Far from being miraculous in the sense that it was the intervention of god which allowed Jesus to survive the crucifixion it may have been a miracle of an entirely different variety that saved him: a miracle of medicine. I’ve had a pet theory for a while now that the Romans may have decided to fake Jesus’ death out of a sense of mercy and because they had no real interest in seeing him be put to death for his ‘crime’. In brief the theory goes that during the Passion Christ was anesthetized with opium and that the Roman soldier may have, being well-trained and equipped with the appropriate knowledge, able to locate Christ’s spleen and place the blow from the spear there instead of his heart. This would explain the following passage from the Gospel of John:
“One of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance and immediately there came out blood and water.” — John 19:34
The ‘water’ in this case would have been lymph, or a mixture of blood plasma and white blood cells. This would have looked like water. They would have then taken him down from the cross, placed him in the ‘tomb’ with the large boulder covering the entrance (presumably to dissuade the curiosity of the locals), treated the lacerations to his body (which most people could survive anyway) and, possibly, have even performed a splenectomy on him. The reason I think this is that Roman medicine was very sophisticated due to their many years of campaigning in Europe and elsewhere, and I also believe that we may never know the full extent of this sophistication due to the burning of the library of Alexandria. I also happen to believe that early Christian sects destroyed the library for this precise reason and to preserve the idea that it was a divine miracle of god that saved him, not Roman medicine. Another interpretation is that Christ received a minor injury to the spleen, which (as it’s now understood) can be survived anyway, and true he did get lucky, and you may call it a ‘miracle’ if you like, but divine intervention played no role in it whatsoever (unless you take the pantheist interpretation of the term ‘god’).
My favorite interpretation is, naturally, the conspiratorial one, and the nature of the boulder blocking the entrance to his tomb bolsters my opinion on this. It’s perfectly plausible that early adherents of Christ would have been perfectly unable to understand how such a feat of medicine may have been possible and it would have been tiresome and wearying of the Romans to attempt to explain it to them. The burning of the library of Alexandria also leads me to the conclusion that his death was faked to avoid an uprising. But either way I enjoy this theory and have explanations of other seemingly miraculous events in the New Testament as well, such as the turning of water into wine; simply, the Greco-Roman practice of mixing it with water; and walking on water: that he, as a carpenter, managed to construct a pier.
The boulder is, also, a fascinating giveaway because the only other possible interpretation other than it for being for concealment of surgery was so that Jesus was unable to escape.