciple – Judas – could have willing to finish the job if he was offered 300 silver coins instead of 30.
How would resurrection look like after a gruesome murder? Had he risen again after being beheaded, the theory that he did not die but just faint would not have risen. Murder would be a holy offense.
The crowd shouted ‘crucify him! Crucify him!’
The problem here was that Benjamin Franklin had not been born to discover electricity. If it was in the years post Benjamin, the electric chair might have been the most preferred tool for execution. The crowd would be saying ‘electrocute him! Electrocute him!’
It would be interesting to see Christian hanging miniature electric chairs on their necks. Instead of those gigantic crosses in cathedrals, a giant electric chair would be hoisted on the spire. Cursed would be anyone who uses electricity.
Luckily, the good savior was not electrocuted.
Jesus died a young man at 33 years; a youth.
What if he lived to be 103 years old and then died peacefully in his sleep? He would have lived an extra 70 years which he could have used to raise more people or turn more water into wine.
But dying at 103 years would have been such another anticlimax, more like a Jehovah Wanyonyi. Jesus spending his last days at a home for the elderly in Jerusalem, in diapers, suffering memory loss and surrounded by some disciples who were also in similar state would have been a ungodly sight. That is just too normal and too ordinary. Even the prophets would have had a rough time talking about his death because that is how everyone who lives very long dies.
After resurrection, he would still need help to get out of that grave. Perish the thought.
The only thing that comes to mind when I think about the possibility of Jesus dying of heart attack is how Christians would respond to it. Every worship service would have a part where everyone places their hand on the left side of their chest, then pretends to go into a heart attack.
Christians would always speak of how God gives a new heart that is not susceptible to heart attack.
Disciples who never really got the point, a crowd that would worship him today and demand to have him hanged next day, a hood that despised him, family that looked down on him…
This could be a recipe for serious mental health problems and Jesus could have resulted to suicide.
The Tabloids in Jerusalem would report the news of the mad man who claimed to be God but time proved him otherwise. The likes of Judas, Pilate, and the Sanhedrin would be innocent. It would have been a great anti-climax for the story of Jesus.
Even if he rose again after suicide, what would Christians make of the death of Christ? Would suicide be allowed. Could it be okay to kill yourself so that you get to your maker faster? Would a noose be the new symbol of Christianity?
It could have been a firing squad, dying in prison, or maybe snake bite.
Whatever the case, there would be no Christianity as we know it today.