A friend of mine says that Jesus didn't really die on the cross, but He was just drugged to make it look like He was dead. Then He recovered in the coolness of the tomb and went on to live in secret with His disciples. I know this isn't the traditional view, but is it possible he's right?
No, your friend is not right—and this isn’t just because Christians believe otherwise, but because what he’s suggesting isn’t logical.
Why is this? If you stop to think about it you’ll see why: Christ’s death was witnessed by hundreds (if not thousands) of people. They saw the nails being hammered into His hands and feet, and they saw how the beatings and the loss of blood from His wounds weakened Him. They witnessed also His final seconds: “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46).
The Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus also had no doubt He was truly dead. As executioners, they were very familiar with death, and when they took Jesus’ body down from the cross they made sure He was not alive. They knew that if they failed to carry out the death penalty, they could be severely punished. Later, His body was tightly wrapped in strips of cloth, then laid in a guarded, cave-like tomb with a huge stone across the entrance.
Only one conclusion is possible: On that first Easter, Jesus Christ rose from the dead by the power of God. And because He did, you and I have hope of eternal life. Death and Hell and Satan have been defeated! Don’t let anything keep you from Christ, but open your heart and life to Him today.